Table of content: 1)Abstract 2)What is social network 3)People on facebook 4)How do social networking sites affect the society •Advantages •Disadvantages 5)How does a social network such as facebook effect teenagers •Advantages of facebook on teenagers and friendship •Disadvantages of facebook on teenagers and their friendships 6)My survey and result •Survey questionnaire 7)Conclusion 8)Bibliography Abstract:
In my project I will look at different aspects of social network, the hypothesis that I will be testing is given that the aim of facebook and other social network sites is to improve communication between friends, do teenagers actually perceive social networking sites as improving the nature of their friendship. I will first of all discuss what social network is, how is effects our society, how it effects teenagers, its advantages and disadvantages and finally my survey and results. I will use primary and secondary sources to gather information.
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I will also be surveying teenagers in my school and coming to the conclusion of whether social networking is unhealthy for teen friendships or vice versa. What is social network? : Social network is different websites that allow people to interact with one another; the people are linked through social familiarity and common interests. You can befriend an acquaintance, family member, close friend, employee or just a person that you would like to know better or keep in contact with. Social networks let you share your personal information, pictures and lets you blog.
The purpose of social network is to make it easier for people to communicate with one another. There are a variety of social networks these days and people can join as many as they like free of cost. The first social network was introduced in 1997 and was called six degrees. com and after that came many more social networking sites such as myspace, orkut and bebo. The latest and most used social network is facebook it was created in 2004, only Harvard students who has an Harvard. edu email address could join. By September 2005 facebook eventually started to support everyone and whoever wanted could join it.
Facebook has more than 500 million users(newyork times). The diagram shows the timeline of different social networks People on Facebook ( statistics) •More than 500 million active users •50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day •Average user has 130 friends •People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook How do social networking sites affect the society: Society is the totality of social relationships among humans( according to the American heritage dictionary) . Advantages: Never before has there been a way for people to communicate resourcefully and instantly via internet.
Social networking has changed the way people communicate. It has made the society more inter linked. People share ideas and views and form groups. Social network helps create trust and reciprocity between people,which improves community life. Social networking sites have a high social capital. Social capital is a concept that describes the benefits individuals and groups receive from their relationships with others ( American heritage dictionary) . Social networking sites also help people find jobs and even marital partners.
Over the years sites such as facebook have allowed people to share information and make stronger bonds with people that live far away. Friends and families living far away from one another can stay in daily contact. It provides a place for companies to advertise new products and give information about the services that different firms offer. Having a Facebook account could be an element that stimulate successful marketing strategies because people can use these sites to advertise and get known. Businesses are allowed to connect with 500 million probable customers; you can choose your target audience by age, location and interest.
Facebook allows you to built a community around your business. (http://www. facebook. com/advertising/? campaign_id=402047449186&placement=pflo&extra_1=0) facebook allows you to advertise, Provided that you follow the guide lines (http://www. facebook. com/ad_guidelines. php) . you are given a way new method to advertise your niche hence businesses can use social network to communicate with their customers and react to consumer demands as quick as possible. People can find jobs and companies can also look for potential employees. Teachers, schools and professors benefit vastly from the revolutionary emergence of facebook.
Schools can create facebook pages where they can give information and attract students for admissions and update current students. Teachers can give out assignments and even ask students to post their projects if there videos or images. Students can blog about their assignments and get help from each other as well. Most universities have facebook pages so future students can explore the different aspects of the universities and make better choices. Those pages also have information about upcoming school events and surveys, students can stay in touch with campus community and interact due to this.
Social networking sites make research much easier and give scientist and other professional people an opportunity to collaborate with each other and facilitate their work. The same as with other aspects of life, you get out of social network is what you put in. The more you contribute, the more you will benefit from the interactive atmosphere. Getting ideas from people around the work and incorporating them with scientist and researchers around the world is an extremely beneficial factor Disadvantages: Social networking sites do not only benefit the society but to some extent they also harm the society.
The benefits must be measured for what social network offers as well as does the bad it does. Many users pose as someone else and seek personal and confidential knowledge about other people, it creates mistrust between people. A persons personal information can be distorted and used to make fake accounts of other people Facebook communities/ groups have created tension and hatred among different nationalities and religions. Communities have targeted different ethnic groups and been the reason for rift. Communities such as ” I hate islam” and ” black people suck”.
