Clicking, Scrolling, Or Switching: Unveiling the Predictors of Media Multitasking in the United States and Saudi Arabia

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University of Alabama Libraries

Media multitasking is the simultaneous use of two media devices or applications. Given the global rise of media multitasking and its potential implications for media users, understanding the factors that drive this behavior across cultures is crucial. This study explores different factors that may predict media multitasking behaviors among users in the United States of America (USA) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), using the Uses and Gratifications Theory (U&G) as a theoretical framework. Specifically, the study examined three key factors that may influence this behavior including, demographic, motivational, and cultural factors. The study utilized an online survey to gather data from two samples of media users in both countries (N = 587). The study revealed that while both the USA and KSA participants frequently multitask with long video-based content and social networking, KSA users exhibit higher levels of media multitasking frequency. Among the demographic factors, age negatively predicts media multitasking, while unemployment status is linked to increased multitasking activities in both countries. Motivational factors played a different role, with social motivations positively predicting multitasking in the USA, while connection and enjoyment motivations served as positive predictors in the KSA. In addition, time orientation (polychronic vs. monochronic) partially explains the variation in media multitasking frequency between the countries, highlighting the role of cultural factors. This study contributes to the understanding of cross-cultural differences in media multitasking, highlighting the complex interplay of demographic, motivational, and cultural factors.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
cross-culture, monochronicity, motivation, Multitasking, polychronicity, Uses and gratifications