The Impact of Social Networking Sites on Adult Relationships
The Impact of Social Networking Siteson Adult RelationshipsEverett PainterEDPY 522: Adult DevelopmentSummer 2009<br />
Reviewing the Literature<br /><ul><li>While opinions and theories are prevalent, research in this area is limited and mixed.
Many of these opinions are negative, expressing concern over the inferred negative impact of social networking and possible changes to inter-personal communication (Smith 2008).</li></li></ul><li>Reviewing the Literature<br /><ul><li>Early research suggests that internet usage may lead to feelings of loneliness and neglect of personal relationships (Nie 2001).
Other research concludes the opposite, that users experience an increase in social circles, level of trust, and in-person interaction; especially among extroverts (Kraut et al. 2002).</li></li></ul><li>Procedure<br /><ul><li>80 participants invited from initial list of 330 Facebook users.(60 agreed with 45 ultimately completing the survey).
Participants were simply told that they would be completing a survey about relationships and social networking websites.
Participants were given one week to complete the survey at Zoomerang.com.</li></li></ul><li>Demographic Information<br />
Survey Question Results<br />I feel that social networking sites have had a positive/negative impact on my adult relationships. (Appendix A)Some people feel that social networking sites have fostered the idea that friendships can be formed/destroyed quickly and with ease. Explain why you agree/disagree. Please use any examples you may have. (Appendix B)Please share any other thoughts you may have about the impact of social networking sites on your adult relationships. (Appendix C)Optional Question Have social networking sites changed the way you think about your upcoming high school reunion(s)? (Appendix D)<br />
Findings & Conclusions<br /><ul><li>Overwhelmingly, survey respondents believed that social networking websites had positively contributed to their relationships by:…helping them connect and stay in touch with both old and current friends.…helping them stay in touch with those separated by large distances.…providing a convenient way to interact with friends.</li></li></ul><li>Findings & Conclusions<br /><ul><li>For these participants, social networking sites do not appear to change the following aspects of communication. </li></ul>84% reported providing no more information about themselves than they normally would.80% indicated that they have not manipulated information in order to portray a desired image.84% continue to use traditional means of contact (i.e., letters, phone, etc.) about the same or more often.<br />
Findings & Conclusions<br /><ul><li>However, certain aspects have been impacted:</li></ul>78% reported sometimes/often spending more time interacting with people online versus offline.78% reported communicating with people they would not otherwise not interact with.61% reported using social networking sites between 1-3 hours per day.26% reported experiencing stress over the need to check/update information on social networking sites.<br />
Findings & Conclusions<br /><ul><li>Additionally, many participants noted:…that these sites allow one to communicate with a little more confidence.… a concern over the amount of time spent online.…it is easier to end friendships because there is not a need to do so face to face.</li></li></ul><li>Findings & Conclusions<br /><ul><li>Differences related to gender, personality and length of time involved with social networking sites were minimal.
Most expressed that social networking had changed how they thought about their upcoming high school reunion(s) in a positive way; most were more likely to attend.
The social circles of these participants are larger due to their use of social networking sites.
While expressing some concerns over the impact of these sites, in general, the positive aspects far outweigh these concerns.</li></li></ul><li>Limitations<br /><ul><li>While I am pleased with the response, the completed survey number is still very small at 45.
While the selection of participants where randomly sampled, the pool from which they were sampled is well known.
64% of respondents were from one particular age range (30-39), limiting the ability to draw conclusions on age related differences.
There are common issues in survey data and one important one to consider here is social desirability bias, or the effect of selecting certain responses because they are believed to be more socially acceptable.</li></li></ul><li>References<br />Kraut R, Kiesler S, Boneva B, Cummings J, Helgeson V, et al. 2002. "Internet<br /> paradox re-visited." Journal of Social Issues.<br />Nie, NH. 2001."Sociability, interpersonal relations, and the Internet: reconciling <br /> conflicting findings." American Behavioral Science. <br />Smith, R. (July 3 2008). Facebook and MySpace generation 'cannot form <br /> relationships. In Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved undefined, from <br /> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/3357741/Facebook-and-MySpace-generation-cannot-form-relationships.html.<br />