Group Assignment BEL 7084                 Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior

Group Assignment BEL 7084                            Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior


The ...
Group Assignment BEL 7084                             Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior

The main objective of...
Group Assignment BEL 7084                            Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior

First of all, we would...
Group Assignment BEL 7084                            Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior

Despite all these weak...
Group Assignment BEL 7084                           Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior

indeed be used to suppo...
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Social Networking Facebook My Space


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Social Networking Facebook My Space

  1. 1. Group Assignment BEL 7084 Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 1.0 Introduction ……………………………………………… 2 2.0 Objective ………………………………………………. 3 3.0 Strengths ………………………………………………. 3 4.0 Weakness ………………………………………………. 4-5 5.0 Recommendations …………………………………………..5 6.0 Conclusion ……………………..…………………………..6
  2. 2. Group Assignment BEL 7084 Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior 1.0 INTRODUCTION The study on ‘Age Differences In Online Networking – A Study Of User Profiles and Social Capital Divide Among Teenagers And Older Users In MySpace’ explores differences and similarities found in users of social networking sites by examining the content of their profile pages and age. The writers divide their study on two extreme age groups: the older generation ranging from 60 and above and youths between 13 and 19 years of age. A locally produced web crawler program was used to search and process information on the World Wide Web, was utilized as a tool to extract large sets of data from MySpace’s user profile pages. Various analytical techniques were employed to quantify the differences that exist between MySpace friends of older people and teenagers. The focus on content analysis on the other hand was applied to have an in depth knowledge and understanding of age-related disparities concerning the presentation of oneself on their profile pages. In recent years, as technology has expanded, people have started getting connected to one another through sites like MySpace, Facebook, Friendster and LinkedIn. The main purpose for social networking sites as commonly understood is to build groups, friends and community and to share interests, either directly or indirectly. These sites have become very popular and continue to attract large groups of people. Though recent surveys show that Facebook has topped the list of networking sites, has the broadest appeal across age ranges and that is the main reason that the authors have chosen MySpace to primarily concentrate upon. The emergence of large online social networks such as MySpace and Facebook has presented the opportunity to investigate the communication and interaction between people in these sites and how these people behave or portray themselves which all subject to age-related differences in social network structure. Though youngsters catch up on Social Networking Sites (SNS) trends, there is a growing trend for older users to also register with MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster as well. However, there were differences in how older people use the SNSs compared to teenagers. Studies from the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC) also indicated findings that there is a clear difference in the network structure and behavior between teenagers and older people. Therefore the authors’ aims to address the issue by investigating in detail the differences and similarities of older people and teenagers that participate in Their study had detailed out the identified age-related differences via type and number of MySpace friends of general users. The analysis also covers the facilities and media used by both groups of people. In addition the authors have analyzed any age-related differences in the way people represent themselves on MySpace. The findings arrived after compiling a number of profiles collected from MySpace with the help of self made web crawlers. The outcomes of the findings show that the youngsters had a larger group of friends and focuses on their age group or interest group. Where else, the older users had friends ranging to a more diverse age group. 2.0 OBJECTIVE 2
  3. 3. Group Assignment BEL 7084 Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior The main objective of this research is to investigate in how to build and maintain social capital in an offline and online environment by comparing the age differences and similarities with the use of Social Network Sites (SNS) between the two age groups on MySpace. 3.0 STRENGTH It is obvious that a lot of effort has been put into preparing this article. For starters; even though the topic chosen may seem very common they are not many articles or “research” to speak carried out to fully understand of differences of usage by the two distinct groups of people. The writers involved in preparing this article also made a smart move by choosing to base their research on a very popular social networking site. If they were to make the mistake of choosing a less popular site, chances are that the pool of data collected may not have been enough to provide a more “global” perspective. When doing researches on such a big group- social networking sites- regardless of country or continent it is crucial to collect the proper amount of data feeders that will be able to represent a very “global” group. When preparing such articles it is easy to go astray of the topic of this enormity. The beauty of this article is that the writers were very clear of the reasons that have navigated the course of the researches. They remained true to the objective of their research when carrying out their extensive experiments identifying certain patterns of users of different age groups. The beauty of this article is that the findings and/or the data collected via the statistical driven charts can be used and reused by Information Technology professionals when developing a brand new social networking site. The facts and figures collected found in the form of inferences made or statistics that plot the bar graphs found in the article can be used by the Business Analyst when gathering user requirements (the first stage of software development). The data churned out via the extensive research can also be used when current social networks sites are enhanced further to maintain site hits as well as cater to their growing user base. Rather than having to collect the needed data personally from the two user groups, web developers can at least manipulate the data provided via this article to structure a new framework for the current sites. Besides helping lessen the work of Business Analysts in the Information Technology arena. The findings also help to decipher the logics and thought flow of teenagers as well as the people of the older group. By keeping records of the users (their age and gender) using the different types of multimedia widgets provided by these social network sites, provides psychologists, counsellors, parents, and guardians of the respective age groups a snap shot of the users psyche. 4.0 WEAKNESS 3
