Social Networking Sites…… Integral part of Networking

A study on the Facebook and Twitter Sites and the users perception

Abstract

Social Media has become an integral part of current trend communication and millions of users across the world depend on active social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to be engaged in social networking activities and the social networking sites are used vehemently by the users to develop their social, personal and professional network and in the recent trends has become an very effective medium that impacts the learning, emotional attachment and the social influence for the users. In lieu of such scenario, this research study has been conducted to understand the evolution of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and how and why the users are considering it as one of the effective medium of communication and also for learning process. A survey questionnaire has been provided to few respondents and based on the inputs provided by the respondents the key findings of the analysis and the conclusion has been detailed in this report.

Table of contents

 

Abstract. 2

Table of contents. 3

Table of Figures. 3

1.0         Introduction. 4

2.0         Overview on Facebook and Twitter. 5

2.1         Facebook. 5

2.2         Twitter. 5

3.0         Literature Review.. 6

3.1         Maintaining Relationships. 6

3.2         Learning about others. 6

3.3         Emotional Recognition. 6

3.4         Personality and the Communication Scenario. 7

3.5         Social Influence. 7

4.0         Successful Features of Facebook & Twitter. 7

5.0         Interview Questions. 8

6.0         Analysis and Conclusion. 9

7.0         References. 12

 

1.0      Introduction

Information and communication Technologies have transformed the way the communication use to take place in both in professional and personal lives. The seamless internet connectivity, smartphones, the digital revolution of communication has revolutionized the way people connect to each other and how the entire system of professional and personal networking takes place. The advent development of the digital trends like social media networking has impacted the lives of millions of internet users.

Social media networking has created a virtual platform where a user can enjoy seamless connectivity. Depending on the choices and the personal interests the users can get connected to known circle of friends from our social, family or the professional circles or even in certain instances get connected to the unknown people too and start getting acquainted with each other. One of the major advantage of social networking sites like Facebook is the web model, where when we get connected to one friend, based on the personal privacy settings of their accounts, we have access to so much of information about our friends, their network of other friends and it’s a like a tree model where we keep getting connected or accessed to multiple layers.

Also there are many other social networking systems that are popular in the current trend scenario. The Twitter is an effective medium of communication, where the individual can be as expressive as possible in very few characters typed in your twitter account, which can be read by as many followers we have and they can retweet or respond to your tweets. This has created a forum for the users to be expressive and voice out their views and opinions on various factors. There are various other effective platforms like Linked In, and blog posting and forums where an individual can maintain their profiles and ensure to voice their opinion. (Hernandez, 2011)

With the rapid penetration of the mobile internet systems and the smartphone technologies becoming affordable, staying connected through the social networking sites on a regular basis and having minute-minute updates about the people in our network has been a phenomenal revolution. It is an undeniable fact that the emergence of social media networking and the digital trends like twitter has become a boon for the present generation in terms of facilitating to stay connected with any number of people from our network from our social media accounts. However, along with the pros of the facility, there is even the case of negative impacts too. There are many issues that are prevalent due to the social media effects.

In this research paper the focus and emphasis is upon how effectively the social media network has been positive to the users, the impact of the social media network on the emotional attachments, the relationship issues and also about knowing more about the other people. Few adverse impacts of the social media engagement shall also be discussed in this project study.

2.0      Overview on Facebook and Twitter

There are many social networking sites and the communication channels that exist in the digital revolution of the current scenario. However, very few of them have changed the dynamics of networking. One of the old and popular social networking sites was “ORKUT”, which was a popular medium for connecting with friends, being part of the forums or discussions and was providing an effective platform for staying in touch with our network.

2.1      Facebook

The evolution of the Facebook has taken place in early 2004, when the site has been launched as a network medium for the students of a university, where the founder Mark Zuckerberg who initiated it. But over a period of time, the network got strengthening and within no time the site has millions of uses who are connected with their network and it has changed the way the networking takes place. The fundamental phenomena that has been the basis for the theme of the Facebook and the success factor for it is the multi-layer networking and profile access.

