Inclination of youth towards social networking sites: a three-nation exploration.

Introduction There is a growing usage of internet all over the world. According to ComScore Networks, seven hundred and thirteen million people ages fifteen and older (representing fourteen percent of the global population) used the Internet in June 2006 (Lipsman, 2006, cited in Hinduja and Patchin, 2001: 126). Within the user groups there is a growing population engaging in social networking sites. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Social networking sites being a fairly recent development have become a dynamic communication tool mainly popular among youth. Considering this perspective, the study explores the concept of social networking sites and its usage pattern among youth of three different nations: India, Nepal and Maldives. 1.1 Social Networking Sites Ads by GooglePowerPoint guides Get free help guides for PowerPoint. Register now!

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The popularity of social networking sites are growing day by day and now it has become a revolutionized way of communication among youth. In a recent study it was mentioned that 'one hundred million people have joined the cyber socializing revolution in 2006' (, accessed on 22 July 2008). Social networking sites have been defined in several literatures. An internet-based social network can accordingly be considered a virtual community, consisting of characteristics such as: 'using common language and ease of communication; public space; common interests, values, and goals, persistence of common meaning; use of information technology for interaction, not physical space; overcoming time and space barriers; and using digitized identities as a substitute for physical being' (Wang and Chen, 2004, p. 4). Similarly it has been defined 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' (Boyd and Ellison, 2007, Many social networking sites has emerged over the years, refer to the depiction provided below. World's top five social networking sites with countries where they are most popular include Facebook (U.S., Canada, U.K.), Hi5 (Peru, Thailand, Dominican Republic), Orkut (Brazil, India, U.S.), Myspace (U.S., U.K., France), Friendster (Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore) Forward2, 2008, p18). These sites allow users to create their page, add friends and communicate with them by comment posted on their respective pages. Users are able to build a network of connections that they can display as a list of friends. [FIGURE 1 OMITTED] The rapid growth of social networking sites during the last four years projected that they have successfully created a virtual relationship among youth ages thirteen to twenty two (Raskin, 2006, 56). However, other researchers describe the virtual relationship among youth from eighteen to thirty five.

* To analyze the pattern of usage of some of the existing social networking sites. Boyd (2007) argued that the reason why the youths joined these sites are deeply rooted in how the social networking sites support sociality amongstpreexisting friend groups.1 Reasons Behind Users' Interest to Join Social Networking Sites and Their Expectations From Those Sites Surveys on use of social networking sites indicate that people join and partake in social networking websites for various reasons.with at least 10 million visitors worldwide . Further to add to the growing appeal of social networking sites among youth. While socializing drives certain kinds of engagement with the sites. According to Madhavan (2007). Hence. make new friends. or flirt with someone (Lenhart and Madden. Literature Review The literature review given below focuses on different research studies done in the past in the relevant area. The present study also exhibited that the reasons for youth to join social networking sites as similar appeal as identified in the existing literature. * To investigate the advantages and disadvantages that users' are getting.7). For our research. 2. 2007.nation study with stated objectives. make plans with friends. Some of the major reasons to join the sites being "ease of . The study showed that Friendster gained traction in the Pacific Islands. They are interested to know why youth are joining these sites. cited in Gangadharbatla. We also noticed from our pre pilot study that students from all three nations have identified sites that are general in nature . The youth generally had more time to spend on these sites and tended to be more experimental in how they used them and what they posted in the sites. Most of the existing studies related with this area are confined to western world. The literature review has been divided into three main sections based on the main three objectives of the study. a study by Andrew Lipsman (2007) reported that literally hundreds of millions of people around the world are visiting social networking sites each month and many are doing so on a daily basis. The proposed study will be based on findings of a three. while MySpace attracted the majority of media attention in the USA and other European countries. This would indicate that use of social networking sites is not a fad but rather an activity that is being woven into the very fabric of the global Internet.Social networking sites and their relation with youth has become an area of growing interest for researchers. Refer to Table 1 below for worldwide growth of usage of some key social networking sites: Similarly. Bebo and MySpace). 2007. this study will add value and provide scope for further research possibilities in respective nations. Nepal and Maldives.2 Objectives * To explore and identify the reasons behind users' interest to join a social networking site * To assess user expectations from social networking sites. 1. such as to stay in touch with friends. a study published by Ofcom (2008) reflected that younger users said they preferred social networking sites which offered simplicity. Moreover. visual fun and entertainment (e. Orkut became the premier social networking site in Brazil before growing rapidly in India.g. the high incidence of teens with Internet access at home offers another plausible explanation for the long hours they spend in the sites. we have selected popular sites on the basis of our pre-pilot study with young students in India. a number of social networking sites were also proliferating and growing popular in other parts of the world.

