NAME OF PROJECT: THE EFFECTS OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA ON RELATIONSHIP TRENDS BY: SARAI WANJIKU NJENGA I. D # : 621920 A RESEARCH PROJECT SUBMITTED TO THE JOURNALISM PROGRAM IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE COURSE JRN 3024 COMMUNICATION RESEARCH USIU JOURNALISM PROGRAM 2011 DECLARATION I hereby declare that this is my original work. It has not been presented to any other institution for any other purpose. Name : Sarai Wanjiku Njenga Signature : ____________________ Date : ____________________ Submitted to : James C. O. Oranga Signature : ____________________
Date : ____________________ Dedication I dedicate this research project to my mother, Mary Njenga who has been an inspiration and biggest supporter of my Journalism career. I also decicate this to my fellow classmates who have been with me throughout the semester. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to thank the USIU School of Journalism, the USIU students who took the time to give me all the information I needed to conduct this research and also to the course lecturer, Mr. James C. O. Oranga. List of Tables and Charts TABLE 1 List of respondents by program (Undergraduate)
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School| Number of Students | %| Chandaria School of Business| 2379| 55. 4| School of Humanities & Social Sciences| 1175| 27. 3| School of Science & Technology| 707| 16. 5| Undecided| 36| 0. 8| Total Number of Undergraduate Students| 4297| 100| TABLE 2 List of respondents by program (Graduate) School| Number of Students| % | Chandaria School of Business| 661| 86. 9| School of Humanities & Social Sciences| 100| 13. 1| Undecided | 0| 0| Total Number of Graduate Students| 761| 100| TABLE 3 List of respondents by gender
School| Number of Students| % | Female| 2743| 54| Male| 2315| 46| Total | 5058| 100| TABLE 4 List of respondents by frequency of internet use Number of times users access the internet| % of sample| 10+ times a day| 35| 5 times a day once a day| 7| Twice a day| 15| Once a day| 40| Not often| 3| TABLE 5 List of respondents by social network Social Network| % of sample| Facebook| 68| Twitter | 25| MySpace| 3| Other| 4| Abstract The research focus for this study is the Effects of the Social Media on Relationship Trends.
The main focus is to determine the different relationship trends influenced by the use of the social media by USIU students. The study endeavoured to evaluate the changes of relationship trends and done a comparative analysis on the previous relationship trends before the new media age. The main focus was to establish the different types of relationship trends, investigate the effects of these trends and compare the final data gathered and test the findings with two theories of mass communication relevant to this study. This research has gathered both primary and secondary data.
The techiques and tools used to gather primary data for this study are the use of a questionnaire formulated to extract as much information from the sample as needed for the purpose of this study. The second method used to gather information was the use of observation, specifically the full participant method. This has be done through observing a partial percentage of the sample through the familiar environment, the researcher’s personal Facebook and Twitter profiles. For the secondary data gathering, the study made use of available books, online journals, newspaper articles, magazines and the internet.
The research design methods the research used are the descriptive and explanatory research designs. The sampling techiniques that used are the Stratified Random Sampling technique as focuses on important subpopulations of the university and permits greater balancing of statistical power of tests of differences between strata by sampling equal numbers from strata varying widely in size like those in the USIU population. After collecting this data, it will be analysed with the Interpretive techniques.
That is, observer impression from the researcher’s own personal use of the social media networks. The study will then present this data with the use of words, tables and percentages to show how the different figures of students whose relationship trends have been affected by the social media. With these percentages, the researcher has formulated a pie chart and a line graph to show these findings. The use of words and tables help to explain and break down the data in simple form while the use of the pie chart summarize this large amount of data in visual form.
With this information, the researcher has been able to document and explain the results and findings of the research and give main conclusions and recommendations that can be used by future researchers for reference. Table of Contents Declaration(i) Dedication(ii) Acknowledgements(iii) List of tables and charts(iv) Abstract(v) Table of Contents(vi) CHAPTER 1 : BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 1. 1 Statement of the Study 1. 2 Objectives of the Study 1. 3 Justifications of the Study 1. 4 Hypotheis 1. 5 Operationalization CHAPTER 2 : LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK . 1 : Literature Review 2. 2 : Theoretical Framework 2. 2. 1 : Modernization Theory 2. 2. 2 : The Difussion of Innovations Theory CHAPTER 3 : THE METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY 3. 1 : The Research Design 3. 2 : Sampling Techniques 3. 3 : Data Collection Methods and Collection Tools 3. 4 : Data Presentation Methods 3. 5 : Data Analysis Methods and Perimeters CHAPTER 4 : FINDINGS CHAPTER 5 : CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX CHAPTER 1 : BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY The first question the study will answer is, “What is Social Media? The term??social media??refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Social media are??media??for??social interaction, as a superset beyond??social communication, but mainly still communicating just interactively using ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media can take on many different forms, including??Internet forums,??weblogs,??social blogs,??microblogging,??wikis,??podcasts, photographs or pictures,??video, rating and??social bookmarking. The focus of this research is the use of the social networking sites.
