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The Fast Development Of Social Networking Media Essay

The fast development of social networking that has been detected over the last 2-3 years is indicative of its entry into straight life and it’s mixed with our daily lives. In addition to this, there has also been significant media coverage of the development of social networking, its rapid positive results and worries around the approach.

For the purpose of this research report I have intentionally put light on the social and communications facets of social networking sites. The SNS also have some drawbacks associated, such as confusion over privacy settings, probable contact with people one doesn’t know and the unintentional penalties of publicly posting delicate individual material. The purpose of this report is therefore to provide evidence-based insights into the social networking phenomenon which can be used to inform current understanding of usage and societal impacts in the UK, and to help identify some of the current and potential future issues around people’s use of social networking sites.

Like other communications tools, social networking sites have certain rules, conventions and practices which users have to navigate to make them understood and avoid difficulties. These range from the etiquette of commenting on other peoples profiles to understanding who one should and shouldn’t add as a ‘friend’.

Conceptual Framework

Engaging with social networking sites

The Social networking sites also preferred to as SNS in the document offer people new and diverse ways to communicate via the internet, from PC or mobile phone. According to Dwyer et al (2007), a social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and/or their activities. Today, there are more than 650 social network sites in the world (Stern, 2006), but no one knows exactly the number. Examples include MySpace, Facebook and Bebo. Creator of SNS authorized people to normally create their own online page, construct and show to online contacts called ‘friend’. According to Boyd (2004), reasons for connecting with friends in social network can be varied and doesn’t unavoidably mean friendship in the daily dialect sense. Users can communicate to other user with the help of their profile they have created. Social networking sites are built for users to interact for different purposes like business, general chatting, meeting with friends and colleagues, etc. SNS offer a gloriously direct tool for what Goffman(1972) calls “impression management”: the profile page. Just as your choice of clothing and hairstyle signals how you think of yourself (and want others to think of you), so does your choice of profile photo. Many users choose to display the most flattering photographs of themselves that they can.

It is also helpful in politics, dating, with the interest of getting numerous advantages with the people they meet. Anecdotal evidence suggests that social interaction with political content of interest is important for young adults (e.g., Steller, 2008).A study by Conners (2005) reported that Democratic Senate candidates were more likely than Republicans to use Meetup, blogs and other interactive online tools in 2004.(ssrn.com) Recently, the use of network sites has increased overtime with the improvement in technology and the use of mobile phone to surf the web and statistics have shown that 90% of people on the internet at one point in time or the other are visiting SNS (Boyd and Ellison, 2007).

Attitudes and behaviours towards social networking sites

Users of Social networkers fall into different groups

Social networkers are different in approaches to SNS and in their behaviour while using them. The site users come under five distinct groups. These are as follows:

Leading Socialisers – (a minority) people who are using sites intentionally to encounter new folks, flirt and to be entertained.

Attention Seekers – (some) are those people who need attention and comments from others online, normally by posting photos and edit their profiles.

Followers – (many) are those people who joined SNS to follow what their peers are doing.

Faithful – (many) people who normally use SNS to renew old friendships, sometimes from school or university.

Functional – (a minority) people who tend to be single-minded in using sites for a specific purpose.

Focussed – (Mostly business users - Recently added user group) Some users of the sites will create the profile to research the market’s response in a specific geography for the predictions of their business in their geography. Also, as this is an easier way to reach a wider and global consumer base, many corporate houses globally are using these social sites to advertise or endorse their products and promotions.

Non-users of social networking sites also fall into different groups

Non-users come under three groups; these groups are actually on the bases of their reasons for not using social networking sites:

Concerned about safety – those people who are concerned about safety online, in specific creation personal details accessible online. According to Smith (2007), seven per cent of American sample said they had been contacted ‘by a stranger who made them feel scared or uncomfortable’.

Technically inexperienced – those people who lack in confidence in using the internet and computers.

Intellectual rejecters – those people who have no interest in social networking sites and think that it’s a waste of time.

