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Social Networking Sites: The Youth Lifestyle

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Technology
Wordcount: 5417 words Published: 28th Apr 2017

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The approach, which the researchers adopted for this research was Quantitative approach, investigated the association between the social networking sites and its’ impacts on youth with the help of descriptive research design. The data for this research was collected through the self-administered questionnaires, which have been filled by generation Y of Pakistan who uses such Social Networking websites. Three different tests were applied including regression, covariance and correlation for analysis.

Findings suggest that the positive significant correlation found between Mental Stress and Physical Stress, and Physical Stress and Co Curricular activities, Ease and Online Communication, Ease and Learning Perspective, Online Relationship and Offline Relationship. While the results of covariance and regression had revealed significant predictors (exogenous) as the influencing factors on the use of SNS and its impact.

“Man is a social animal”. Human beings cannot live without social activities, as they want to interact, share and learn which brings changes in them and in their lives. There are different mediums to interact and share like some people likes to interact by calling their loved ones, some write letters to each other, some like to meet face-to-face and mow most of the people go for internet as a medium to share as it’s the latest ,easy and affordable way . In recent time, people are attracted towards the new medium to interact i.e. Social Networking Sites.

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Social networking is the combination of two words. The first one is social which means that human society and the other word is networking which means the act of meeting new people in a business or social context. History of social networking is very old but the new shape of social networking in this era is a service focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relation among peoples. It is just a kind of social structure, in which people love to interact and communicate with their love ones. (ezinearticles)

For youngsters internetworking is almost social networking. From last few years, a large number of populations is diverting from their duties and works to internet; some people use it for their project; some of them use it for online gaming. But majority are using it for social networking just to interact with their friends, relatives, some people are using for making a relationship and many of them using it just for fun but the social networking has some positive and negative impact. (ezinearticles)

Social Networking Sites offers people to make new profiles, post pictures, play games and interact with their relatives and friends. Social Networking Sites offers allure due to which people divert from their works and other things, which in return increase stresses in their lifestyle.

Being a form of virtual community Social Networking Sites are a great arena, which provides its users to connect, communicate, share information and maintain social relationships among social circles of the people. Finin et al. (2005, p. 419) define a social network as:

“An explicit representation of the relationship between individuals and groups in the community”.

Social Networking Sites are also been defined as:

“An online space that allows people to connect, share, communicate, establish or maintain connection with others”. (Cain, 2008)

Social Networking Sites are well-liked nowadays. Except from texting and calling, Social Networking Sites are one of the popular and easy ways to keep in touch with a person. Communication is very imperative to keep the friendship and the closeness of people. If you have not communicated within the day, within the week, within the month and within the year, it will have an effect on the closeness.

Social Networking Sites are the easy and best way to communicate to those people. It is an excellent way of communicating with the people we recognize. We can also have the possibility of meeting new friends. They can be from within our country, or even from dissimilar parts of the world. These websites help us cooperate with people from distant places. We mail them; we make conversation with them, and even play games with them. Social Networking Websites recommend people to stay in touch, exchange contact information, send immediate message, and stay up to date of friends’ activities and what they are doing. In a similar fashion as blogs, SNS allow individuals to present themselves to other users using a variety of formats, including text and video. Just like chatting services, SNS incorporate a list of other users with whom individuals share a connection. But unlike any other web service, SNS allow individuals to make visible their list of connections to others and to traverse their social networks (boyd & Ellison, 2007).

Social Networking Sites have a tendency to share some conservative features. For the most part, individual users are encouraged to make profiles enclosing a variety of information about them. Users can frequently upload snaps of themselves to their profiles, post blog access for others to read, search for other users with comparable interests, and gather and share lists of associates. In addition, user profiles often have a segment dedicated to comments from friends and other users. To guard user privacy, social networks usually have controls that allow users to decide who can view their profile, contact them, add them to their list of contacts, and so on. In life of today’s youth, virtual communities known as Social Networking Sites play a vital role. According to a research, more than 90% of teenagers have access to Internet and more than half use Social Networking Sites. (Moreno, Stoep, & al, 2009)

1.1 Statement of the Problem

Today’s generation is swamped with various Social Networking Sites on the Internet such as Orkut, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. These Social Networking Sites are providing centralized virtual world with the attractive opportunities to avail the facilities provided by them such as making friends, chatting, sharing pictures, videos etc. Excessive use of these networking sites is affecting social lifestyle of the peoples. (oclc.org) The current study focused on “impact of Social Networking Sites on youth life”, further researchers have focused on the lifestyle of the youth of Pakistan due to extensive use of these sites.

