Social Networking: Influence on Society and Redefining Social Relationships.

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Social Networking: Influence on Society and Redefining Social Relationships. Social networking websites such as Face book, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and You Tube are reaching 1.2 Billion users, globally, (ComScore, 2012). Their unprecedented popularity has the opportunity to influence lives in numerous ways. Current research is revealing socialising online is not only popular among young people but across older generations as well, (Hampton, Goulet, Rainie, Purcell, 2010) (ComScore, 2012). Several online communities are redefining traditional social relationships by developing a new style of internet initiated intimacy. Furthermore, academics may have to adapt current research processes before being able to truly understand the extent in which the social networking phenomenon is redefining social relationships, (Chambers, 2006). We begin looking at the way social networking is positively influencing society by providing opportunities to create new relationships. Sites with a specific focus can assist people to connect with others by supplying information, contacts, peer support and encouragement. Through social networking sites people have increased opportunities to spend time online with more people who share similar interests, making them less dependent on families or local communities for social interaction and support (Salmon, 2009). Examples of these types of sites are Goodreads.com for book lovers, Academia.edu for academics and DailyStrength.org for medical, emotional support. Socialising online allows participants to meet new people with similar interests and can help invigorate current relationships. Social networking sites can strengthen existing relationships by enhancing communication with family, friends and acquaintances. A recent study conducted by a Korean and US University found the most contributing factor into why people choose to socialise online is because it is fun! Sharing videos, photos and messages instantaneously, with the...
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