SOUTH AFRICAN YOUTH AND MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IMPACT: THE MXIT PHENOMENON

27 Mar 2015

An empirical study has been conducted to determine the extent to which South African youth uses MXit, and its effect on them. The purpose of the study was to indicate to parents, employers, as well as other relevant stakeholders, the level of usage, as well as the impact of MXit, on its users. Since the target market of MXit is youth, the authors have conducted a survey of a number of school-going and working youth by means of a questionnaire. The sample consisted of primary school learners, as well as high school learners, higher education learners and young working people. The research methodology used was a literature survey and a questionnaire. Demographic results indicated that the profile of the typical MXit user is a female aged above 13 years, who uses MXit between 18:00 and 24:00, for two hours and less. The study has shown that issues surrounding MXit do not seem to be as serious as reports indicate. However, incorrect usage of mobile technology and, in particular, the MXit application, could have a negative impact on users in relation to their personal safety, emotional well-being as well as to their productivity at work, school and play. Furthermore, the research also highlights the role that parents should play in understanding and monitoring their children?s? mobile technology usage.