1.2 Purpose

The purpose of doing this research was:

To understand the changing behavior of youth towards login up the accounts on Social Networking Sites.

To evaluate the affects of Social Networking Sites on the lifestyle of the Pakistani youth.

1.3 Research Questions

What factors influence the youth to use Social Networking Sites?

What are the impacts of Social Networking Sites on the youth?

What are the future prospects of Social Networking Sites for the youth?

1.4 Significance

This study is helpful for the young generation to be aware of the impact of using Social Networking Sites on their life. Through this research, “Law enforcement agencies” will get aware about the positive and negative impacts of Social Networking Sites on youth.

1.5 Limitation

As researcher it’s difficult for students to invest finance in the research and most importantly researcher found shortage of time in skimming or composing a draft as they are indulge in other academic activities as well. One of the limitations is the burning issue of power breakdowns and during the work researcher becomes the victim of it.

1.6 Operational Definition of Key Terms

Social Networking Site: online community that connects people

Youth: teenagers or adolescents of nation belonging to age group of 5 to 25 years

Impact: reasons or factors that changes an individual set patterns of life

1.7 Summary

This chapter discussed the background to the study by describing the context, the problem statement, and the rationale of the study among other details. It also highlighted the methods of investigating and defined important concepts. The next chapter will review the literature germane to the study.

Chapter II

Literature Review

Networking is a way of communication of the 21st century. It comprises of specific grouping of the individuals e.g. Communities or neighborhoods. The most popular way of social networking is online networking. There are several Social Networking Sites, which have fascinated millions of web browsers such social networking websites include Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Orkut. These websites entirely revolutionized the face of social networking.

Social Networking Sites involves a signing up to the site or creating an account which leads to the further steps of creating a profile page which includes the information about the individuals leading to the other applications like photos videos comments etc bounded by the security/privacy settings which can be viewed by everyone in the virtual world.

This trend of social networking is new which has been increased in the past decade and is continue to increase with the fast pace. Actually, it all began in 1995, when some early networking sites started. One of the first of such sites was Classmates.com. This site was meant to connect old classmates. Another site called sixdegrees.com became very popular in 1997. This site focused on indirect bind between people. This site allowed users to design their profile and they could mail messages to other user on their “friends list”. Users were able to network with members who had similar interests. However, the actual explosion in the social networking came after 2004. Many networking sites were commercialized in this time. (ezinearticles) Social network websites allow individuals to interact, share and learn with the people of their interest and help them remain connected. Number of visits to the Social Networking Sites such as Facebook, myspace indicates its popularity in youth. (Cain, 2008)

Communication occur between people when there is an exchange in information in when communicative pattern where the sharing not simply for pleasure-seeking but in order to keep the other person with them to share in return (Boyd and Heer, 2006). Communication is very vital to uphold the friendship and the closeness of people. If you haven’t communicated within the day, within the week, within the month and within the year it will affect the closeness.

Social Networking Sites is the best way to communicate to those person you do not see often, person you cannot mingle with everyday, and person who is outside the country or beyond your reach. You can stay in touch through Social Networking Sites and never miss the important happening of the person you are most concern.

There are varieties of reasons why everyone are into Social Networking Sites. People are into Social Networking Sites because they want to keep conversant on the latest happening on the person they are concern, also because they want to stay linked to the person they do not see every day. People are into Social Networking Sites because they want to be having company, to relax and enjoy after their hard hours in school and in the office. People are into Social Networking Sites because of the services and attribute the Social Networking Sites are providing to the user.

People similar to journal and with the internet they wanted to share their lives more openly. Initially called web-logs, these personal journals have highly developed. Some personal journals still exist, while other blogs talk about a specific niche or interest. Related to blogs, there is a micro journal of what is occurring right now. These sites can contribute to what is going on in an individual life or can be the information the individual would like to share. Major news events are now breaking online via Microblogs. The best-known Microblog is Twitter. (ezinearticles)

Social Networking Sites are now commonly known as the platform for sharing the information. Such information may be shared in the form of photo sharing. It has now become so easy to send pictures by single link. Users tag their photos with keywords linked to the image and allow people to comment on them. Most popular photo sharing sites are Flicker and Picasa. Youtube is the video sharing site that approximately everyone has seen. People can also share videos online to their families and friends. Users can enjoy making comments on those videos that can be searched through keywords added on the sites for searching those videos. Other than these reason people also prefer these sites because they want to relax and be free for a while from all the pressures in the world.