In this modern age, there is a lot of new media that has come up. The use of computer technology is a major development that has spread the world over. With this, there has been a lot of innovations. The major one being the creation of social networks. These include websites like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, just to mention a few. These are sites that allow their users to create profiles that they use to communicate to people they know and also to network with people from all over the world to reflect or build social relations.
Most social network services are??web based??and provide means for users to interact over the??Internet, such as??e-mail??and??instant messaging. Facebook??is a??social networking service??and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. As of July 2011, Facebook has more than 750??million active users. Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Facebook users must register before using the site. Twitter is also a website, owned and operated by Twitter Inc. which offers a??social networking??and??microblogging??service, enabling its users to send and read messages called??tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140??characters??displayed on the user’s profile page. While Myspace is a social networking website that became the most popular social networking site in the United States in June 2006, a position that it held throughout 2007 until 2008. However by April 2008, according to??comScore. com, Myspace was overtaken internationally by its main competitor,??Facebook. Social media can also include applications where people can talk to people they know.
One such application is Skype. Skype is a??software application??that allows users to make??voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional??landline telephones??and??mobile phones??can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include??instant messaging,??file transfer, and??video conferencing. With the foundation of these websites, many more people got better access to the internet and therefore the social media generation came about.
This led to many of these websites registering a large number of profiles and their popularity rose to great levels. These people who access the internet use these websites to communicate with their family and friends because it is much cheaper to go to Facebook and write on the person’s Wall or to Twitter to send a tweet. In the case of Myspace, one can send a message to the person’s inbox and for Skype, make a “Skype date” and use the free voice or video calls for those registered to the application.
In other cases, many people go on the internet to network with people from different communities, meet new people or in some cases, look for prospective love interests. Web based social networking services make it possible to connect people who share interests and activities across political, economic, and geographic borders. Through e-mail and instant messaging,??online communities??are created where a??gift economy??and??reciprocal altruism??are encouraged through??cooperation. Information is particularly suited to??gift economy, as information is a??nonrival good??and can be gifted at practically no cost.
Facebook??and other social networking tools are increasingly the object of scholarly research. Scholars in many fields have begun to investigate the impact of social networking sites, investigating how such sites may play into issues of??identity,??privacy,social capital,??youth culture, and??education. The use of the internet has positive and negative effects. For the positive, in the case of Skype, this application allows users to make free Skype to Skype voice and video calls. This enables people living in different parts of the world to communicate with their loved ones.
This application has gained a lot of popularity due to their phenomenal service. Recently, Skype has teamed up with Facebook to allow Facebook users to video call their friends through the Skype application. The internet provides a platform for easy communication. One can keep in touch with their friends and family through these social networking sites at no fee, except those charged by the internet service providers. The internet allows its users to communicate through the use of pictures and status updates. This is a great way to get to see what one’s friends and family are doing at what time.
This medium also allows users to reunite lost family members and friends. These cases have been reported in the United States. Another positive aspect of these social networking websites is that they allow people to network and meet new people from anywhere , if not all over the world who also have access to these social networking sites. This has lead to friendships being made and in rare cases, given the opportunity to its users to meet their soulmates. The websites also give its users a source of entertainment. Many people use these sites to share their interests with their friends and followers.
For example, one user may see an entertaining video on You-Tube or hear a song that they liked or read an article that they would like to share with their friends. A user with a profile on any of these sites may post the link to their profile and their friends can have access to it and be able to get entertained themselves. The availability of information on these sites is another important aspect. A good example is the man in Pakistan who was tweeting some disturbing noises outside his house in the wee hours of the morning giving updates to his friends on what was happening outside his house.
This man did not know that the “noise” outside his house was the historical event of the killing of Number 1 Most Wanted Terrorist in the world, Osama Bin Laden. These are just some of the positive impacts that the social media has to our societies. Several websites are beginning to tap into the power of the social networking model for??philanthropy. Such models provide a means for connecting otherwise fragmented industries and small organizations without the resources to reach a broader audience with interested users.
Social networks are providing a different way for individuals to communicate digitally. These communities of hypertexts allow for the sharing of information and ideas, an old concept placed in a digital environment. Some of the negative effects of the internet are that one must keep track of their profile status to be able to be sure that their information is not accessed by those who are not part of their friends list. This is a very important aspect because this can eliminate the possibility of stalking and use of one’s information by unauthorised persons.
The internet is a time consuming medium. Many students spend a lot of time on the internet using these social media sites. This is a big problem because many times the students do not study at all and end up browsing these sites most of the time. In rare cases, the internet can also hub many people who use it to do harmful things to people. Many times in the news we see that people are tracked down by the use of their status updates that specify the user’s location. This can be very bad for one’s personal security as there may be someone who may want to harm them.
Another reason this is bad is because many young girls are using the internet to slander each other’s reputations on blogs as depicted in the series “Gossip Girl”. In one case, a USIU student and her friends went through this and led to her reputation being questioned due to this blog. USIU as an institution also went through this obstacle when there was a trending topic on Twitter about USIU girls’ reputation. This brought a lot of doubt about the credibility of USIU as an institution and was even an issue brought up in the newspapers. In the case of relationships, the social networking sites ruin a lot of people’s relationships.
