As the use of social media becomes prevalent, nature-based activities like birdwatching are being widely discussed online. In response to the paucity of research investigating the seemingly distant connection between social media and birdwatching, this study drew on uses and gratifications (U&G) theory to examine the relationships between the uses and gratifications of social media and responsible birdwatching behavior. A total of 292 questionnaires were collected from birdwatchers visiting a Ramsar site in Hong Kong. The structural equation modelling results indicated that the gratification of information seeking positively predicted responsible birdwatching behavior. Alternatively, status-seeking and socializing gratifications discouraged people from engaging in responsible behavior, mediated by social media use habit. These findings highlight the opportunities social media may provide to promote environmentally responsible behavior, particularly on birdwatching. However, the threats of social media use that emerged should not be overlooked. Relevant suggestions were made to help ameliorate impacts of birdwatchers. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V.
CitationMa, A. T. H., Ng, S. L., Cheung, L. T. O., & Lam, T. W. L. (2021). How do uses of and gratifications from social media platforms drive responsible birdwatching behavior? Global Ecology and Conservation, 27. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01614
- Uses and gratifications theory
- Social media
- Online information
- Responsible birdwatching behavior
- Hong Kong