Using the internet as an access to leisure: a study of Meetup

Meetup is a world-wide online network that has used the face-to-screen medium of the Internet to support face-to-face social leisure experiences and to build community involvement. This work was developed to investigate Meetup as an innovative social networking tool that targets increasing face-to-face human interaction. It addressed the demographics of users of Meetup and the social and personal development implications of its use. Sources of Data Using Maslow’s Theory of Motivation and Human Needs and Sherbourne and Stewart’s functional components of social support as a guide, the researcher developed a survey instrument targeting demographics of users and the components of functional and social support members may be obtaining through using Meetup for social leisure. Data was collected through an online survey using Survey Monkey. Individuals who participated were invited to the online survey through their Meetup organizers. Conclusions Reached Meetup is an Internet based networking tool that is effectively offering face-to-face social leisure and in doing so, it offers its members the opportunity to meet social needs. This global network was found to provide Belongingness Needs (Level 3), Esteem Needs (Level 4) and Self-Actualization Needs (Level 5) from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, for its members.