People engage in Social Networking Sites mostly for entertainment, for fun and for games. Watching movies, playing at the arcades and family computer are not that entertaining as they used to be many years back. People nowadays are addicted on games online. People would rather stay at home and play games on the internet, would rather watch videos and listen to audios online. People’s interest is changing so with the mean of entertainment. The entertainment that these sites provide is an influential factor that cannot be neglected. Another influence seems to be the convenience these websites provides to the users by managing their presence while staying at home and keeping up with their daily routine.

Different researches have been conducted in order to ascertain the advantages or the benefits these sites provided to its users by these social networking websites. Like (Cain, 2008) found that; Social Networking Sites such as Facebook and other Social Networking Sites require just a valid email address to become a member, thus easy way of joining with lots of attractive features that attract people to join Social Networking Sites. In addition, the past users are already enjoying their features so they are spreading its use resulting in day-by-day increased members on Social Networking Sites.

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Social Networking Sites are playing an important role in shaping attitude of today’s youth. It is also influencing the social lives of people as they are now spending most of their times in browsing Social Networking Sites. It is influencing social lives in the form of identity exploration and resulting in increase interaction among people. (Moreno, Stoep, & al, 2009) Moving back to the concept of self, the identity theory defines it as the set of constructed role exhibit the degree to which people explore themselves in some particular societal roles. (Leary M, Cox C, Shah J, et al., 2008) Social Networking Sites provides a platform to individuals to express themselves freely and make them feel connected with the globe. Studies support SNSs within an organizational setting as these sites enable organizations to communicate effectively and keep in touch with each other personal and professional updates as SNSs features self-presentation, i.e., Presentation of self publically but from now, onwards SNSs have provided their users with the facility of privacy settings so that they can control their self-presentation. This is one of the features, which have encouraged the concept of identity-exploration, as individuals are now feeling free to present their self.

Online Social Networks like Facebook, Bebo, Orkut, and myspace has promoted the factors self-identity and self-expression etc which in turn has inculcated in the mind of individuals that they need to interact or login their preferable social communities on daily basis. Thus, are making SNSs as a compulsory component of their lives. Because of such enforcement people now feel their lives incomplete without SNSs and assumes to be something missing even if they are not logged for a day.

There are variety of ways individual can present themselves through SNS such as through text and video they can explore themselves as they want and to whom they want to share. (boyd & Ellison, 2007). The impact of excessive use social networking sites has generated incompatible results. Based on earlier researcher data from General Social Survey, they find that various ways of surfing internet are differentially associates to social linkups. While nonsocial users of the Internet do not vary drastically in the internet networking size. Social user of internet are spending extensive time on surfing internet has more social attachment than nonusers do. This indicates that heavy users on internet communicate and attach online with people whom they also get in touch offline and these user sustain some of their social ties entirely through online communication. These finding demonstrate for distinguish analyses of usage of internet and impacts on the personal connectivity. (Leary M, Cox C, Shah J, et al. 2008)

The invention of internet networking had made possibility for every people to get in touch with each other without having physically interaction. Old means of communication had replaced with the modern means and people feel satisfy and comfortable in interacting online mean of communication and it enabled people to stay connected even though they are situated in different and far places. Online connection has eliminated the time which otherwise spent the time in travelling that’s why people feel enthusiastic in interacting online. The foremost chief mode of communication is the internet that permits people to create new social contacts as well as to uphold existing ones. Currently internet entirely replaces the traditional media and sources of offline communication. This shows that people willingly shift from offline network to the online one. (Boyd, d. m., & Ellison, N. 2007)

Furthermore, the researchers finding demonstrate that size of online network keeps on the same, only the behavior and practices of people communicate changes. Personality characteristics have a great impact in online and offline communication, (Rice & Markey, 2009; Saunders & Chester, 2008). Social Networking Sites have been described as the “relationship facilitator” as these sites are facilitating interactions; interaction brings people closer resulting in strong relationships (Cain, 2008). These relationships can later help in different aspects of life such as in finding jobs, meeting school colleagues, strengthens friendships, increase job opportunities through number of contacts.

