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Impact of Social Networking Sites on Individual and Group Dynamics
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Impact of Social Networking Sites on Individual and Group Dynamics

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Released mid-2009 for the 'Young Sociologist' Competition by Christ University, Bangalore, India

Released mid-2009 for the 'Young Sociologist' Competition by Christ University, Bangalore, India

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Impact of Social Networking Sites on Individual and Group Dynamics Impact of Social Networking Sites on Individual and Group Dynamics Document Transcript

  • ‘YOUNG SOCIOLOGIST’ Competition| |Theme: Globalization, Identity and Rights TECHNOLOGY AND IDENTITY THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES ON INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP DYNAMICS SIDDHARTHA ROY B. Tech. (Chemical Engineering) Final Year Institute of Technology, Nirma University, Ahmedabad (India) ABSTRACT Globalization is leading mankind to hitherto unexplored areas of social dynamics. In fact, it is altering the very foundation of our perceived identity and self-worth. Countries and cultures are amalgamating by exchange of values and ideas and the pace with which this is happening has consequences too unpredictable to fathom at this stage. The major leader in this clash of identity and globalization is Technology. The Internet and cell phones have spearheaded this revolution along with increased mobility of man between countries and businesses. The increased penetration has connected even the remote farmer in Jharkhand to thriving retailers in Mumbai or New York. The advantages have been tremendously beneficial both to the rural and urban population. However, it has also posed questions. The boom of social networking sites over the last five years has given the youth of this country a very potent tool. Facebook, Orkut and their likes proliferating the World Wide Web are very interesting platforms to examine the demographic interaction especially of the Indian youth. These sites have become a place to showcase individuality in terms of Profile content, photographs and number of friends which are indirectly creating a virtual identity of an individual quite different from one’s original self. An average individual caught up online can be subject to influences that can alter his ideologies and thoughts and also affect his social skills in real life. 1
  • This paper looks at the far-reaching effects Globalization in terms of Technology and its most potent online creation: Social Networking sites and tries to analyze its effects on Indian youth. It takes into consideration the psychological and sociological impacts of Social Networking sites, trends observed in online user behavior, the huge advantages and substantial pitfalls and finally underline how an individual can utilize them to his/her utmost benefit without impacting/altering his social skills. KEYWORDS: Social networking sites, Globalization, Technology, Identity, Communities, Social Dynamics 2
  • INTRODUCTION The International Network (i.e. Internet) is undoubtedly one the most potent revolutions of modern Technology. A wired (and now wireless) mesh that allows anyone and everyone to connect and communicate within fractions of seconds – its impact is so huge that the modern world by and large runs because of it. Defence services, Governments, Banking, Business Conglomerates, Transportation, Media, Health care, Academia, the Student fraternity – every sphere of existence finds itself incapacitated without the Internet. Use of the Internet is increasing steadily, with almost 1.4 billion people — about one fifth of the world’s inhabitants as shown below — online by the end of 2007. In India, out of every 100 persons, 10.7 use the internet. [1] Figure 1: Growth and Proliferation of the Internet 2002-2007 On one hand, it is termed as a gift of Globalization because of its limitless benefits – sharing of knowledge and ease in give-and-take of relevant information. In fact, the present web services that comprises of blogs, podcasts, social networks, wikis, open source (free software), forums and a host of other tools has led to exponential rise in user-generated content and exposition of ones On the other hand, it is marred by potent pitfalls – like proliferating paedophilic pornography, piracy, online crimes and sensitive data theft. But there is a third category – A class whose pros and cons have not been clearly distinguished yet. ‘Social Networking sites’ (SocNet sites or SNS) fall under this category where it is difficult to 3
  • ascertain how beneficial or how detrimental the effects really are. In a nutshell, Social Networking sites are websites which facilitate creation of a virtual identity on the internet. An online landscape on which individuals walk around – saying ‘Hello!’ to strangers, discussing and sharing tastes of music, movies, literature, cuisine, finding old friends – some even from kindergarten, meeting future employers or seeking advice from alumni of prestigious Universities for admissions and a plethora of such activities – a whole new dimension of interaction and exchange perhaps not possible even in the best of real life environments. The speedily shifting realm of social dynamics in a ‘virtual’ world evokes considerable interest and signals towards an unusually evolving system which cannot be escaped but has to be embraced with enthusiasm and a little discretion. SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES: DEFINITION AND FEATURES The authors of a study published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (Boyd & Ellison, 2007) refrain from using the term ‘social “networking” sites’ in their paper. Instead, they talk of these websites as ‘social “network” sites’. The reasoning given is: “We chose not to employ the term "networking" for two reasons: emphasis and scope. "Networking" emphasizes relationship initiation, often between strangers. While networking is possible on these sites, it is not the primary practice on many of them, nor is it what differentiates them from other forms of computer-mediated communication. What makes social network sites unique is not that they allow individuals to meet strangers, but rather that they enable users to articulate and make visible their social networks. This can result in connections between individuals that would not otherwise be made, but that is often not the goal, and these meetings are frequently between "latent ties" (Haythornthwaite, 2002) who share some offline connection. On many of the large SNSs, participants are not necessarily "networking" or looking to meet new people; instead, they are primarily communicating with 4
  • people who are already a part of their extended social network. To emphasize this articulated social network as a critical organizing feature of these sites, we label them "social network sites.” ” [2] The definition they hence provide cites social network sites “as web-based services that allow individuals to (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.” [2] Thus, 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 real– life friendships through similar interests or groups. Some networking can also help members find a job or establish business contacts. LinkedIn, Ryze.com, Spoke.com are one of about two other dozen social networking sites to fill professional positions, even executive ones. In fact, Ernst & Young, the global accounting firm has to hire thirty-five hundred new college grads every year to meet up clients’ needs and since 74% of its target college students are members of social networks – E&Y meets them there using its Careers page on Facebook and by generating a dialogue between candidates and itself, it makes them aware of the company and opportunities and attracts talent. [3] 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 – both user-generated content and TV/movie clips. SNS are also becoming platforms for mini-applications. This significantly broadens the scope of what friends can do with each other – from sending invitations to ‘real’ events (or virtual for that matter – videoconferencing) and managing them to playing Chinese Checkers and landing mock slaps onto virtual faces. 5
  • For those who want to go beyond a simple profile, there are ‘virtual worlds’ as well. Second Life is a popular 3-D simulated environment with more than 10 million members. Cyworld hosts a similar environment in Asia and is expanding in North America. Other worlds, like WeeWorld, are two-dimensional. Either way, participants can express themselves by how they look and what they wear; a fifty-year-old fat and balding technical writer can be a muscular stud in a black turtleneck or a buxom Barbie if he wants. [3] SNS develop technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people's real-world social connections. In a nutshell, once actively involved, they encapsulate all circles of our lives – personal, business, entertainment, hobbies, leisure, chit-chatting and every thing in between. SOCIAL NETWORKING STATISTICS AND TRENDS The June 2008 figures show an audience of about 580 million unique users (of an estimated 860 millions unique users of the Internet) of age 15 and above using SNS either from home or office or both. This was a 25% rise over the June 2007 figures. (Source: comScore World Metrix) Facebook led the revolution by growing its user base by 153% to 132 million unique users in the 2007-2008 and ranked #1 amongst all SNS. The latest 2009 figures from the Facebook site boast a mammoth 300+ million active users. [4] This is a huge leap from the SixDegrees, the first SNS if one follows the definition, which began operations in 1997 but shut down in three years. While SixDegrees attracted millions of users, it failed to become a sustainable business and, in 2000, the service closed. Looking back, its founder believes that SixDegrees was simply ahead of its time. While people were already flocking to the Internet, most did not have extended networks of friends who were online. Early adopters complained that there was little to do after accepting Friend requests, and most users were not interested in meeting strangers. 6
  • In contrast, today most of the friends people have in their Friend List are those whom they already know in their real life. And as shown by the research (Boyd & Ellison, 2007), most users online are not necessarily looking for new people but they are primarily communicating with those who are already a part of their extended social network offline. [2] According to the research website TopTenREVIEWS top five Facebook, SocNet [5] sites MySpace, , the are: Bebo, Friendster and hi5. However, India doesn’t share a similar lineup for the 19 million and growing population of SNS users. [6] In fact, Orkut (which ranks 6th on the TopTenREVIEWS ratings and has about 20% of its users from India) leads the front with more than 12.8 million visitors[6]. Figure 2: SNS Launches Timeline The figure is three times that of its nearest competitor, Facebook. Bharatstudent, hi5 and ibibo follow Orkut and Facebook in the next three spots. 7