Several news stories have suggested that using Facebook causes??divorce??and??infidelity, for friendships it may be an issue of gossip or the misinterpretation of a message. The most common trend that is on these websites is soliciting of sex. Many men are using these networks to meet girls, have sexual relations with them and then delete or block them from their profiles. The purpose of this research is to study the relationship trends of USIU in regards to the influence the social media poses on them. It intends to establish whether the social media does indeed affect their personal relationships and how they relate to their peers.
The study researches the different types of relationship trends and tried to find out why these trends are being adopted by the students and whether they acceptable to society or if it is purely pressure from their peers to adopt some of these relationship trends. This research also looked at the opinion of different people who have researched on this situation before to get a brief history of what the relationship trends used to be before the social media websites, what they were when these websites were introduced, what new trends have come up and how they are affecting the students’ relationships.
The study also gathered the opinions of the students to get a better understanding of just how exactly these media are affecting their relationships. Statement of the Study The effects of the social media ought to be studied because there have been a number of factors that many researchers have brought out about the effects of the social media that need to be assessed in relation to USIU students. This gives the research the credibility and authenticity that it needs. Many researchers say that the social media enhances media violence.
Research into the media and violence??examines whether links between consuming??media??violence and subsequent aggressive and??violent??behavior exists. Although some??social scientists??support this link, methodological and theoretical problems with the existing literature limit interpretation of findings in this area. There is concern among some scholars that media researchers may have exaggerated effects. Various social media including social networking sites and many others have attracted speculation that consumers of such media may become more aggressive, rebellious or immoral.
This has led some scholars to conclude statements made by some researchers merely fit into a cycle of media-based moral panics. Much of research has been guided by??social learning theory??developed by Albert Bandura. Social learning theory suggests that one way in which human beings??learn??is by the process of modeling. The study has tested this theory through its research to assertain that it is indeed plausible. Another research report was done in reporting on the impact of social media on teens.
Especially in their discussion of “Facebook depression,” a term that the authors simply made up??to describe the phenomenon observed when depressed people use social media. Researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called “Facebook depression,” defined as depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression. The report stated that, “Acceptance by and contact with peers is an important element of adolescent life. The intensity of the online world is thought to be a factor that may trigger depression in some adolescents.
As with of? ine depression, preadolescents and adolescents who suffer from Facebook depression are at risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to risky Internet sites and blogs for “help” that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors. ” This research has endevoured to establish if this “Facebook depression” exists in the USIU students society. The objectives of this study are: (1) To identify and evaluate the different relationship trends the social media imposes on USIU students. 2) To find out what effects the social media has on USIU students as opposed to other media. (3) To compare my data with relevant communication theories and assertain and critically demonstrate how the tenents of the theory relate to the topic of research. The justifications of the objectives are: (a) It is important to find out the different types of relationship trends as as to better understand the study. (b) It is important to find out the effects of these trends to know whether they impact the students negatively or positively. c) For educational purposes of the undergraduate study to test the relevant theories of mass communication to the effects of the social media. Hypothesis: A select few of the USIU students who use the social media are not influenced by the relationship trends popularised on these networks. Is the social media a developmental tool in the way it affects relationship trends in USIU? Operationalization: Avatar: refers to the personality connected with the??screen name, or handle, of an Internet user. Followers: someone who subscribes to (i. e. , follows) the tweets of another Twitter user.
Frenemy: a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy” which can refer to either an enemy disguised as a friend or to a partner who is simultaneously a competitor and rival. Gossip Girl: ??is an American teen drama series narrated by the omniscient yet unseen??blogger??”Gossip Girl”. The series revolves around the lives of privileged young adults on??Manhattan’s Upper East Side??in NewYork City. “Like”: The??Facebook??”Like” button is a feature that allows users to show their support for specific comments, pictures,??wall??posts,??statuses, or??fan pages. Offline: not directly controlled by or connected to a computer or external network.
Status/Status Updates: a??Facebook??status is an update feature which allows users to discuss their thoughts, whereabouts, or important information with their friends. Timeline: A time-line in Facebook is all the recent things that your friends have been up to on Facebook. This is shown in order of when it happened and has a date to show when it happened. Tweets: a post or status update on Twitter. Wall: a Facebook wall is the area on a profile or??page??where friends and “fans” can post their thoughts, views, or criticisms for everyone to see. CHAPTER 2 : LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 2. 1 Literature Review
Since the point of social media is to connect and share with others, it’s hardly a revelation that all those tweets and status updates have affected our relationships, both platonic and romantic, in many ways. There’s a body of research which indicates that the generation growing up with social media is??less empathetic and more self-involved??than those who grew up with the TV or the telephone. On the other hand, there’s a study which claims those who are more active on Facebook are??better socialized in real life too. It’s probably safest to assume that the overall effect is neither overwhelmingly positive nor overwhelmingly negative.
More like a muddled and confusing aspect of our lives. Here are just some of the ways many bloggers have described which social media has impacted on how we interact with our peers. There is no excuse not to stay in touch. This has always been one of the most compelling benefits of social media: it makes keeping in contact with distant friends and relatives much easier. Anyone who chooses not to have a Facebook profile is, in effect, shutting themselves off from others because getting in touch with them is so much more of an obstacle. Socialise the easy way. Facebook has made it incredibly easy to stay in touch.