  4. 4. Group Assignment BEL 7084 Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior First of all, we would like to appreciate the attempt made to study how people from different age group react and behave when it comes to Social Network Sites (SNS). We would like highlight certain weaknesses in this study as we worry it may lead to a baseless conclusion. The analysis was done based on information collected from profiles that users define themselves during their online engagements. Our concern is that, information these profiles contain may be untrue where we have seen many people uploading fake information about themselves online. Concluding on such data may be baseless or irrelevant to knowledge recipients. How this untrue information affects the knowledge seekers? Understanding a typical misinterpretation will answer the question. An elderly online participant may set his profile that resembles to a teenager’s to attract other young online participants. When data collating process was conducted, a profile of such a person may also be taken into account not knowing that this profile reflects a different age category. As such, the reading from such profile will reflect a mature mental state instead of a teenagers’. In such situation, the whole content of the study concludes wrong information therefore passes on the wrong knowledge to the recipients. Apart from that, we also find that the article, even though rich but a less interesting reading material. The method of quoting references here and there ensures the content of the write-up are bona fide, too many references will defeat the ultimate purpose too; to spread the knowledge of the research. Example, the writer quoted from three different references about how older people prefers personal and supportive interaction online (see Page 3. Wright 2000, Pfeil and Zaphiris 2007, and Kanayama 2003) The article also talks about irrelevant subject for their research paper. Example, on page 3, Louis 2004 and Verhaagen 2005, the references are about females tend to participate more in chat rooms than males. Another example, on page 3, Kim and Yun 2007, the reference is about cultural differences in SNS. The writers for this article also tend to criticize other previous articles and research paper for not researching about the differences of age groups in SNS. Example, on page 2, the writers tend to criticize the research done by Ellison et al. 2006 on how undergraduate students in Michigan State University use Facebook. Here the writers appear as if they are more superior to others for researching about the age group in SNS between older people and teenagers. But we feel that the writers had chosen a “wrong” age group, that is 60 years and above. They should have chosen older people in the age group of 40 to 50 years for their research, because not many older people at the age of above 60 use MySpace. The comparison between a large numbers of teenagers with a small number of older people age above 60, is imbalance. Therefore we feel that this article is lacking on information on the older people side. We would like to express our concern when it comes to deciding based on the survey made on only one SNS site, MySpace. We feel that more research should have been conducted to capture the whole SNSs usage pattern to safely fall on a conclusion. 4
  5. 5. Group Assignment BEL 7084 Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior Despite all these weaknesses in the study conducted, we would like to also put forth a drawback in habits among SNS users. A lot of them tend to involve in such sites during the time they should be involved in work. This is not a weakness of the SNSs but the flaw that they may bring to productivity in a work environment. We see such unethical behavior everyday among us and foresee a plague in the future. Nevertheless, it is truly dependant on the users to limit or to know how to manage SNSs usage to progress. 5.0 RECOMMENDATION In the future, researchers can create journals on social networking sites (SNS) just like this one but they can study on the social capital divide between teenagers (age 13 to 19 years old) and older people (age 40 to 50 years old). We are curious to see how professionals at the age of 40 to 50 years old use social networking sites (SNS) for their personal and working matters, or for other reasons. We also recommend writers to collect secondary data rather than just relying on one source of data that is users’ profile on Myspace. The secondary data could be from a multi-choice question survey from ‘real’ people. This is because we can’t fully rely 100% that the data from users’ profile on Myspace is true. Some people like to use social networking sites (SNS) for fun and give fake about their personal data. And other social networking sites (SNS) for serious matters. Example, because Myspace has so many ‘fun’ options on their personal profile page, like you can choose from so many options for your sexual orientation and preference, some people find it amusing and they start to lie and create a ‘new’ profile on themselves, just for fun. In other words, especially teenagers probably use Facebook or Friendster for their serious network of friends and My Space for fun purposes. Therefore we propose that in future journals, researchers should research on a few social networking sites (SNS) for their studies and does not only rely on one social networking site (SNS) for their input. We also would like to recommend that in every social network sites there should be short guideline or simple demo with regards to the use of available media in SNS. As we concern the usage of media among older age less as compare to young age group because it could be lack of proper guide. Some older age groups find it difficult due to complicated features or maybe not user friendly. Therefore, we also propose to give short guidelines and as results, researches can get accurate information for future journals in the usage of media among two age groups in SNS. 6.0 CONCLUSION In a nutshell, online social network sites (SNS) play different roles among all ages. Online interactions do not necessarily remove people from their offline world but may 5
  6. 6. Group Assignment BEL 7084 Article Review: Computers in Human Behavior indeed be used to support relationships and keep people in contact, even when life changes move them away from each other. Social networking sites (SNS) help maintain relations as people move from one offline community to another. It may facilitate the same when students graduate from college, with alumni keeping their school email address and using various available SNSs to stay in touch with the college community. Such connections could have strong payoffs in terms of jobs, internships, and other opportunities. In addition to helping to build and maintain social capital in online environment, the use of technology could support a variety of populations, including professional researchers, neighbourhood and community members, employees of companies, or others who benefit from maintained ties. However, as mentioned we also need to consider the negative aspects from SNSs activity such as misuse the sites just for fun purposes which could give a bad impression towards the new SNSs users in future. In other words, inaccurate information obtained by researcher’s results of fake information from user profiles will give a wrong interpretation and might affect the new users in future from various ways. Therefore, researches always must ensure that all their findings are reliable and accurate to avoid from any fake information. 6