and high school social capital. 2006) that describe the lives of youth as being "media saturated. Usher. Steinfield. and consistently documents users' differences in online communication (Raacke and Bonds-Raache. 2. 2006c.keeping in contact with friends and reaching many people at the same time. planned school shootings (ABC News. such as in a shared class at school. 2006). The above statement can be further strengthened by a study carried out by Kaiser Family Foundation (Roberts. Also. Besides being extremely popular among college students. According to Hinduja and Patchin (2008. 2006). Marvez and Beck. cyber bullying. corporate and social/individual 'threats' raised by social networking sites. personal style. as opposed to meeting new people. 2006). hate crimes (Edds. 169). and Lamp (2006. Steinfield. alc ohol and drug ab use (Associated Press. 2006b). 2006). They describe the threats in technological terms and raise the issue of the difficulty of deleting entries. The facts equally evident from our pre-pilot study (refer to the table below) which reflected that the social networking sites help the users to keep in touch with their friends circle to satisfy their need to be together and socialize. and audio with relative ease. 2. meeting new people. for example. quizzes and virtual gift giving. bridging. the sites enable the users to post and link to pictures. cited in Nyland. Ellison. To name a few. 130). Moreover. keeping up with favourite bands. and while engaged in multiple other online tasks. 2008. cited in Nyland. his or her interests. social networking sites have also contributed to fulfill the users' social needs.1 Advantages Users of social networking sites are aware of various advantages associated with these sites. social networking sites are not completely free from disadvantages. Nepal and Maldives. and Miller. Research has shown that online communication fosters relationship building. Above mentioned evidences are further supported by our pre-pilot study." The available research put forward the view that most social networking sites primarily support preexisting social relations. affiliations. These relationships may be weak ties. And. videos. improving communication between parties. ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency) outlines a series of commercial. They readily accept that these sites are the means of communication and connection with one another. Lawhon. Marvez and Beck. one of the main objectives of the present study is to identify various advantages as well as disadvantages of these sites among the youth of India. but typically there is some common offline element among individuals who befriend one another. the communication features within the sites facilitate expedient interaction among a population who wants to receive or send information quickly. 2006) found that youths who intensely used social networking sites reported higher levels of bonding. social networking sites also provide a variety of services. In addition to the advantages explained above.2. and Lampe (2007) suggest that Facebook is used to maintain existing offline relationships or solidify offline connections. Ellison. identity theft as well as cyberstalking. Foehr and Rideout.2 Disadvantages With presence of number of advantages. 2006. likes and dislikes.2.2 Advantages and disadvantages A Number of existing studies have exhibited the advantage and disadvantage of use of social networking sites. adding applications such as games." They are exposed to multiple sources of media at once. they allow any individual to quickly and easily post a web page that serves as a digital representation of one's self. where the majority of the respondents indicated several reasons for their of interest into joining social networking sites as given in the following section: 2. suicide (Associated Press. Usher. 2005. For this reason they have been dubbed by the Foundation as "The Multi-tasking generation". planned or executed bombings (USA Today. and even .