Once we are part of the Facebook network we have plethora of options to search for our old pals, reach out and stay connected with our friends, family members, and social and personal network groups and keep sharing information with each other. There is facility for the people to post comments, share the information they like or update their status or the location where they are currently present. It can be stated that Facebook has evolved over a period of time and the development has been robust in terms of leveraging technology, providing an effective networking platform and as a business how it is making millions of dollars every year through the online advertisement medium in its social networking site. (Kirkpatrick, 2010)

 2.2     Twitter

Twitter is one of the profoundly used micro blogging site. Initially it started as a micro blogging site that could handle information from the users in small sentences, today has become a phenomenal platform for millions of users to express their opinions and views. Similar to Facebook, even Twitter has been started in 2007 and since then has become a popular medium for expressing the views in precise or share some news or inputs in micro blogging manner. But, very soon the Twitter has become a platform for promotions, for advertising, creating links of communication, a medium for following our interests, personalities and also a source for business medium. (Liu, Chloe Kliman-Silver, & Alan Mislove, 2014)

In overall it could be stated that in the present trend scenario, the social networking medium like Facebook and Twitter has become an integral part of the online living and there are thousands of such users for whom, unless they access their Facebook accounts and Twitter Accounts, they do not feel at peace.

 

3.0      Literature Review

3.1      Maintaining Relationships

In an article that has been reviewed online, RICK NAUERT, in his article he quotes that the “Sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter have revolutionized interpersonal relationships for the digital age, she said. Within these online communities, users share status updates, self-generated media, journal entries and other interpersonal communication with an ever-growing cadre of online friends” (NAUERT, 2009)

There is so much of impact which the online networking is developing on the individuals. The major benefit the people are envisaging is that it’s not only the relationship with an individual is maintained online, the relationship with their network too. Familiarity and the identity of a relationship is being effectively established in a quicker way thru online relationship maintaining;  In present day scenario, the very first question after having each other introduction is about the email and the Facebook id’s and so is the popularity of being connected online. (Docusign, 2009)

3.2      Learning about others

According to the studies that have been conducted and the surveys, it is evident that it is far more convenient to learn about others online rather than what can be done in a direct interaction. When the people surf through the profiles of the users on the Facebook, they are able to know more about their social network, hobbies, interests based on the groups they are associated and also from the kind of friends network one has they are able to judge whether someone is extrovert or introvert and based on the kind of comments they post on the FB and the messages in twitter, people are able to have an fair idea of about a person. (Thomas, 2013)

Thought the accuracy levels of such interpretation are in question, still there is a reasonable approach from the people to adjudge the personalities based on their online profile. (Kirkpatrick, 2010)

3.3      Emotional Recognition

This has become an intrinsic issue in the factors of social networks. The kind of craving for emotional recognition from the social network is increasing significantly. For instance, if an user uploads an photo or status and has no likes or comments coming in for that photo or a status, then there is some kind of emotional disturbance which certain individuals are encountering. When they get as many likes or comments, it provides them a secured feeling of emotional recognition which they are craving for in real environment. (Admin, 2011)

Even in the case of twitter handle, if they raise an opinion or express a feeling or a concern or post a topic and if the people do not respond with re-tweets or replies, then many users feel depressed and left alone. And in kind of intrinsic insight in to such things, it could be stated that there are certain users who are completely relied on the social networking platforms for their emotional recognition rather than making an understanding in the real world.

