Users, Effect on Users and the Factors Associated With Social Networking Introduction

Wikipedia states that a social network is ³A social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations) that are tied by one or more specific types of relations«´ [1]. With the rapid growth of people who use or have access to the Internet, social networking websites are a must for the Internet community to stay in touch with each other. Social networking web sites help people keep in touch with old friends make new friends; distribute new data or product, and many more aspects of our everyday lives. The first official social networking web site was Classmates.com which was founded in 1995 [5]. What followed was a slow but steady growth in numbers of social networking websites to the overwhelming number of sites we have today. The reason that social networking websites work so well is that, like their inception, they start of small and then grow exponentially. The site starts off with a few people who then tell their friends about the site, then those friends tell their friends about the site and soon the site is a huge database of users connected by friends, acquaintances, or just random people. The web sites are made to ³Allow users to create a "profile" describing themselves and to exchange public or private messages and list other users or groups they are connected to in some way.´ Most social networking websites are often designed to fit a certain type of community such as the college community being mirrored by Facebook.com or a music/party community mirrored by MySpace.com. With the rapid growth of social networking web sites and their global scale usage, whatever one feels concerning social networking web sites is irrelevant because social networking web sites are on a popularity rise and are here to stay.

Social Network Sites (SNS) Definition
We define 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.

profiles on Orkut or hi5. their backbone consists of visible profiles that display an articulated list of Friends who are also users of the system. nor is it what differentiates them from other forms of computer-mediated communication. unless a profile owner has decided to deny permission to those in their network. participants are not necessarily ³networking" or looking to meet new people. we label them "social network sites. To emphasize this articulated social network as a critical organizing feature of these sites. often between strangers.com are crawled by search engines. an individual is asked to fill out forms containing a series of questions. the term ³social networking sites" also appears in public discourse. such as Facebook. Some sites allow users to enhance their profiles by adding multimedia content or modifying their profile's look and feel. By default. it is not the primary practice on many of them. they are primarily communicating with people who are already a part of their extended social network. What makes social network sites unique is not that they allow individuals to meet strangers. The profile is generated using the answers to these questions." Facebook takes a different approach by default. This can result in connections between individuals that would not otherwise be made. users who are part of the same "network" can view each other's profiles." How Does Social Network Sites (SNS) Work While SNSs have implemented a wide variety of technical features. . sites like MySpace allow users to choose whether they want their profile to be public or ³Friends only. and these meetings are frequently between "latent ties" [4] who share some offline connection. allow users to add modules ("Applications") that enhance their profile. regardless of whether or not the viewer has an account. location. instead. and an "about me" section. Alternatively. On many of the large SNSs. After joining an SNS. Others.While we use the term "social network site" to describe this phenomenon. Structural variations around visibility and access are one of the primary ways that SNSs differentiate themselves from each other. but rather that they enable users to articulate and make visible their social networks. Profiles are unique pages where one can type oneself into being. and the two terms are often used interchangeably. making them visible to anyone. which typically include descriptors such as age. "Networking" emphasizes relationship initiation. interests. Most sites also encourage users to upload a profile photo. The visibility of a profile varies by site and according to user discretion. While networking is possible on these sites. but that is often not the goal.

There are mobile-specific SNSs (e. comments. The Friends list contains links to each Friend's profile. Some sites are designed with specific ethnic. others have built-in bogging and instant messaging technology. This feature typically involves leaving "comments. was launched in the United States with an English-only interface. Friends. but some webbased SNSs also support limited mobile interactions (e. The public display of connections is a crucial component of SNSs. they are not universally available." but many sites call these Friends as well. There are even SNSs for dogs (Dogster) and cats (Catster). These one-directional ties are sometimes labeled as "Fans" or "Followers. Most SNSs also provide a mechanism for users to leave messages on their Friends' profiles. The label for these relationships differs depending on the site popular terms include "Friends. even if that was not the intention of the designers. sexual orientation. In addition. Many SNSs target people from specific geographical regions or linguistic groups." "Contacts. and Cyworld). SNSs vary greatly in their features and user base.g. for example. Dodgeball). On most sites. Facebook. or other identity-driven categories in mind. and the reasons people connect are varied [3]. because the connection does not necessarily mean friendship in the everyday vernacular sense. political. the list of Friends is visible to anyone who is permitted to view the profile. enabling viewers to traverse the network graph by clicking through the Friends lists... Some have photo-sharing or video-sharing capabilities.After joining a social network site. although their owners must manage their profiles. or other factors that typically segment society." and "Fans. Effect on Users and the Factors Associated With Social Networking ." although sites employ various labels for this feature. but some do not. religious. although this does not always determine the site's constituency. Orkut. Beyond profiles. While both private messages and comments are popular on most of the major SNSs. While SNSs are often designed to be widely accessible. users are prompted to identify others in the system with whom they have a relationship. educational level. but Portuguese-speaking Brazilians quickly became the dominant user group. MySpace. SNSs often have a private messaging feature similar to web mail. although there are exceptions. many attract homogeneous populations initially. The term "Friends" can be misleading. age.g. ³Most SNSs require bi-directional confirmation for Friendship. and private messaging. so it is not uncommon to find groups using sites to segregate themselves by nationality.

they are good. For the sake of numbers. tradition and providing us the opportunity for cultural synthesis. freedom to pick and choose them as our friend. without hesitation. I must reiterate that. This way it adds negatively to sociopsychological behavior of the human being. Also. This proves that e-world is taking its toll over the real world. there is a chance of its misuse. We have freedom to categorize them. in today¶s fast world. cultural. so that. in future we do not regret it. knowing them. we do not actually meet them. Moreover. In the end. Social values are vanishing. national. social boundaries for making friends. we have heard of numerous abuses on these sites like morphing of photographs etc. the above said depicts only one side of the coin. Also. information posted should be authentic. these virtual friends provide us with a platform where we can. The numbers of users is on the rise. sharing moments etc. Indeed. but we should take personal care that these sites should be used judiciously. chatting. but in reality they are devoid of good friends. This again. hi5 etc. we must be vigilant that e-world cannot be a substitute for the real world. they have lots of friends. Flickr. understanding their culture. The people are getting secluded. Facebook. These social networking sites create a virtual world with the opportunities for making friends. . In the past. LinkedIn. We see variety of people on these sites. which otherwise we would not have discussed face to face. we have paucity of time. these sites furnish us with flexibility of time. The people are getting addicted to these sites day-byday. Nevertheless. we need to learn to respect the real people and real life. However. If we are surfing on these social networking sites and putting our personal details on it. We can contact our friends at our convenience and vice-versa. Also. But there is a big difference. affects human behavior. Finally. So. most of the information put on the social networking sites is fake. we are flooded with numerous social networking sites on the Internet like Orkut. share our feelings.Today. People are becoming individualistic. concocted or half truths. we must not develop this opinion that social networking sites are inherently not good. so that it becomes a source of awareness not sensation. While going through these information we feel annoyed on one hand and also develop the same habit of posting misleading information on the other. We should post relevant information only and not very personal ones. as we do in our real life. these sites breach the regional.

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