  • The huge figures of SNS users in India is indicative of the stronghold such websites are gaining over normal internet usage time. A user In India spent an average of 110 minutes on SNS and logged in an average 10 times in December 2008. While internet proliferation grew 22% in the June ’07-June’08 time frame, social networking catapulted by a staggering 51%. [6] Presence of Bharatstudent and ibibo in the Top 5 SocNet sites of India also shows inclination toward country specific social networking sites. In addition to the usual set of services that most international SNS offer, these websites also have indigenous content (exclusive sneakpeeks and previews of new movie and music releases) and famous contributors (like Amitabh Bachchan’s blog on BigAdda) that attracts users and keeps them hooked. The Webby Awards, the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, released its list of the Top 10 Most Influential Internet Moments of the Decade (2000-2009) showcased, among other relevant innovations, the opening of Facebook to non-college students and launch of Twitter (both in 2006) as one of them. “Both have immediate and lasting effects on both the course of social networking media, but also how people connect and interact with each other.” [7] Global IP Traffic is expected to increase by a factor of six from 2007 to 2012, according to Cisco, which said the growth would be driven by online video and Web 2.0 social-networking and collaboration applications. [8] There is only one way from here. That is upwards. To quote Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice president, “Social networking continued to grow strongly in India this past year, with several of the top global brands carving out a more prominent position. While there is certainly room for several players in the social networking space in India, the sites that have the right blend of having both a strong brand and cultural relevance will be best positioned for future growth.” [6] 8
  • IDENTITY ON SNS: PERKS AND PITFALLS INDIVIDUAL INTERACTIONS: IDENTITY AND SELF-ESTEEM One of the best perks of SNS is its universality. SNS go beyond race, religion, taste and nationality. People find themselves glued to a media that lets them ‘create an identity’, consistently improvise it and utilize this gained ‘second life’ to gain status, admirers and, sometimes, good friends/partners. The 2009 Warner Brothers release He’s Just Not That Into You, the references and increasing reliance on SocNet sites is apparent. Mary, played by Drew Barrymore, is the most relatable character when it comes to today’s youth forging relations based on our online ‘identity’. When it comes to her attractiveness, she doesn’t go for conventional make-up or a fitness diet. Instead, her casual dependence on her ‘online self’ leads her to proclaim, “Things have changed. People don’t just meet organically anymore. If I want to make myself more attractive to the opposite sex, I don’t go get a new haircut – I update my profile. That’s just how it is.” [9] On the other hand, the impact of such technologies is not all hunky-dory over her self-esteem: “I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies.” [10] Another interesting observation is the obsession of users to be ‘prominent’ online. This involves defining oneself as famous or hip (indirectly affecting one’s self esteem) based on ‘number of friends’, ‘number of scraps (messages left by others online open to public view)’, ‘number of photographs/videos posted’ and most importantly ‘content of one’s profile’. Impression management, self-presentation, and friendship performance become objectives. This can pose problems and defect the social skills of individuals too. It can even turn a normal individual into a social climber (Derogatory term meaning: A person anxious to gain a higher status). The definition of prominent is not a widely researched or documented feature, but an observation on the part of this author that may be narrow in the larger perspective. 9
  • According to the latest research presented in a special issue of Developmental Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), spending a lot of time on the Web can have both negative and positive effects on young people, i.e., the sharing of self-injury practices by some and the improvement of academic performance and health awareness by others. [11] In 2006 a Dutch study was conducted by Valkenburg, Peter and Schouten [12] to investigate the wellbeing and social self-esteem of teens associated with Friend networking sites. The study showed that positive feedback on profiles enhanced adolescent’s social self-esteem and negative feedback decreased it. The study showed that the tone of reaction developed from social networking sites feedback varied. Out of 881 adolescents, 5.6% reported that feedback had always been negative. 4.9% indicated that feedback was predominately positive 35% had established a friendship and 8.4% had formed a romantic relationship. Even though a small percentage continuously received negative feedback on their sites, this has significant impact on their self esteem. Online Harassment and Cyberbullying are also potent dangers but often the privacy and security settings offered by most SNS is good enough to guard them off. A popular networking site Bebo adopted the a ‘Help’ button that allows users to contact trained child protection officers and also provides details of local police and links to 10 other sources of help. [13] Other SNS are expected to follow suit because of demands from law enforcers and their like. Studies by Psychologist Doctor Larry D. Rosen, from California State University suggest that the media and parents have over exaggerated the threat of sexual predators and harassment online.[14] They are dangers for the innocent and the young and it is crucial that parents play a role while adapting to these technologies – by themselves understanding and utilizing these technologies. There have been some very sad cases like the Case Study #2 that appears later in this paper. However, usage with a little discretion and right guidelines, the benefits far outnumber the pitfalls. 10
