Much has been written about the erosion of the influence of traditional agents of socialisation like family, schools, and communities. etc in the era of late modernity. Many a reason has been ascribed to this phenomenon, among others the view that traditional agencies do not fulfill the needs of the new generation of youths in this era. Perhaps it is the degeneration of the values which used to hold these agencies, or perhaps it is the ability to replace these agencies, often viewed as archaic, with new influences. These traditional social structures and “canonized cultural orientations” (Glastra et al, 2004) no longer provide the individual with a place and purpose in life (Strain, 2000). In contemporary society individuals need to be able to re-create themselves (Bagnall, 2001) in order to cope with change (Fryer, 1997) so as to arrive at a place where they either feel at home or accept that they are different (Bauman, 2004). Since the advent of the Internet and the closing of world borders due to globalisation, any community in any part of the world is able to broadcast any form of message or ideas thus causing a fragmentation of societies everywhere (Putnam, 1995). However Anderson counters that access to different people and different cultures is "not fragmenting.. more, reforming along different dimensions (Anderson: 2006, 191) Responding to this more and more individuals are drawn to utilize the Web as a primary tool of social interaction and discourse. One such form of participation on the Internet is the online social networks, like, Friendster, MySpace, Bebo and lately, Facebook. These networks create an online community in which a person creates a profile and then connects to other users. The user generates this profile by offering up a range of personal information in a variety of media... [continues]
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