Social media impact on existing social relationships
By Elizabeth Gestier
Social Networking : Overview
Social Networking sites are popular forms for communicating.
Can social networking sites such as Facebook impact on our existing
social relationships? Does technology actually change the nature of
the social network? Or does it simply extend it? Will Social
Networking sites replace Face to Face Communication?
Social Networking sites allow people to interact in online
communities, such as Facebook, to share thoughts,
status updates, stay in touch, upload photos and more
with members of their own personal networks.
Facebook is an online social networking site that
connects people with friends and others who work, study
and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up
with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share
links and videos, and learn more about the people they
“Facebook is no doubt one of the fastest growing
uses of social media and is just one example of how
people are staying in touch these days. It provides
information about others in a way that is convenient
to the user. With the introduction of a mode of
interaction that can happen regardless of place and
time, socialization has morphed from calling up a
friend and chatting about how things are going, to
accessing a website to read a “status update.”
FACEBOOK STATISTICS1. The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
2. More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes,
photo albums, etc.) is shared each month.
3. Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application.
4. More than 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every
5. Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top
100 websites have integrated with Facebook.
6. There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through
their mobile devices.
7. People that access Facebook via mobile are twice as active than non-mobile users
(think about that when designing your Facebook page).
8. The average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.
9. People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook.
10. There are more than 1 million entrepreneurs and developers from 180 countries on
Statistics from Facebook press office.
Facebook and Exisiting Social
Research shows that social networking does not affect already
existing social relationships, however it enhances them. “Most
computer mediated communication research indicates a positive
relationship between the internet and forming or maintaining social
relationships.” (Owens, 2009.)
Social Networking sites allows people to stay in touch with family and
friends and, in many cases extends their social networks.
Face to Face Communication Vs
Social networks and the need to communicate are universal human
conditions. A general assumption is that communication technologies
help to increase and strengthen social ties. (Coyle, C., & Vaughn, H,
Research suggests that the absence of nonverbal cues and social
presence in the impersonal domain of Internet-based communication
made meaningful Internet-only relationships nearly impossible to form
(Walther & Parks, 2002).
As compared to face-to-face interaction, in online communication,
people can hide their real identities which gives rise to security and trust
issues. Internet communication "cannot protect people from deceit" as
people have the luxury of anonymity.” (The Day Writer, Blog, 2009.)
Facebook and Jealousy Affecting
In other research it has been shown that
Facebook and social networking can lead
to jealousy among relationships.
According to Muise et al 2010, the article “More Information Than
You Ever Wanted: Does Facebook bring out the Green Eyed
Monster of Jealousy” states that, “While social network sites provide
the opportunity to reunite with long-lost friends, they also allow
people to make information public within their circle of friends and to
make their list of friends itself open to public scrutiny.”
Facebook and Privacy Issues
In Social Networking and online communication,
people can hide and alter their real identities
which allow for security and trust issues.
According to Melber 2010, “Most people don’t use the privacy settings
to limit access to their Facebook profile. Four out of five simply accept
the default setting, which allows their whole network to see the entire
profile.” (Melber, A, 2010.)
This raises the question do people using Social Networking sites
realise the potential risks when it comes to privacy issues online?
Facebook and You. (Cover Story). Time [Serial Online.] May 31, 2010; 175 (21): 34-35. Available from: Academic
Search Premier, EBSCOhost (Accessed November 9, 2010.)
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from Modern Woman Online Magazine: http://csmw.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/curiosity-or-caring-social-medias-
impact-on-relationships/ Accessed on the 13th of October, 2010
Melber, A. (2008). ‘About Facebook.’ Nation, 286 (1) 22-24. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier,
EBSCOHOST (Accessed 6th November, 2010.)
Muise, A., Christofides, E., & Desmarias, S. (2009.) ‘More Information Than You Ever Wanted: Does Facebook
bring out the Green Eyed Monster of Jealousy?’ Cyberpsychology & Behaviour, 12 (4) 441-444. Academic Search
Premier, EBSCOHOST (Accessed November 5, 2010.)
Coyle, C., & Vaughn, H. (2008). ‘Social Networking: Communication revolution or evolution?’ Bell Labs Technical
Journal, 13 (2), 13-17. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, Accessed on 6th November 2010.
The Day Writer. (2009). ‘Social Interaction: Cyberspace Vs face to Face. Retrieved from:
http://thedaywriter.blogspot.com/2009/02/social-interaction-cyberspace-vs-face.html, Accessed, 6th November