Self justification

MXIT: Uses, Perceptions and Self-justifications

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Apr 16, 2011
MXIT: Uses, Perceptions and Self-justifications data sheet 1646 Views
Chigona, Wallace, Agnes Chigona, Bomkazi Ngqokelela, and Sicelo Mpofu
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This paper reports on a pilot study investigating the perceptions and use of Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) amongst the youth in South Africa. MIMs are enjoying a high adoption rate amongst the youth in South Africa and MXit is by far the most popular MIM. However, the media, parents and educators are overly concerned with the use of the system. The accusations against MXit have included the allegations that it is time-wasting for the youth, it is a hunting ground for paedophiles, and it leads to anti-social behaviours. It is interesting, however, that despite the negative perceptions of the system, the youth are still using it, and presumably with their parents’ blessings.


Data for the study was gathered through in-depth interviews with randomly selected youth who use MXit, as well as with parents of children who use the system. The study has found that the youth use the system mainly for social networking and that, to most users, the system is more than just a communication tool - it is also part of their lives. The study has also unearthed the perceptions of the users towards fellow users and towards non-users. In addition, it has been noted that both the users and parents of users are employing self-justification strategies to deal with the cognitive dissonance arising from the negative discourse on MXit and their continued use or support of the system.


The findings of this study contribute to the understanding of how the youth use new media. The findings could be useful for those who may want to use new media for educating the youth and for marketing purposes.

Posted by on Jan 01, 1970