  • To quote a student of Psychology from the University of Sydney, “There’s always a tendency I think to get hyped up about the negative effects of new things, especially technology. This happened with TV, and now it’s happening with the Internet and online networking sites. While people focus on all the negative aspects like bullying, social isolation and low self-esteem, they tend to neglect the numerous potential benefits of such technologies. For example, it is possible creating a MySpace page may increase a person’s social support network, decrease their social anxiety, and increase their self-esteem and computer confidence.” [14] Popular Culture has also titillated the public imagination with movies and stories where bonds and romances bloom online. The Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan starrer ‘You’ve Got Mail’ infused a whole new meaning to online romance in 1999. In 2000, ‘Dil Hi Dil Mein’ – an Indian release dubbed in Hindi from Tamil, starring Sonali Bendre and Kunal, narrates a love story of two college students that blossomed online and, well, like most Indian dramas culminated into a happy marriage on Valentines Day. It is true that, with mushrooming matrimonial and employment sites, a lot of real life interaction is initiated and facilitated online and usage of SNS is no different. They are a necessity and an upward trend (not a passing phase). On a lighter note, the hit song ‘Superman’ by Lazlo Bane which is also the title score for the popular television series Scrubs cheekily makes fun of romance online with the lines: “You’ve got your love online, You think you are doing fine, But you are just plugged into the wall”. To each his own. COMMUNITY INTERACTIONS Man is a social animal. Everywhere. In addition to meeting and maintaining contacts (i.e. ‘keeping in touch’ with mostly known and a few strangers met online), man’s gregarious instincts (his inherent nature to be in group) lead him to explore such possibilities online too. The huge deluge of ‘Communities’ ranging from people living in the same street and sharing the same bus to scientific and business affiliations and from buddies of the same school to 11
  • strangers sharing a love for Gaajar Ka Halwa is an indicator. They are ‘virtual coffee shops’ for people to sit back, relax and discuss to their heart’s content. This is having potent consequences on ‘real life’. ‘Satori – Lets Not Yawn!’ is a club for literature lovers in Ahmedabad. It has a Facebook presence too. So, whenever a new meet is scheduled, the event announcement goes online and many strangers sharing similar interests and tastes get together. This is one of the many thousands of events taking place across the globe. These ‘virtual to real shifts’ of communities can be as light as members of Pagalguy.com in the same city regularly meeting to prepare for MBA entrance exams to profound and heavy examples like people fighting against injustices (the Orkut communities of ‘Anti-Reservations’, ‘Justice for Priyadarshini Matoo’, ‘Satyendra Dubey’ and many others) and running campaigns. The non-violent Pink Chaddi Campaign in February 2009 received widespread media coverage and the Facebook group saw numbers of members growing exponentially in the following days. Thousands of pink chaddis (women underwear) were couriered to the Shri Ram Sena – an orthodox Hindu group based in Mangalore known for violent conservative and right-wing activism against perceived violations of Indian culture. This was in response to attacked a group of women were attacked in a pub in Mangalore and further threatened to marry off and take other action on any young couples found together on Valentine's Day. The whole campaign was executed online through The Pink Chaddi Campaign blog and then by the Facebook community. However, the Facebook account was then hacked with racist slurs and death threats leading to deletion/disappearance of accounts of its 59000+ members and had to be shut down by its authorities. [15] Hence, a rise of social conscience is apparent in these examples where people across the social fabric are cutting in for causes they believe are relevant and even taking actions that are loud enough to shake the world. These also provide online SNS users with a sense of purpose and moral righteousness that is not limited to just the virtual world. They are working online and making a difference in the real world. 12