So much so that we resent having to make an effort to keep up with the lives of others; anyone on these sites have friends they have not communicated with directly in years, but they have a pretty good idea of what they are up to. Likewise, it is possible to be the life and soul of the virtual party without getting out of your pyjamas. One need never actually physically meet anyone ever again. If you’re not in the news feed, you do not exist. Top of mind awareness means one focuses their attention ever more exclusively on those who interact with them online.
It is easy not to forget about people in your life when you see them every day ??? but if you do not, they soon slip from view. Our eyes met across a crowded timeline. In 2010, 1 out of 6 US couples who got married first met online. So it is true that chemistry can be detected through the internet. Do not judge a book by its avatar, because we now get to know one another’s hopes and dreams before we meet, it is possible that we are now less shallow than we were, and less inclined to judge others by their appearance. We therefore get to know people we might otherwise never bother with.
This is a godsend for the socially inept. As Victoria Coren??argues, “Social networking allows kids to type their hellos, rather than mime them across the terrors of the dance floor. ” All the world’s a stage. Several researchers have raised concerns about the fact that identity is now constituted and communicated for the benefit of others. Everyone’s performing a version of themselves: even our psychology is a performance??maintains Sherry Turkle??of MIT. In 20 years’ time, will we be able to make meaningful connections with one another? Or will the notion of “meaningful connection” have changed beyond all recognition?
On the social networking sites we are all our own publicists now. Not only is our identity performed, but we are in charge of telling our own real-time, blow-by-blow stories. Stories which, as it happens, often involve people who would not otherwise choose to be written about. For people close to those with active social media lives, privacy is often a choice they do not get to make. Blogging and tweeting about your personal life is an ethical minefield. What’s in a name? Everything! Performance and narrative come together in the form of the online persona carefully edited for public consumption.
Many people are far better known by their usernames to the point where their Twitter followersand Facebook friends are confused when one makes any reference to their real names. Can you make yourself sound interesting in 140 characters or less? Read the biographies of Twitter profiles to understand how social media is effectively spreading the notion of the personal brand. It is now possible to know what somebody had for breakfast, whether they had a good day at work, and whether they recently consumed tequila and to have absolutely no idea who they are when you encounter them in person.
This is often because their avatar is shot from a flattering angle, but the disparity between the online persona and the real person, at least the one you meet, because we’re always only ever versions of ourselves. This can be deeply disconcerting. Jealousy makes you nasty. When the significant other in one’s life sees them directing one too many tweets or wall posts at one of their followers or friends, or making one too many comments on their status updates, unhappiness generally results. This is further complicated by the fact that one can conduct conversations with half the planet while their spouse lies next to them in bed.
Twitter and Facebook are frequently the unspoken and unseen third person in the relationship. Is tweeting/facebooking cheating? That third person in the relationship can become a problem. The Anthony Weiners of this world use social media to enable a kind of online infidelity that is keeping divorce lawyers in business. Facebook has been??cited as evidence??in 20 percent of US divorces. As the researcher quoted in that story explains, “Within a short amount of time, the sharing of personal stories can lead to a deepened sense of intimacy, which in turn can point the couple in the direction of physical contact. The kindness of strangers. If you have an active account, we have all seen the most extraordinary revelations on Twitter. When big things happen in people’s lives, they tweet about it first, then update their status, then start phoning. The standard response to the sad news tweet is “hugs”. Is this a common term of sympathy? I honestly don’t know, but people seem to draw genuine comfort from the good wishes of their followers. The giant corner couch and the big screen TV. Judging by the tweets and status updates about Manchester United or Big Brother or Tusker Project Fame, eople still experience a profound need to share what they are watching on TV. It’s the same as sitting with friends yelling at the screen, only now you’re doing it with a number of fellow fans scattered across the globe. The unbearable loneliness of being the only one awake. Twitter can be the noisiest, most chaotic place in the world, and also the loneliest. Nothing is worse than tweeting into the echoing void. Yet at the same time, few things are more comforting than tweeting about how you cannot sleep and seeing a response from somebody in the same situation.
Social media might not be real life, but real life will not cure your loneliness at two in the morning. Comparisons are odious and inevitable. Some studies of happiness show that it is all relative. The more successful people are in comparison to those around them, the??happier they are??and vice versa. This has interesting implications for the way we interact on social media, because those constant updates mean we are also constantly comparing ourselves to our peers. Many users have expressed that they have hidden Facebook friends whose status updates were so relentlessly cheerful they depressed them.
The painful public breakup. If declaring on Facebook that one is in a relationship with a specific person is about the biggest commitment one can make besides getting married, then the undoing of that relationship status can be just as significant. When a couple part ways, there is a sort of arms race to be the first to change one’s status to “single”. One’s friends who never liked their boyfriend/ girlfriend anyway are then able to come out of the “frenemy” closet by clicking on “like”. This can, and does, lead to all sorts of awkwardness, especially when the couple kisses and makes up.