How people use social networking sites

Profile Creation

People normally create their profiles on the basis of their knowledge. User Profiles are normally set questioned as per the site, so it is very optional and depends upon the person what he needs to publish on the site. Normally Users enjoy editing their profiles, watching video, playing online games, posting photos. Users generally enjoy from the process of creating a social network, collecting a list of their friends and using this list of friends to browse others’ profiles. Users share personal information with a wide range of ‘friends’. Communicating with their friends is the most famous social networking activity, but most of adults use their profile to communicate with people they do not know. A few users also mention negative aspects of social networking, and these included anger at others using sites for self-promotion, parties organised online getting out of hand, and online bullying.

Privacy and safety

Privacy and safety issues on social networking sites did not emerge as ‘top of mind’ for most users. Information exchange activities operationalized as the activities of interaction among members of a community that acts as a source of information for other members to deepen and expand friendship (Gruen et al., 2006.2007). At most of the time Users of the SNS leaves privacy settings as default ‘open’. Generally those who are new, they give out sensitive personal information, photographs and other content about themselves. Sites define some subset of a profile (such as the user’s name and affiliation) visible by default for searching and identification. Most sites also allow users to relax or strengthen their definition of public information. Privacy expectations in social networks are based on relationships. Typical social networks support friends and networks with privileged access. (Felt, Adrienne, and Evans, David. (2008).

Research Strategy

I will do a qualitative research to examine in depth people’s attitudes to online social networking, their behaviours while using social networking sites, and the reasons why they use these sites. This will contain an analysis of the research based on several distinct user and non-user segments. Also, I will research on the positive aspects of social network in relation to marketing and research and use of SNS for global business empowerment.

This qualitative research will find the use of and attitudes towards social networking sites (both for users and non-users) falling into several distinct segments. Although qualitative in nature, these segments provide an interesting insight into how people currently use and view social networking sites. They also help to highlight that site users are not a uniform group in terms of use, attitudes or behaviour.

It will also explain the importance of the segments for users and non-users on different bases. User segments will be organised on the basis of how users will behave when using social networking sites and the non-user segments will be focused why they will stop using the basis of non-users’ reasons for not using the sites.

I will use qualitative face-to-face survey and sampling. By meeting people, this will include in-depth, paired accompanied surfs, triads, quads, and follow-up online social networking sessions with respondents selected from the triad and quad sessions. Respondents who will use social networking sites will be questioned to complete a pre-task exercise, the questionnaire mentioned as above. Here the core objective is to identify, explore and understand the behaviours, attitudes and barriers to people’s use of social networking sites. My sample size will be those users and non-users aged 11+. The sample will include respondents from each living in city, and a mix of, rural and urban, socio-economic groups and genders.

Level 2

I will do the research to understand the level of current exposure to harmful or inappropriate content and differences in behaviour between parents and children. This survey will be asked if they have come across harmful or inappropriate material in the past six months and if they have, they will be asked the open-ended question ‘What type of content was it?’ Thus these findings relate to self-reported harmful or inappropriate material. I will arrange Interviews with parents aged 16-59 and children aged 5-17. The parent and child will be recruited from the same household. Only one child will be interviewed per household. Quota will be set on the age of the child (interviews will be split approximately equally between whose age 5-7, 8-11, 12-15 and 16-17), plus gender of parent and gender of child.

Conclusion

This study analyses the issues surrounding the adoption of social networking sites. Major constructs include faithfulness, functionality, commercial use and followers, the impact on the attitude and trust regarding social networking sites and to determine how attitude would impact on the intention to use it. The results, would provide us with the relative advantage of using social networking sites; how hard it is to use; how compatible it is with the lifestyle of the users; how it would impact the global commercial environment and whether social networking sites could be tested before consistent use, are issues that influence users’ attitude towards intention it use. The Attitude of a user would later affect his/her intention to use the site. It suggests the behaviour and attitude of the user of Social Networking sites.


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