Some significant benefits of Social Networking Sites are that it helps youth in finding their school or college friends with whom there connection was lost. It also gives the benefits of staying in touch at any time and sharing memorable moments in form of pictures and videos. These are some reasons which make the Social Networking Sites appealing. (Cain, 2008)

As mentioned before social networking is now becoming the addiction. Every teenager has an account and they login daily to check new updates. They spends hours checking new updates until they understands that they has more important things to do like school works they have missed doing because of signing in into a social network service. Some people are enthusiastic to spend more time being online on these social network services than to spend time studying and working up on school works. This is unpleasant to hear because with all the advantages social networking can provide, there are also disadvantages, like this, that can be or give bad impact to people who exercise them.

In educational institutions, achievement is measured by academic performance, or how fine a student meets up standards set out by their educational institution. As career competition grows everyday in the working world, the importance of students doing well in school has caught the attention of parents, legislators and government education departments alike. The youth in use social networking sites as a means of interaction, mingling, and for purely entertainment purposes. Students exercise the Internet almost every day, and they use the Internet mainly for entertainment. These websites concern are stuck in these critical factors: the sites are attracting many teens, some of whom are not making good choices or many parents are not paying attention to what their children are posting on the sites.

Some teens connect in insecure or irresponsible activities that comprise: unsafe exposé of personal information, addiction-spending extreme amount of time online, resulting in lack of healthy commitment in major areas of life, such as academics, that become a serious problem in student life. Not only do social networking sites affect one’s academic performance negatively, they are also causes of damage in a student’s chances of being well-off in the future.

Social networking in middle and high school can turn into harm to education. Attention and status is the most important for which most of teens tend to misuse social networking sites and use them for gathering and meeting new people as an alternative of using the precious time for educational purposes. It tends to become a disturbance to these teens; they tend to pay more concentration to these sites instead of the teachers. (Yu Angela Yan, 2010)

These sites are reasons of distractions, which escort to their low grades; whoever has social networking web site accounts have the same opinion that social networking sites affect one’s academic performance adversely. It can be indirect that usage social networking sites can spoil and be an obstacle to student’s academic careers. Social networking sites are therefore, adversely affecting one’s performance in school. Students are so much addicted of these sites that they even don’t realize that they are wasting countless time in those sites. Although the users of old media exist teens of this generation is now preferring the new medium for any reason to the old medium but are also connected with the olds. Today teens are too connected with these new medium of communication and using the internet become necessary. (Yu Angela Yan, 2010)

There are many effects on using social networking sites such as time consumption, people who used net just to check their mails now using it for entertain themselves, the use of net are increase day by day, and people divert from physical relations to online relations, their social attraction are being less and their interaction with friends and relation through online are going to be increase daily. The confident level of a children and youngsters are increase through social sites, they can say anything about anyone on any topic easily because they have a perception that no one can punish them or give a reward on their action. They get satisfy easily from social networking sites, and can learn more things easily from others through these sites. They use these sites to build their online image among others by making their profiles on facebook, twitter, orkut, hi5 etc. Putting their pictures and tell others about their life styles and other things so that people get to know about them easily. (Yu Angela Yan, 2010)

As the influence of using social networking website is increasing among youth so is the negative impact, which is a serious issue of concern. Some of the major negative impacts of Social Networking Sites include the fact that youth spend most of their time staying online and try to be available on the Social Networking Sites, which eventually make them waste their precious time. The young age of a person is considered the age where one is fully active and has a capability to keep him engaged in various physical activities but instead of spending time in healthy activities youth spend their time sitting on one place doing no exercise and make them lazy.

Other negative impacts of these websites are the security risks. Websites like these have all the personal information of the user, which can be misused by others through hacking the account. Cheats and frauds nevertheless are one of the most dangerous and sensitive impact of these websites. On the ground of society behavior these websites makes the people go towards individualism instead which void the social moral and cultural values. Faking things gets promotion through these websites, furthermore, these websites has promoted the hatred among the people on the name of freedom of speech and views. Most of the business considers Social Networking Sites as a way of effective advertising and business, the administrations of these websites instead of paying attention towards making these websites as safe to make beyond the reach of hackers, they are emphasizing on e-marketing to earn their profits. (inkingrey)

Past researches indicated that Social Networking Sites is also a place where people disclose their personal information to a general public and that can become a risky matter when the information is misused by strangers or unknown people. Thus, publically displayed information i.e. Personal is dangerous to be opened for everyone; it is referred to as risk behavior. Teenagers can avoid or eliminate such risk behaviors by eliminating risk behavior references and by setting profile settings to private as it will allow owners to set their profile information within a protection wall, thus decreases the hazards of Social Networking Sites risk behaviors and provides a complete protection. (Moreno, Stoep, & al, 2009)