3.4      Personality and the Communication Scenario

The research studies that have been conducted on the online users and the social networking site users reflect that the personality and the communication scenario have a significant impact due to the networking sites. Primarily, the reason for this nature is that, many of the users are able to freely express their opinion in the form of text messages online or by communicating on the chatting platforms of the networking sites rather than expressing their views and opinions directly.  It has been observed that people are being more effective in communicating when they are connected on a online platform rather than communicating directly. This phenomenon is catching up with the younger generation, that when there is need for them to convey something emotional, they prefer online medium of communication rather than conversing face-face. (Docusign, 2009)

3.5      Social Influence

This is one of the factors that has been very high in the recent past, and the primary reason is the accessibility to network of big circle of friends, family, social circles, and the extended circle of friends, and the posts and the comments which keep appearing on the walls of the friends and the self, and the kind of twitter following that is taking place between various people are the intrinsic factors why the individuals have high social influence which is being both pros and cons for an user. (Hernandez, 2011)

 

4.0      Successful Features of Facebook & Twitter

Facebook and Twitter has become a medium of communication for the users. There are many social networking sites and the micro blogging sites that are available online. But very few of them has been more popular in terms of reaching to wide range of the customer base. Facebook and Twitter has been such effective medium that has the popularity and the wide user base. This is one the major success feature of the both the platforms.

The other factor is that, Facebook has slowly emerged as a one stop solution for the entire social connects purpose. Be it connecting to friends networks and sharing comments, likes, pictures and videos or chatting to the online friends, or even about providing information to our network group about our current location etc. and in addition to all it the major advantage of receiving promotional offers and product pages to know information about our choice of products or services. The emergence of FB as an one stop solution for all your digital needs is being an effective success feature along with the other major advantage that FB  sites are never down due to any kind of technical glitches or any such factors, as it has the best of its kind back end processing systems. (Docusign, 2009)

In the case of Twitter the Major features that the micro blogging site has is the advantage of simple signup process and effective integration to other social media networking sites. Hence with a small api script, once we upload something in twitter can be viewed by the FB network people and vice versa. This provides a great advantage of communicating to wider set of people with in short messages texting in the blogging site. Also the other successful feature it has is being trendy and transforming its processing levels, the appearance and the settings which could facilitate happy tweeting for customers. Also it has become an effective medium for product and business promotions, and people can use the medium to express their voice and opinion in a hassle free manner, where it could reach to any number of followers with in few seconds. (Admin, 2011)

5.0      Interview Questions

 

Questionnaire for Survey on Social Networking Medium and its Usage
 
Name:                                  Age group:          15-10     20-25     25-35     35 < Above   Gender:      M           F
                                                                (Please tick on applicable answer)
1) Is your profile active in Social Networking Sites?
                 a)           Yes                                                         b) No
2)  Which are the Social Networking Sites you actively use and will be using regularly?
a) Facebook       b) LinkedIn         c) My Space        d) Xing  e) Google +        f) Twitter            g) Hi5
 3)  Do you use the social networking sites on mobile /tablets?
a) Yes                                                                    b) No
4)  How frequently do your visit your social networking sites
 a)  More than once in an Hour                   b) Once in a hour             c) Everyday
 d) Twice a week                                               e) Once a week                               f) Once a month
5) Time spent on Social Networking Sites on an average in a day?
a)  <2hrs               b)   2-4hrs            c)  5-6hrs              d)  >6hrs
6) Which among the following sites you find more interesting
  a) Facebook     b) LinkedIn         c) My Space        d) Xing  e) Google +        f) Twitter            g) Hi5
7) Interesting features from the sites you like
a)  User Interface b) Effective Networking           c) Get Updates                 d) Advertising and Promotions Business

e) Privacy and Security F) Games and Communities

8) Are you comfortable in receiving the promotions and ads when you login in to site?
a) Yes                    b) No                     c) Can’t Say
9)  Do you feel maintaining online social circle and relationship is effective?
a) Yes                    b) No                     c) Can’t Say
10) Do you find social networking medium effective to learn about others?
a) Yes                    b) No                     c) Can’t Say
11) Do you find any kind of emotional recognition from the extensive social networking?
a) Yes                    b) No                     c) Can’t Say
12) Is Social Media being helpful in your network development and the Social Influence?
a) Yes                    b) No                     c) Can’t Say
13)  Will you be interested to sign in more number of social networking sites if found interesting?
a) Yes                    b) No                     c) Can’t Say
14)  Do you wish to still continue with Facebook and Twitter if they are subscribed sites?
a) Yes                    b) No                     c) Can’t Say
15)  How do you rate your overall experience with social networking site?
a) Very Good     b) Good               C) Ok     d) Not So good e) Very tough time

