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. (ezinearticles)
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. (inkingrey)
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
Networking is a way of communication of the 21st century. It comprises of specific grouping of the individuals e.g. communities or neighborhoods. There are several Social Networking Sites, which have fascinated millions of web browsers. The most popular way of social networking is online through various social networking websites e.g. 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)
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. If you have not communicated for a while for sure, you want to catch up. 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. Â 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. Â
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, this 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 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.
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)
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)
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)
In-spite of all the benefits that Social Networking Sites provide like the diversity in culture, compatible personalities, convenience and entertainment there are many negative impacts associated with these sites.
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 in order 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.