Social networking sites also reduce face to face contact and can cause health problems. Finally they can also be a big distraction for people, they can cause people not to focus while at work/school and can also cause a lack of sleep because of the amount of time spent on them. How does a social network such as facebook effect teenagers: A teenager is a person between the age of 13 and 19, teenagers are called adolescent which is a juvenile between the onset of puberty and maturity ( web definition: http://en. wikipedia. rg/wiki/Adolescence ) Teenagers mostly use facebook to connect and communicate with their friends. Facebooks can be very time consuming for teenagers. Joining facebook for teenagers is a symbol of popularity and a contest to have more friends than other people. Quizzes and groups on facebook alter the thinking of teenagers. Most people take quizzes that their friends do and join the same groups leaving no sense of individuality. Sites such as facebooks have both many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to how it effects teenagers aswell as there friendships
Teenagers benefit a great deal from facebook. They reconnect with old friends and keep long distant relationships going and easier to handle. According to a 2007 pew internet research report 91% of teenagers say they use social networking sites such as facebook to stay in touch with friends they see frequently and 82% use facebook to stay in touch with friends that they rarely see. Teenagers depend on facebook to maintain friendship. Social networks such as Facebook, twitter, bebo are bringing teenagers together on a global scale with people that have common interests, as well as motivating them academically.
Amazingly, one of the most frequent topic discussed on these social networking sites is education. According to 2007 studies by the National School Boards Association and Grunwalk Associates, 60 percent of online students discuss subjects relating to college plans and careers (statistics taken from :http://www. suite101. com/content/how-kids-and-teens-benefit-from-cyberspace-a100453) Most teenagers use facebook to connect with people that they already meet at school on daily bases and “poke” and “super poke” have replaced handshakes and hugs .
Facebook helped me keep in touch with my friends over the summer vacation because we were all gone to different countries and also people that are too shy to interact in person interact with me over facebook. This helps create a deeper bond with everyone that I go to school with. Facebook lets teenagers get exposed to different point of view and helps them look at everything from a different angle, you learn about diversity and learn to be more tolerant to the opionis of other people. It facilitates the development of critical thinking and augmentation skills.
Its more easier to get feedback on ideas, you can get a lot of peoples feedback and use it in your work or you can get answers to questions and see how different people react to it, they can understand issues from the prospective of others. Surveying people is much safer and less time consuming. Last month I had to do a survey for English class and instead of going from person to person I inboxed my survey to my friends and even people that weren’t in the country which gave me more information and a way to test people from different countries.
Isolated teens can find people who share common interest with them and break out of their shells. They can communicate in a positive way. Teenagers through status updates can know about what all there friends are up to. Facebook creates diversity you can create deep friendships with people from a different race or region for the world using facebook for example you can be in india and be friends with someone in mexico. Since the world has so many time zones, facebook makes it easier to contact a friend in a different country.
Calling a friend in a different country may be very expensive and facebook provides an easy way to communicate. Facebook helps teenagers facilitate long distance relationships. My friend in Pakistan is dating a guy in America, it is easier for them to inbox eachother on facebook than call eachother. If they were both not on facebook probably their relationship would have come to an end by now. Most importantly facebook gives teenagers the opportunity to create a more positive self image to show friends, school faculty and future universities.
Teenagers can become more passionate about the things they like and there hobbies because they can find people on the various social networking sites that share a common interest. You have the opportunity to be invited to social events and be aware of them due to the side bar on facebook that shows the scheduled events coming up. Event pages can largely be beneficial, you can make an event page for a party at school or even a birthday party and with a click of a button send it to everyone rather than sending personal invitations which becomes extremely time consuming.
Social networking sites assumingly boost creativity and persuade teens to share poetry, pictures and videos. They learn how to edit content such as their profile pictures or information box, they become more open. Psychologist found that social networking encourages honesty and openness about a persons emotions, insecurities and concerns that teenagers can otherwise feel uncomfortable discussing. This creates stronger bonds which helps teenagers create deeper friendships and cope with the stress and obstacles of adolescent life.
Teenagers are more confident to ask sensitive and personal questions on these sites rather than face to face, they wouldn’t ask those questions but social network gives them the opportunity to open up and ask questions that there too scared to ask otherwise . This aspect tends to benefit more girls than boys. Disadvantages to teenagers and friendship due to facebook:- Everything has two sides to it, when something is beneficial is can also be harmful. Teenagers do not fully understand the dangers of giving personal information online.
The findings of a survey done by cox and ncmec in 2007 show the dangers and how they are likely to be effected by online predators •A large majority of teens (71%) have established online profiles (including those on social networking sites such as MySpace, Friendster and Xanga), up from 61% in 2006. •69% of teens regularly receive personal messages online from people they do not know and most of them do not tell a trusted adult about it. •Teens readily post personal info online. 64% post photos or videos of themselves, while more than half (58%) post info about where they live.
Females are far more likely than male teens to post personal photos or videos of themselves (70% vs. 58%). •Nearly one in 10 teens (8%) has posted his or her cell phone number online. •Overall, 19% of teens report they have been harassed or bullied online, and the incidence of online harassment is higher (23%) among 16 and 17 year-olds. Girls are more likely to be harassed or bullied than boys (21% vs. 17%). •nearly a third of teens (31%) say they usually reply and chat with people they do not know, and only 21% tell a trusted adult when they receive such messages.