  • An interesting angle to this aspect is mushrooming of ‘Hate communities’. Some are harmless like on Ekta Kapoor serials or Himesh Reshammiya’s voice each of which enjoy more than 75000+ and 33000+ membership on Orkut [16] but some can turn anti-nationalist like ‘I hate India what about you’ or even disguised terrorist areas (which is a possibility). It can be used to malign people’s reputations and inflict irreparable damage too. Hence, the identities of SNS users can also be viewed as a violent fluxing of the real and virtual worlds that blur with increased usage (and, in few cases, addiction). CASE STUDIES Outlined below are two case studies that showcase the negative aspects. Although the pros far outnumber the cons, it is crucial to understand the kind of dangers that can be encountered on SNS. The effects can be as mild as lowering of GPAs due to increased usage of the services (suggestive but definitely not conclusive from a study conducted on 219 students – both undergraduate and graduate at Ohio State University, USA [17] ) to extremely troubling cases involving drug peddlers (like the case of 12-year old Sarah from Midwest, US where she found pedophiles in her street and even was sexually harassed [18]), pedophiles and abductors. The two cases covered below comprise of two separate genres: (a) “latent ties”[19] – SNS interactions between real life acquaintances (known to the author) that led to some consequences in ‘real life’ and (b) interactions between absolute strangers online which led to a girl isolating from her family and friends and then running away from home. Such extreme cases are very rare but possible depending on the vulnerability of the user, his/her social skills and self esteem and the tactics employed by the tempter online. CASE STUDY #1 [REAL LIFE EXAMPLE] INFLUENCE OF TALKS ON SNS ON REAL LIFE FRIENDSHIPS This case study refers to three students of a prominent Engineering college of national repute and the events that happened in their first year in college. The names have been altered to respect privacy. 13
  • Ragini is a bit awkward socially though with a great sense of humour. She found a good friend in Arnab in her first year who became her trusted aide. She already had a boyfriend from before she came to college and the Ragini-Arnab relationship was good friendship. However, since both of them spent time together, their classmates used to tease them both. During vacations, Arnab came across his class mate Nirvana on Orkut. They just knew each other and had ‘latent ties’ (i.e. potential friendship build up between acquaintances) in college. They got talking and Nirvana casually started bringing Ragini in his conversations and made harmless friendly humour to which Arnab reciprocated as part of the building camaraderie. The chatting wasn’t any different from a usual locker room conversation between boys nor did it have any objectionable or untrue content. Ragini’s boyfriend frequently checked on all her friends of college online and happened to spy across to find the conversation between Arnab and Nirvana in the archives. The next day Arnab received an e-mail from Ragini declaring their friendship was over and it couldn’t be salvaged. Analysis: Conversations though part of the social fabric are open to interpretation. Hence, if perspectives vary, so will the reaction. Ragini’s boyfriend’s way of looking at the conversation convinced her to find Arnab ‘cheap’ (a word from the e-mail she wrote to him) and didn’t understand the friendly banter which even didn’t contain any lines that suggested Arnab hinting towards anything between them. This is a case of a real life relationship going awry due to false interpretation of a harmless talk on a SNS. Online talks can be miscommunication as it is a bit impersonal. Hence, it is difficult to analyze the effects of such ‘impersonal and misunderstood’ communication even if the medium offers stupendous services and ease in ‘keeping in touch’. CASE STUDY #2 [NEWS REPORT] HONOR STUDENT IS MISSING: [18] “ABC NEWS- June 12, 2006 — Katherine Lester's parents thought they had no reason to doubt their daughter when she told them she needed a passport for a trip to Canada with friends. 14
  • The 16-year-old Gilford, Mich., honor student had never deceived them in the past. However, Lester really needed the passport to head to Israel's West Bank, one of the most dangerous parts of the world, to meet a 25-year-old man whom she had met on MySpace.com. Katherine Lester apparently flew to the Middle East last Monday. At first, her family had no idea where she had gone, and made a public plea. "Please come home. Katherine, please. We need you," said her sister, Mary Lester. Soon the FBI unraveled the mystery. The young girl had been corresponding for three months with a man she met on MySpace.com. Her MySpace.com profile says she is from "Small Town, Michigan" and was accessible only to people on her "friends" list. "She had met someone that she really seemed to care for quite a bit and wanted to go meet with him," said FBI official Dan Roberts.” Analysis: Many parallels to the above incident can be found, most not so extreme. There are girls known to the author who swear by the ingenuity and warmth of boys they have met online and even fallen in love with. They have been careless and allowed their hearts to be broken by a faceless stranger. On the other hand, the author himself has experienced fruition of some valuable friendships with girls and boys online too. The interactions are not at all bad. In fact, some even boost self-esteem (and rightly too) and help people find their voices by the confidence shown on them by those on the other side of the line. But emotions and feelings get involved at some stage based on the quality of interactions and supposed ‘understanding’ between them. Hence, discretion yet open-mindedness are crucial. 15
  • PREDICTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS Network is a very important word. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘network’ as: “n. A group of people who exchange information, etc. for professional or social purposes” Online Social networking sites are precisely that. Mediums and mechanisms of interaction, exchange, entertainment and growth in personal and (now increasingly in) professional lives. 84% of SNS users are in the age group of 14-26 in the US. [20] Since a large chunk of Indian population is the youth, the figures here too will be similar. And from the Cisco study it is apparent that by 2012, the numbers will be skyrocketing. [8] Dr. Rosen says that they are definitely not just a phase. “It is a necessity in this day and age where most children are not allowed to socialize outside of school hours and need to fulfill their social needs,” he says. [14] SNS allow people to be creative, keep in contact and build new relationships whilst developing an identity and expressing themselves. SNS play a role too in shaping the individuality of those using them while growing up. It is imperative that parents realize and embrace these new challenges and consider them as stepping stones for their child’s growth and contribute. The innocent should not be harmed or affected in any way –physically, mentally or socially because of the technology. After all, it is a technology to ‘bond’ and not a way to lure children to ‘abscond’. The case studies are indicative of the cons that we need to guard against. Far reaching effects may be detrimental – but as per growing research and literature, it is clear that those are restricted to a very small number of the users. It becomes clear, that SNS are not all bad, contrary to popular belief in the media. They are a growing need and an increasingly integral part of lives of man in the 21st century. He has come a long way from cave man group-ism to building a network that spans across all corners of the globe. SNS is one of the most potent tools fueling globalization and rightly so. 16
  • REFERENCES [1] United Nations (2009): The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009. Published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), New York. Pp. 52 [2] Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007): Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11.: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/ boyd.ellison.html [3] Li, C. & Bernoff, J.: Groundswell (2008): Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Published by: Harvard Business Press, USA; Pp. 21-24, 104-106. [4] Facebook Factsheet (2009): From he Facebook website: http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?factsheet [5] Social Networking Websites Review (2009): From the TopTenREVIEWS website: http://socialnetworking-websites-review.toptenreviews.com/index.html [6] India’s Social Networking Market Sees Global Brands Gain Prominence in 2008 (2009): ComScore website Press Release available at: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2009/2/India_Social_Networking [7] Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia top Webby Awards Top 10 Web Moments of the Decade (2009): From the Los Angeles Times website: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/ awards/2009/ 11/facebooktwitter-wikipedia-top-webby-awards-top-10-web-moments-of-the-decade.html [8] Video, Social Networking to Fuel Sixfold Increase in Global IP Traffic by 2012 (2009): From the MarketingVOX website: http://www.marketingvox.com/video-social-networking-to-fuel-sixfold- increase-in-global-ip-traffic-by-2012-039463/ [9] Text Me, Facebook Me, Email Me: He’s Just Not That Into You (2009): From the Kerisma blog at: http://kerisinger.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/text_me_facebook_me_email_me_hes_just_not_that_i nto_you/ [10] Memorable quotes for He's Just Not That Into You (2009): From the International Movie Database website: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1001508/quotes 17
  • [11] "Children, Adolescents, and the Internet" (2006): Special section of Developmental Psychology, Vol. 42, No.3. The Press Release and six papers can be found at: http://www.apa.org/releases/ youthwww0406.html [12] Valkenburg, P. M., Jochen, P., & Schouten, A. P. (2006): “Friend Networking Sites and Their Relationship to Adolescents Well-Being and Social Self-Esteem”, Published in: Cyberpsychology and Behaviour, 9(5), 584-590. [13] Facebook, MySpace, slammed for not introducing 'help button to protect kids' (2009): Available on the Yahoo! News website at: http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20091118/854/ttc-facebook-myspaceslammed-for-not-introducing-help-button-to-protect-kids/ [14] Effects of Social Networking Sites (2007): Article appearing on ‘Amanda’s Journalism Blog’ available at: http://amandaa87.wordpress.com/2007/10/06/effects-of-social-networking-sites/ [15] Moral police hack Pink Chaddi on Net (2009): From ‘The Hindu’ website: http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/14/stories/2009041459890400.htm [16] Hate communities a rage on social networking sites (2007): From the ‘Times of India’ website: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-2589438,prtpage-1.cms [17] College Facebook Users Have Lower GPAs (2009): From the MarketingCharts website: http://www.marketingcharts.com/interactive/college-facebook-users-have-lower-gpas-9375/ [18] Cainfield, Amy (2009): What to do about MySpace.com: The Dangers of Social Networking sites. Version 1.4; From: Parental Control Products, LLC. And available from Weheha.com [19] Haythornthwaite, C. (2002): Strong, Weak and Latent Ties and the Impact of New Media. Abstract. Published in: The Information Society 18 (5). [20] Social Networking Demographics (2008): From the MarketingHub website: http://www.marketinghub.info/social-networking-demographics/ All links mentioned above have been accessed between 19th and 21st November, 2009 … 18