Finality is digital. What’s the first thing one does when a relationship ends? They unfriend one another. If they never want to see or speak to somebody ever again, the best way to indicate this is by blocking them. In the past, not speaking to one another meant, well, not speaking. Not speaking to one another now requires more effort. Occasionally, one might find oneself in a situation where real life blanking is required, in which case it will be necessary to tweet about it. Ending relationships in the digital realm offers us a decisiveness that often eludes us in our analog lives.
So it is that more and more, our lives are lived in parallel. The bifurcation of ourselves into the digital persona and the person who is there, in the moment, in a specific geographic location, will continue to a point where for most, that’s just the way things are, and always have been. In the end, that’s where the real impact of social media will be felt: in our fraught and fractured relationships with ourselves. There is essential no limit to the number of people you can reach, or who can reach you in a very short period of time, and with little effort.
Many of us connect on Facebook, and Twitter with hundreds of people at a time and can feel very near and dear to others who are actually very far away or not even in front of their computer or phone at the moment. With this, we often get caught up in that moment, and can lose track of who is around us as well as what they are saying. More people I speak with say that their spouse or significant other doesn’t like social media, don’t understand it, and don’t use it. They find it a waste of time and effort.
This being said, it can be the focal point of many arguments, or lead to suspicion, and even accusations of cheating between two people in a relationship. It is important for us to remember that however large our online audience may be or perceived to be, we cannot lose sight of who we have a special relationship with “offline”. As difficult as it may be, we need to recognize and focus on who needs our time in a relationship in the here and now and not just in cyberspace. Step away from the computer or put down the phone because we cannot let our online interactions damage our personal relationships.
Wives, husbands and our children need us. I’m in no way saying that online relationships don’t count and that they are not important, because they are. The capabilities we have with our Facebook network, or Twitter followers are abundant. Where else can you connect with such a cross-pollinating audience of people you know, don’t know, who live close, live far, are young, old, all in one place? Regardless, without those we love and care about getting the proper attention, respect, and interactions they need and deserve, our lives couldn’t be where they are.
Don’t let your online persona, time, energy and effort cause damage to your day-to-day in-person relationships and responsibilities to those around us. Trying to build your online relationships at the expense of your real life friends and family will never be a worthwhile venture. With the web’s searching capabilities, they will still be there when you get more time. 2. 2 Theoretical Framework 2. 2. 1 Modernization Theory Modernization theories explain the changing ways of communication and media use in traditional and post modern societies.
The theory of late-, high- or post modernity that rose in the 1990s tries to be more neutral, being not in favor or against Western modernization. Rather it attempts to unearth the contradictions in the modernization process and to explain the consequences of modernity for individuals in contemporary society (Giddens, 1991a, 1991b). Traditional society is based on direct interaction between people living close to each other. Modern societies stretch further and further across space and time using mass media and interactive media.
This theme of the combination of unification and fragmentation in society and in media use also is present in the work of Meyrowitz (1993) and Van Dijk (1993, 1991/1999). Van Dijk tries to explain the rise of the new media such as computer networks as an important tool for modern life. They enable scale reduction and scale extension, a unitary and a fragmented world and, finally, a world that is both social and individualized. The effects of the social media on relationship trends can be baselined by the Modernization theory of mass communication.
It can be described as basically the effects of the modernization process on human communication. In this theory we see that the Modernization theory attempts to identify the social variables which contribute to??social progress??and development of societies, and seeks to explain the process of??social evolution. Modernization theory not only stresses the process of change but also the responses to that change. It also looks at internal dynamics while referring to social and cultural structures and the adaptation of new technologies. New technology is a major source of social change.
Since modernization deals with social change from agrarian societies to industrial ones, it is important to look at the technological viewpoint. New technologies do not change societies by itself. Rather, it is the??response??to technology that causes change. That is where the Modernization theory relates very well to the unit of analysis. The USIU students are not changed by the use of modern technology, but their response to the relationship trends on these social networks is what is enhancing and sometimes affecting their ability to maintain healthy relationships.
As??Neil Postman??has said, “Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. A new technology does not merely add something; it changes everything”. This theory represents a broad framework within which to look at the??pros and cons??of globalization and the worldwide migration from agrarian societies to industrialized and technological societies. 2. 2. 2 The Diffusion of Innovations Theory There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangeous to manage than the creation of a new order of things.
Whenever his enemies have the ability to attack the innovator they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly, so that the innovator and his party alike are vulnerable. * Niccolio Machiavelli, The Prince Diffusion of Innovations??is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new??ideas??and??technology??spread through??cultures. Diffusion of an innovation occurs through a five???step process. This process is a type of decision-making. It occurs through a series of communication channels over a period of time among the members of a similar social system.
Ryan and Gross first indicated the identification of adoption as a process in 1943 (Rogers 1962, p. 79). Rogers categorizes the five stages as: awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. An individual might reject an innovation at any time during or after the adoption process. In later editions of the Diffusion of Innovations Rogers changes the terminology of the five stages to: knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, and confirmation. Knowledge, exposure to its existence, and understanding of its functions. Persuasion, the forming of a favourable attitude to it. Decision, commitment to its adoption.
