Is social media useful for migrations? The perspective of Turkish young adults in Oslo
Previous studies have demonstrated that migration can be a very hard and stressful process. However, new social media websites may be able to alleviate the problems, making it easier for the migrants to develop and use social networks in order to facilitate migration. For this study, I conducted semi-structured interviews with seven young adult Turkish immigrants to Oslo, in order to find out more about their experiences and the ways in which social media related to their migratory processes. I analysed the transcripts of the interviews by using thematic analysis and found three clusters of themes: (a) The two biggest issues that the participants faced when moving, and which caused significant mental distress, were language knowledge and finding a job. The issues were resolved with time through learning and developing weak social ties through work colleagues; (b) The biggest benefit of using social media for the participants was the ability to easily communicate with anyone, but they also enjoyed job-related uses, education-related uses and information obtaining. In contrast with that, the two main problems were social media addiction and upward social comparison. The negative effects of upward social comparison were less pronounced amongst the participants who used social media more for communication and less for posting and consuming content; (c) In the context of migrations, social media was useful for various purposes: maintaining old social ties, creating new ones, or obtaining information about jobs or housing. It may even be useful as a facilitator of language learning. The findings of this study are in line with previous literature but also suggest some novel ideas, mainly that the way social media is used can have different consequences for one’s wellbeing and that social media may be useful for learning a host-country language.