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New media and society: A Study on the impact of social networking sites on indian youth Dr. M. Neelamalar & Ms. P. Chitra
Dept. of Media Sciences, Anna University Chennai, India
E-mail: nmalar@yahoo.com

Background of the study

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the Internet was an emergency military communication system operated by the Department of Defenses advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA). The whole operation was referred to as ARPANET. The speed of Internet has changed the way people receive the information. It combines the immediacy of broadcast with the in-depth coverage of newspapers making it perfect sources for news and weather information. Even with the multimedia excitement of the web, Electronic mail (email) is the most frequently used application of the Internet. Many people, who have access to the Internet at school, home and at work place use the Internet for no other purpose than to send and to receive the mail. Its not just friends and co-workers that are receiving email. Wherever you look, the web is providing email addresses. This has made communication between the strangers easier than ever. Chatting is one of the more popular activities on the Internet- people can talk to anyone across the world. Introduction of social online networking sites has facilitated communication. These are web-sites where users can create a profile and connect that profile to others to form an explicit personal network. They are web-based services that allow individuals to ASICALLY

(1) Construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system (2) Articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and (3) View and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site. Estudos em Comunicacao no 6, 125-145 ¸˜ Dezembro de 2009

















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Dr. M. Neelamalar & Ms. P. Chitra

Through social networking, people can use networks of online friends and group memberships to keep in touch with current friends, reconnect with old friends or create reallife friendships through similar interests or groups. Besides establishing important social relationships, social networking members can share their interests with other likeminded members by joining groups and forums. Some networking can also help members find a job or establish business contacts. Most social networking websites also offer additional features. In addition to blogs and forums, members can express themselves by designing their profile page to reflect their personality. The most popular extra features include music and video sections. The video section can include everything from membergenerated videos from hundreds of subjects to TV clips and movie trailers (Youtube). Social networking sites have facilitated communication. Members of such sites can easily form groups (called the communities) and share their opinions among themselves through discussion threads, forums and polls. Though these sites serves good in many ways, it has its negative effects too such as cyber crimes which has become a privacy threat to the people worldwide. Although advantageous in many ways by building new relationship and reconnecting with lost or old contacts, it also brought up some behavioral changes among the youth, not only the behavioral changes but also their social behavior and approaches. It has also ended up as a nightmare for a few people.

Objective of the study
Identifying and assessing issues regarding youth social networking usage and the resultant impact on their social interactions and social behavior on the whole.

History of social network sites
Early social networking websites included Classmates.com (1995), focusing on ties with former school mates, and SixDegrees.com (1997), focusing on indirect ties. User profiles could be created, messages sent to users held on a friends list and other members could be sought...
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