Implementation, putting it to use and Confirmation, reinforcement based on positive outcomes from it. The characteristics of an innovation which may influence its adoption; the decision-making process that occurs when individuals consider adopting a new idea, product or practice; the characteristics of individuals that make them likely to adopt an innovation; the consequences for individuals and society of adopting an innovation; and the communication channels used in the adoption process. This theory is relevant to this study because the social media is a tool that takes a person through its various stages of adoption.
The user adopts a certain concept they picked up from the social media and infuses it into their daily lives or in the case of this study, the students pick up the various relationship trends popularised on the social networking websites and the ways of their relationships are changed in ways that may either be positive or negative in their lives. CHAPTER 3 : THE METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY 3. 1 The Research Design This study has used two research design methods. These are the descriptive research design and the explanatory research design. Both these designs were very effective in formulating the research that was carried out.
These research methods are the most appropriate for this study as it helped to answer the questions the study needed answers to about how the social media is affecting relationship trends in USIU. The methods were used to observe and describe the ongoing trend of the social media craze while matching pieces of information to relevant patterns that affect the students in the institution without influencing it in any way. These research methods assisted the study in obtaining information concerning the current status of the social media phenomena to describe “what exists” with respect to conditions of the given situation.
It helped to seek the relationship between variables. They also helped to describe the behaviour amongst the students and the cause ??? and- effect variable which better elaborated what relationship trends were most influenced by the social media as opposed to other media like television. The study also begged the question, how were the relationships before the influence of the social media? The study also looked for the underlying causes and tried to make sense of these influences while looking for answers on the imlications of these effects that the social media has. 3. 2 : Sampling Techniques
This research made use of the Stratified Random Sampling method as the population of the university is more represented. The study divides the university into its different programs for example the Chandaria School of Business, School of Humanities and Sciences, School of Science and Technology and undecided as its strata, so as to sample these stratum independently. Thereafter, the study picked a certain number of students to its sample depending on the percentage of the population of each stratum. So, the study had to enquire how many students there are in each straum and elect randomly from these strata so as to know what percentage of the student population each stratum represents and the same percentage of the student population had to be represented in the sample. From these, the study established the number of male and female students so that it had equal representation of both genders. This method was best for the research because it improves the accuracy and efficiency of the estimation of the USIU students. Also, dividing the population into distinct, independent strata enabled the researcher to draw inferences about specific subgroups that could have been lost in a more generalized random sample.
The sample size for USIU will be calculated by dividing the number in the strata by the total population of the university by 100. An example is the School of Business, which was calculated by the number of students in that stratum divided by the total number of students and multiplied by 100 to get the percentage and multiplying that percantage to the number of students in the stratum to get the representative number to sample. The total number of USIU students 5058 students. Therefore the study divided this figure to their respective strata i. . USIU programs, and picked students from each program and determine what percentage of the program each representative sample represented. After doing all the required calculations, the study determined that the sample size would be a total of 150 students from different schools and ages who use the social media and gives the accurate and representative samples that I the study need for the purpose of this research. 3. 3 Data Collection Methods and Collection Tools The stidy used various methods to gather data for this study.
These methods, both secondary and primary, were gathered to get all the information needed for this study. The use of a questionnaire was the data collection tool that was used for this study (questionnaire model at the appendix). The researcher designed a set of questions so as to extract as much information that was need about the effects of the social media on relationship trends in USIU. For this study in the institution the researcher had the self administered questionnaire which were hand out randomly to students from the strata as in the sampling technique.
This was vital to the study as the researcher gathered information that have standardized answers that made it easy to compile data and since the information was more objective than interviews. The main data collection method used to gather most of the information was through observation, more specifically, the full participant method. The researcher observed the relationship trends of both her Facebook and Twitter friends and followers and be able to make a satisfactory first hand research study.
This method was good for this research as the researcher had been observing the relationship trends amongst her collegues over a period of 2 months and got more detailed and accurate information. The strength of this method is that the study discover discreptancies between what the students said and often believe should happen in relationships, and what actually does happen. A one-time survey of people’s answers to a set of questions might be consistent, but is less likely to show conflicts between different aspects of students’ behaviour.
For the secondary data for the need for this study, the researcher gathered all the information needed from online journals, research papers from previous researchers, newspapers and magazines and the internet. These helped to gather credible information that was very crucial for the study. 3. 4 Data Presentation Methods In presenting the data gathered, the study used words, tables and percentages to show how the different figures of students whose relationship trends have been affected by the social media. With these percentages, the researcher formulated a pie chart and a line graph to show these findings.
The use of words and tables help to explain and break down the data in simple form while the use of the pie chart summarizes this large amount of data in visual form. The use of the pie chart is visually simpler than other types of graphs like the frequency polygon that require more explanation than the pie chart. Line graph also show trends more clearly, meaning that they show visibly how one variable is affected by the other as it increases and decreases. 3. 5 Data Analysis and Parameters Most of the research findings the researcher gathered from this study was qualitative.
The study used Interpretive techniques that is, observer impression from the researchers’ own personal use of the social media networks. The researcher observed the relationship trends, examined the data, interpreted it via forming an impression and report an impression in a structured and quantitative form that better elaborate the findings of the study. A central issue in qualitative research is validity, also known as credibility. There are many different ways of establishing validity, including:??member check, interviewer corroboration just to mention a few.