The main criticism on Social Networking Sites are that the youth may open themselves in front of general public which may include strangers who can search them easily and can misuse their personal information which are commonly revealed by Social Networking Sites users. (Cain, 2008)

Social Networking Sites are such platform that brings people publically along with their personal information. Thus enables public to intervene in others information so the four characteristics of mediated public are defined as persistence, search-ability, reliability and invisible audience. Conversations, pictures and videos remain linked for years and the common people have access to them even when the user attitude has been matured. (Cain, 2008)

There are many controversies about the use of Social Networking Sites as it poses risks such as privacy, safety and revealing personal information to the world. Press has also focused on the negative consequences of Social Networking Sites such as they quoted many cases related to college students who suffered negative outcomes because of the problematic activities in which they were engaged at Social Networking Sites as their private information’s were exposed to public easily which is putting their identity at risk. (Cain, 2008)

Students have been expelled from their classes mostly because of risky postings on Facebook and some of the students were harassed and faced uninvited guests at their home. Many institutions have implemented restrictions on use of Social Networking Sites in order to deal and avoid disadvantages of Social Networking Sites to protect university image. (Cain, 2008)

As per present, there is a huge population of youngsters who holds a profile over these social networking websites. The term of Social Networking Sites has become extremely common in every house. The talks or chit chat of a peer group does not gets completed without having a conversation regarding social networking websites which is a clear fact that these days it has become a daily routine all over the world to go through Social Networking Sites. No one knows what the future holds for social networking websites but because of current and increasing popularity of these websites, one can easily predict the bright and strong future of these websites. Social Networking Sites will become more important in the future holding more applications to make the life of individual more convenient. The social networking websites will become more customized by understanding the interest of the user based on their behavior.

After analyzing the research work of different researchers we can conclude that Social Networking Sites have both positive and negative effects on the personality and lifestyle of youth. By doing further research, which we will be, conducting in future will help us to find out the relation of dependent and independent variable.

Chapter III


3.0 Introduction

In this chapter, the methodology implemented throughout this research was explained. Through methodology, the logical relationships among variables indentified which helped in interpreting the data and made the research more authentic. This chapter covered the population details, the sampling techniques and procedures, and the method of data collection.

The research focused on the impact of social networking sites on the life style of youth. The independent variables identified were the factors that influences youth to use Social Networking Sites and the use of Social Networking Sites as the dependent variable which these factors had its impact on. The underlying most influencing factors that attracted youth to use such sites identified were peer pressure, identity control, entertainment, ease of use of social networking sites, online communication, subjective norm and the learning.

On the other hand, the variables that are identified as the impact on the lifestyles of youth by using social networking sites were academic performance, extracurricular activities, mental and physical stress, online and offline relationships, confidence and satisfaction in interaction and personal desires respectively.

SNS Model for the present research the factor and impact variables

3.1 Hypotheses

H1: Job opportunity, making new or find old friends, and maintaining social gatherings factors influence youth to use Social Networking Sites.

H2: Social Networking Sites diversify the virtual societal gathering.

H3: Social Networking Sites affect the physical curricular activities and physical gatherings of the youth.

3.2 Research Method

The methods available for the researchers are qualitative, quantitative and mixed research in social and educational researches. In this research, quantitative research method is adapted. Quantitative research is a research involving the use of structured questions where the response options have been predetermined and a large number of respondents are involved. By definition, measurement must be objective, quantitative and statistically valid. Simply put, it is about numbers, objective hard data. (http://uk.geocities.com).

The reason to choose this method was that quantitative research would quantify the variations identified in this research, which then will give unbiased, accurate and better result.

3.3 Research Design

In this research, descriptive study was used. Descriptive study is a scientific method, which involves observing and describing the behaviour of subject without influencing it in any way. Descriptive study creates the associations between the independent and dependent variables. The aim of this research was to determine the association between the social networking sites and its’ impacts on youth.

3.4 Population and Sample size

The population of this research was the youth of Pakistan who uses social networking sites in their daily lives. Generation Y was the target sample (the age between “18-28”), the reason to choose this target was that according to Paw Research Centre’s survey among 87% of the youngsters, 67% uses internet for using social networking sites which is the most likely age group to use significantly the social networking sites. Participants selected randomly and through the email from the sample size of 200 individuals for this research.

3.5 Data collection techniques

The collection of data had done through survey method in which the research instrument was questionnaire. An


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