Teenagers don’t fully understand the risk for talking to someone they do not know, teenagers are naive and easily manipulated. Sex offenders use fake accounts to get closer to teenagers. Teenagers can make themselves vulnerable online. Excessive use of social network is harmful for teenagers. Cyber bullying has been made more serious by social networks such as facebook. It becomes an online way for people to create high school drama. In my school, facebook has been the cause of much tension in school and even fights which led to the suspension of a few students.
Teenagers are more likely to be ruder or more bold when they don’t have to communicate face to face with the other person. When the face to face factor is eliminated, than body language, facial expression and tone of voice aren’t present and comments can be mistake and taken in a different way then what they were set out to be, for example sarcasm can be misunderstood. Teenagers will make rude comments on peoples pictures of make fun of them where everyone can see what they wrote because they believe it makes them “cooler”.
Which has become an obvious way to cyber-bully and harass others. Comments made can lead to losing friends and hatred amongst themselves. Its very strange that my friend said that she rather break up with her boyfriend on facebook than in person because its easier, this avoidance can have a negative impact on her communication skills and her way of dealing with hard situations throughout her life. Teenagers start to isolate themselves and avoid face to face contact which is essential to their growth and development. Hence it leads to harmful biological disruption.
Increase in isolation would alter the way genes work (According to Dr Aric Sigman). A lot of personal information is put up on these sites regardless or whether other people can see it or not, it gives people the opportunity to stalk and be stalked. The risk of theft of personal information becomes greater. Dr susan Greenfield a neuroscientist says that sites such as twitter, facebook and myspace are shortening the attention span, encouraging instant gratification , and making youngsters more self centered and self focused. Teenager has a tendency to get addicted to such networks.
Another way that social network is harmful is the obsession to it, the excessive of it can lead to a dysfunctional lifestyle ( such as less sleep). These teenagers are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Lastly many things said on these sites could hurt a friendship or ruin a relationship . My survey and result: The age group that I surveyed lied between the age of 13 and 19. The survey was handed out to 40 teenagers in my school. All the teenagers the survey was handed out to said they used social networking sites.
Majority of people said they used these sites to maintain friendships. Answer to question number 4 was mainly option (A) which means that most teenagers spend a considerable amount of time on social networking sites . 33 people out of 40 said it was important to use these sites and the most reoccurring reason was that they could stay in touch with friends that lived far away. Something which I found shocking was that 39 people answered that they were approached by someone that they didn’t know which made me largly apprehensive because those people could be sex predators .
Answer to question 8 was that a large amount of people did give person information on facebook which is a great concern for their security and can lead to identity theft or make them victims to sex predators. Answer to number 9 was divided 21 people said that they had been harassed and 19 said that they hadn’t. most people did answer yes to question number 10 which shows that they say things on facebook which necessarily they wouldn’t say face to face. A large number of teenagers said they do feel safe on social networking sites ( question 11). 34 people confessed to have stalked someone n mostly of the opposite gender.
Amazingly 12 people have had fights due to facebook which is something that I thought was interesting because I thought more people would have said yes due to the intolerant and violence seeking generalize behavior of teens. More than 50% answered that they had learned something new with the use of these sites which is a beneficial aspect. A fairly high amount of teens said that they hadn’t lied about themselves to make themselves look better. Answer to question 16 was mainly no which means that either way teens are comfortable with talking in person aswell and that social networking sites doesn’t pull down there social skills.
Most teens said that they hadn’t been cyber bullied nor did they indulge in cyber bulling, Teenagers cant as bad as they are said to be. 34 people had answered that they didn’t lose friends due to facebook since it provides a platform to establish long lasting friendships. Teens at a large scale did answer that facebook benefits and improves their relationships/ friendships with others. Some of the reasons given were that: “it helps you to stay in touch with people you dont usually meet regularly but still want to keep the friendship stable”. it’s a modern and useful form of communication, it helps stay in touch with people and organize events. ” “it makes it easier to communicate with people who are pretty far away, and makes staying in touch easier” “yes, because we are able to interact with each in terms of viewing pictures and be intune with each others lives and update each other on new things with the help of different tools on facebook” “yes, because its significant to my social life and aiding in constructing a more beneficial way to maintain relationships” “Yes; facebook makes it a lot easier to communicate with friends especially ones that live far away.
Sharing pictures and status updates is a good and easy way to keep family and friends updated”. Survey questionnaire: Q1) what is your age and gender? : Q2) Do you use social networking sites such as facebook, orkut, myspace etc? a) Yes b) no Q3) Why do you use such sites? a) Maintain friendships b) publicize yourself c) everyone else has it d) I don’t know Q4) How much time do you spend on these sites? a) A lot b) a little c) none
Q5) Do you think its important to use these site? ( if you answerd yes to this question please explain why) a) Yes b) no Q6) If you use social networking sites, you mainly talk to? a) Friends b) family c) new people Q7) have you ever been approached by someone you don’t know on these social networking sites? a) Yes b) no Q8) Have you given your personal information on sites such as facebook? a) Yes b) no Q9) Have you ever been harassed on facebook?