For the study’s data analysis, the researcher also used this as it compliments the primary data and therefore give a better analysis of the data the researcher has gathered in this research. CHAPTER 4 : FINDINGS As stated earlier, for this research the sampling method used was the Stratified Random Sampling. The population of USIU had to be divided into stratum so as to get all the necessary information needed to get correct and accurate findings. So, the study used the following distribution methods; (i) Respondents by Programs (Undergraduate) (ii) Respondents by Programs (Graduate) (iii) Respondents by Gender iv) Respondents by Frequency of Internet Use (v) Respondents by Preferred Social Network The main reason why the study made use of these distributions is because the sample population used for this study was very large. This method made sure that everybody in the sample was represented and that the study got as much information from the students as possible. Many social media trends were discovered through this study. As the study looks at the first trend, the study noted that social media enables the students to connect with many more people, from all walks of life, than they might normally meet in a normal school-week.
Social media is changing the students’ relationship styles in several important ways. First, it is allowing them to connect with more people more rapidly. Second, it is easy to overestimate the level of intimacy of their online relationships. Third, it makes the students more susceptible to a sort of social media contagion effect, which means they may possibly start adopting behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs from those within their social network. Fourth, social media facilitates comparing themselves with others, which may have positive or negative effects. Given the informal ature of social media, it is easy for the students to approach someone they would like to meet, and this can be done more easily and fluidly. It is easier to extend their sphere of influence and enlarge it to include people they would like to meet, or would like to know better. This means that influence does beget more influence. One big mistake is that??it is easy to confuse digital intimacy for true intimacy. The students become so seduced by the ease of connecting with others online that they begin to think that these relationships are more intense, more committed and more complete than they really are.
They run the risk of alienating the people who populate their daily lives in pursuit of intimacy with their online friends. They each have only so much intimacy to go around, and they need to make sure they are investing it for our own maximal benefit. If someone in their online social network is angry, lonely, or hostile, and takes it out on them, the students more likely to ‘transmit’ this mood themselves. This means that even though they may never have met this person or interacted with them in real life, their “bad behavior” can still influence their own.
As they become increasingly networked and involved with each other, it is going to be more crucial to monitor their own influences and reactions. They might be more prone to social media moodiness, depending on whom they are spending time with and paying attention to within their social networks. The study also saw that sometimes normal courtesy and politeness???aspects the students would utilize in their face-to-face interactions???are sometimes reduced or missing altogether in the online space. The researcher personally noted people interacting in mean and critical ways that, she imagines, would find more difficult to do in real life.
This is a problem, because any kind of negativity and bad manners has the possibility to multiply a while online. Another downside of the social media relationships can be that the successes feel diminished and the failures amplified. With the inrush of so much information about how other people are living their lives, or conducting their businesses,the students find it easy to feel that they cannot compete. They might also feel some pressure to demonstrate a certain persona, as they know that people are always watching them. It can feel like they have traded a real-life rat race for an online one.
The most common relationship trend amongst USIU students is where the students are “friends” with each other on Facebook or follow one another on Twitter, but do not interact face to face. This is through the mutual friends a user has. One sees that they have indeed seen the other user around campus or through the USIU groups, and feel that they can be Facebook or Twitter friends. The study also presents some basic descriptive data to characterize Facebook users and uses and provide insight into whether Facebook is used more to meet new people or to maintain or strengthen relationships with offline connections.
In a short period of time, Facebook has garnered a very strong percentage of users on college campuses. In this sample, 94% of the undergraduate students surveyed were Facebook members. It investigated whether members and non-members differed significantly along various demographic characteristics, but the research lacked confidence in these findings given the extremely low number of non-Facebook users. The remainder of our analyses are based only on data from Facebook members.
Facebook members report spending between 10 and 30 minutes on average using Facebook each day and report having between 150 and 200 friends listed on their profile. The study also saw that respondents report significantly more Facebook use involving people with whom they share an offline connection???either an existing friend, a classmate, someone living near them, or someone they met socially than use involving meeting new people. Further insight into Facebook usage patterns show what elements respondents report including in their Facebook profile and who they believe has seen their profiles, respectively.
The fact that nearly all Facebook users include their high school name in their profile suggests that maintaining connections to former high school classmates is a strong motivation for using Facebook. Not surprisingly,many of the students report that high school friends had seen their profile. Ninety percent or more also reported that other friends as well as people in their classes had seen their profile, further suggesting an offline component to Facebook use. The objectives of the study were fulfiled in various ways.
The first objective was to identify and evaluate the different relationship trends the social media imposes on USIU students. This has been done as the research has explained the different trends and how they are affecting USIU students. The second objective was to find out what effects the social media has on USIU students as opposed to other media. The social media has greater effects of influencing relationship trends than other media. The study can use the case of television. The students showed less interest in the trends introduced by the various television shows then through the social media.
This is because the social media has what can be termed as “groups”. A student would like to be included in these groups in terms of how they deem relationship trends on the internet than those depicted on television. This is because as the new trend amongst the youth is the social media. The study showed that many students watched television at certain times, that is when their favourite shows aired. This is a change from what used to happen in the past where a young teen would watch all the television programs. This “internet craze” is the main reason why the other media has very little influence.