 

 

6.0      Analysis and Conclusion

As a part of the research study, a detailed survey has been conducted on social media networking, its effectiveness and the interests of the respondents and based on the questionnaire which is prepared with the insights from the literature review that has been carried out as a part of the study. When the questionnaire has been provided to the 170 respondents, 150 respondents have given their inputs and based on the sampling received, 80 were female respondents and 70 were male respondents and from the inputs provided by them the following analysis has been interpreted.

The following are the graphical representations of the results from the respondents for few of the empirical questions that have been asked in the survey questionnaire.

Do you find any kind of emotional recognition from the extensive social networking?

Figure 1  Response about Emotional Recognition

In the above representation it is visible that majority of the respondents feel convincing that they find the kind of emotional recognition when they are using social networking sites.

Do you find social networking medium effective to learn about others?

Figure 2:  Response on Scope for Learning about Others

It is evident from the representation that more of the female respondents perceive that social networking could be an effective medium for them to learn and know more about others whom they are connected with.

Is Social Media being helpful in your network development and the Social Influence?

Figure 3 Social Influence

The graphical representation of the survey results depict the fact that 45female respondents agree that social media is being effective for social influence whereas only 25 of the male respondents believe that social media is being effective in terms of social influence.

Key Interpretations from the Survey

  • Majority of the respondents are interested in engaging in social networking sites
  • Male respondents are being positive in terms of paid social media networking
  • Female respondents are spending an average of 2-4hrs while the average of Male respondents are even spending around 2-4hrs on Social Media
  • Majority of the respondents feel that social media provides them the emotional recognition
  • More number of respondents has responded that they are not sure about being a paid subscription member of the social networking site
  • In overall, majority of the respondents describe that their experience of using social networking site has been positive

Conclusion

Social Networking has become an integral part of present scenario of communication and networking. Despite the fact that there are some negative implications that are ranging from external sources and unwarranted approaches to the internet addiction disorders, still the impact of social media networking has been very positive on the users, and many of the users are interested in engaging over social media platform and also the survey questionnaire that has been provided to respondents and the inputs from the responses of them only envisage the fact that the social media trend is here to shine and there are potential benefits of the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, which people will be vividly using for developing their social,  personal and professional network.

7.0      References

Admin, F. (2011, Mar 09). Social Media & Maintaining Relationships. Retrieved Dec 04, 2014, from Fuse Work Studios: http://www.fuseworkstudios.com/social-media-maintaining-relationships/

Docusign. (2009, Sep 16). Maintaining Relationships in an Electronic Age. Retrieved Dec 04, 2014, from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=150602799344

Hernandez, B. A. (2011, May 05). Explore Twitter’s Evolution: 2006 to Present. Retrieved Dec 04, 2014, from Mashable.com: http://mashable.com/2011/05/05/history-of-twitter/

Kirkpatrick, D. (2010, June 10). Author Explores The Evolution Of Facebook. Retrieved Dec 05, 2014, from NPR.Org: http://www.npr.org/2010/06/10/127374523/author-explores-the-evolution-of-facebook

Liu, Y., Chloe Kliman-Silver, & Alan Mislove. (2014). The Tweets They are a-Changin’: Evolution of Twitter Users and Behavior. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

NAUERT, R. (2009, Mar 31). Relationships on Facebook, Social Networks. Retrieved Dec 04, 2014, from Physc Central: http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/03/31/relationships-on-facebook-social-networks/5060.html

Thomas, W. (2013, Mar 08). Creating a Loyal Fan Base: Maintaining Relationship. Retrieved Dec 04, 2014, from software.intel.com: https://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2013/01/29/creating-a-loyal-fan-base-maintaining-relationships-part-2

 

Contact Information:

Harinath           

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Email:  harinath.infotech@gmail.com

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