The Effects of Social Networking

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Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION

Background of the Topic

A social network is a theoretical construct useful in the social sciences to study relationships between individuals, groups, organizations, or even entire societies (social units, see differentiation). The term is used to describe a social structure determined by such interactions. The ties through which any given social unit connects represent the convergence of the various social contacts of that unit. This theoretical approach is, necessarily, relational…(Wikipedia, pars.3).

In the late 1800s, both Émile Durkheim and Ferdinand Tönnies foreshadow the idea of social networks in their theories and research of social groups. Tönnies argued that social groups can exist as personal and direct social ties that either link individuals who share values and belief (Gemeinschaft, German, commonly translated as "community") or impersonal, formal, and instrumental social links (Gesellschaft, German, commonly translated as "society")( Wikipedia, pars.4). Major developments in the field can be seen in the 1930s by several groups in psychology, anthropology, and mathematics working independently (Wikipedia, pars.5). Communication Studies are often considered a part of both the social sciences and the humanities, drawing heavily on fields such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, information science,biology, political science, and economics as well as rhetoric, literary studies, and semiotics. Many communications concepts describe the transfer of information from one source to another, and can thus be conceived of in terms of a network (Wikipedia, pars.26).

Social Networking is the practice of expanding one’s social contacts by making connections through individuals. Social media has changed the way people interact (Frazier, pars.1). Although it is possible in person, it is most popular online, with the use of the internet. The internet is filled of billions of individuals who are looking to meet new people, to gather or share informations, they even use it in their businesses. Social Networking isn’t new at all, But, it keeps on expanding. From Friendster, one of the first Social Networking website in the World Wide Web, to Facebook, which is still popular now. Twitter, Google, Tumblr, Youtube are in Social Networking and everyone will keep finding more ways to use it. “In general, here’s how it works: you join one of the sites and invite people you know to join as well. Social networks are everywhere. Friends, colleagues, neighbours[sic] and family make up most people’s network of social contacts, and they have a powerful effect on our behaviour[sic] (COIN & PIRC) . Those people invite their contacts to join, who in turn to invite their contacts to join, and the process repeats for each person. In theory, any individual can make contact through anyone they have a connection to, to any of the people that person has a connection to, and so on.” Social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world’s online population, representing 1.2 billion users around the world. The social networking adoption trend largely mirrored the global Internet adoption curve, and grew proportionately, showing that as people began to get connected, they immediately began connecting with one another().

We are aware of the use of Social Networking. We use it as a tool of communication nowadays. It can be very useful to get in touch with people who you know in person. With Social Networking, we can express ourselves in ways we never dreamed of doing face to face. We don’t have to leave the house to purchase products. We don’t need to buy books because there’s a lot of source material in the Internet. We can make friends with people in different countries. We have a lot to do with it.

If we’re aware of its uses, we should be aware of the dangers and harm associated with Social Networking. It includes online predators or what they call “posers”, theft and...
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