An example the researcher observed is that most students would not pick up the relationship trends of the show “Gossip Girl”, but would be influenced by their peers on the internet to have an online relationship with the girl or boy of their dreams. The third and last objective was to compare my data with relevant communication theories and assertain and critically demonstrate how the tenents of the theory relate to the topic of research. The theories of mass communication used for this study were the Modernization theory and the Diffusion of innovations theory.
The modernization theory in this study is depicted through the adaptation of the relationship trends popularised by the social media. While the diffusion of innovations theory is shown in this shown in this study stating why and how these relationship trends are spread throughout the USIU community. These theories are indeed plausible in the case of relationship trends amongst USIU students. CHAPTER 5 : CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The research question for this study was “Is the social media a developmental tool in the way that it affects relationship trends in USIU? This was answered in contrast as the question was mostly answered with negative answers. The social media has more negative effects among the students than it does positive. The one major issue the study found that those who are shy and unable to easily make friends in real life may see this as a great opportunity to meet others as a computers ‘firewall’ will always protect them from rejection of friendship. This can again create them to become further despondent, thus sometimes social networking sites may start to make certain individuals less social.
This is a major drawback; if one wants to meet new people they should take the initiative and meet new people, by going to different events and having the courage to speaking to them. Adding somebody you do not know in real life on a social networking site is not really being social, as you can go out and meet people in real life instead. This is a much safer way of meeting new people and boosts self confidence and esteem. This can also be in relation to a student going for a job interview. This confidence level must be there in order for them to get a job.
The study would recommend a few things to the students for the use of the social media in future to prevent some of its negative effects. Limit the time one spends on social networks. If one is using social media primarily for business, make sure they getting a return on their time investment. For instance, have set times in the day to update their status and take part in the conversation. Then close the browser and do other things. While it is sometimes tempting to keep checking their online accounts, you know that if they do this too often, other parts of their lives will suffer.
This can help give them a perspective on their emotions and reactions. One should take care not to compare themselves too often to others. As the saying goes, ‘There will always be people greater than you, and people lesser than you. ‘ It is all too easy to get caught up in vicarious experiencing of other people’s lives at the expense of experiencing their own. One should set goals or guidelines for their business relationships. Have a clear strategy or plan for why they cultivating various people in their networks. Remember that more can be good, but too much rarely is.
Lastly, one should maintain a balance between their online and offline life. One needs to connect with people face to face, not just by email, phone, or social sites. Cultivate a real-life network of contacts as well. BIBLIOGRAPHY Books Bradburne, A. (2007), Practical Rails ??? Social Networking Sites, New York : Springer Verlag Giddens, A. (1991a). The Consequences of Modernity. Stanford (Cal): Stanford University Press, Oxford: Basill Blackwell, Cambridge: Polity Press. Giddens, A. (1991b). Modernity and Self Identity; Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Cambridge: Polity Press. McQuail, D. 2000). McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 4th??Edition,??/??London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage Publications. Meyrowitz, J. & J. Maguire (1993). Media, Place and multiculturalism. Society 30, (5): 41-8. Rogers, E. R. (1962). The Diffusion of Innovations. Glencoe, ILL: The Free Press. Websites www. businessweek. com/lifestyle/content/healthday/651251 www. danah. org/SNSResearch www. en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Social_network “Facebook Statistics”. Facebook Press Room. N. p. ,n. d. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. http:/www. facebook. com/press/info. php? statistics> www. keithferrazzi. com/category/research ww. jcmc. indiana. edu/vol12/issue4/ellison www. lauramdavies. wordpress. com/… /timeline-a-history-of-social-network www. theeword. co. uk/seo-manchester/facebook_sheds_light_on_love www. webdesignerdepot. com/… /the-history-and-evolution-of-social Questionnaire Sample: Major: ___________________ Age: __________________ Q1. What social networks do you have a profile(s) on? A) Facebook B) Twitter C) Myspace D) All the above E) None F) Other _________________ Q2. How many friends or followers do you have on your profile? A) 50-200 B) 100-200 C) 200-500 D) 500-1000 E) 1000+ Q3.
How many of these do you know personally? A) All B) About three-quarters C) About a half D) Not more than half E) None Q4. How many times do you access your profile? A) 10+ times a day B) 5 times a day C) Once a day D) Twice a day E) Not often Q5. What is your relationship status on this profile(s)? A) Single B) In a relationship C) In an Open relationship D) It’s Complicated E) Engaged/Married F) Other ________________________ Q6. If in a relationship, does your partner have access to your profile? A) Full access (Friendship + Password) B) Partial access (Frienship only) C) No access (No friendship, no password)
D) None of the above E) Other ________________ Q7. Have you every gone on a date with a person you met on any of these social networks? A) Yes B) No C) Once D) Several times E) Never would Q8. If in a relationship, do you use these websites to flirt with members of the opposite sex besides your partner? A) Yes B) No C) Sometimes D) Never Q9. Remember the “USIU Chicks” saga on Twitter, how did that affect your relationships with your peers outside of USIU? (please explain) ____________________________________________________________ ____ ____________________________________________________________ ____