Refer to the table below for more detail result of pre-pilot study. A recent survey from Get Safe Online found that "Over 10. A view on statistics released by Audit Bureau of Circulation revealed that Teen Magazines sector has experienced a decline in sales by 8. 'Social networking is what being a teenager is about." (National Catholic Reporter. technology is a tool. To sum up . Further.1 Data collection Data collection process started with a pre-pilot study to gather a basic understanding about the subject matter and social networking sites.8 million people across UK are registered to a social networking site. Pre-pilot study included open-ended questions about inclination of youth towards social networking sites and it was collected through email from fifteen respondents. Analyst states that the decline has resulted in the impact of the internet and the popularity of social networking sites (U.murder (Hoover. Nov. Hi5. 'email surveys is quicker turnaround than the postal or face-toface questionnaire. Using the design instrument (as the basis for primary data collection) and other secondary data the complete data set for the study was generated. 2006)." The research also found that 13 percent of social networkers have posted information or photos of other people online without their consent. one in four have posted confidential or personal information such as their phone number. church and culture and director of the Tennent School of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary. Livingstone (2008) mentioned social networking as a time-wasting and sociallyisolating activity . Firstly. Our pre-pilot study also clearly stated that for majority of students using social networking sites was much more than just a functional activity. the study exhibited that many users of Myspace seem to be closing their accounts because they feel that they aren't receiving enough face-to-face interaction. thus raising data quality by securing timely data' (Fielding et al." said Kenda Creasy Dean. research by Whitefield and Jennifer. on their online profile. technology is the air they breathe. The pre-pilot study indicated that students from all three nations preferred common sites with at least ten million visitors world-wide. or that the interaction that they have online isn't as meaningful. Secondly. Further stressing on disadvantage of use of these sites.K. Facebook. It's social glue. 3. Nepal and Maldives. this trend is strongest amongst younger users. The primary data used was are collected based on self-administered questionnaire through email from the selected respondents from India. with twenty seven percent of eighteen to twenty four year-olds admitting that they have posted information. This method of data collection was chosen for two reasons. "For people my age [in their forties]. address or email. Prior use of the survey instrument for the final study. social networking sites.7 percent. photos of other people without their consent online. The pre-pilot study itself helped in designing the research questionnaire for this study. the survey is about online social networking sites users. so the researchers implied that all respondents are internet savvy. Friendster and Orkut. For kids. 2008: 89) Secondary data was obtained through published and non-published material mainly from online journals. Feb 2008). validity check of the questionnaire was carried out and expert views were incorporated to improve the design of the survey instrument. associate professor of youth. Meanwhile. Of these. a study by Noguchi (2006) suggested that time spent by people on social networking sites only contributes to their workload. they are Myspace. making them vulnerable to identity fraud. adding to the disadvantage of use of social networking sites. Methodology 3. 2006).2 Sample . books and informal interactions with the users. According to the study. The study also suggested that at worst it allows paedophiles to groomlure children in their bedroom or sees teenagers lured into suicide pacts while parents think they are doing their homework.

the first attempt was made to identify the hours spent on social networking sites. As shown below. the following results emerged. High percentage of respondents from all three nations opined social networking sites as important. ease of use of social networking sites. Age wise distribution suggested that ninteen percent respondents are from seventeen to twenty two age groups. The charts below illustrates the usage patterns of five social networking sites in three countries. sixty nine percent from twenty three to twenty seven age groups and remaining twelve percent from twenty eight to thirty two age groups. Orkut. From the pre-pilot and the main survey 5 popular social networking sites (Facebook. The importance itself supported by the number of social networking youth is using.2 percent female (thirty four female). rating for importance is similar in the three countries. Friendster and Myspace) appears in the three countries. both male and female with age group ranging from seventeen to thirty two years. Nepal and Maldives population. Even though Maldivian youth spend longer hours on social networking sites. The chart illustrated Maldivian youth spending more hours on social networking sites in comparison to India and Nepal. thirty three percent of the respondents spend one to two hours on social networking sites. 4. one-way ANOVA and Factor-Analysis.2 Mean Comparison and ANOVA Based on the general findings (4. For the purpose the study the data was collected from ninety respondents equally distributed among three countries. India. Of the eighty nine participants surveyed. literacy rate and age structure is depicted in the table below: Non-probability convenience sampling was used to choose the institutes and the respondents. [FIGURE 2 OMITTED] When the hours spent on social networking sites were compared in terms of nations. Reasons to Join Social Networking Sites . for the purpose of analysis eighty nine responses were considered. the sample constituted of 61. The survey was carried out online and the survey forms were sent to different institutes of the respective countries.1) the mean comparisons was conducted to determine reasons to join social networking sites. Hi5.8 percent male (55 male) and 38.The sample was selected because the three researchers involved in this study belonged to the referred three countries. using Excel and SPSS package mainly concentrate on mean comparison. whereas thirteen percent spent two-three hours. The results obtained from analysis. However. All the respondents were graduate and postgraduate students. Analysis and Findings This section is organized according to the results pertaining to the participants who are the users of social networking sites. As evident.1 General Analysis As the research objective focused on the use of social networking sites and youth inclination toward the social networking sites. from the chart below thirty three percent youth have five social networking sites. expectation on the use of social networking sites and disadvantages of social networking sites with respect to nationality. gender and age. 4.

023).The popular reasons to join social networking sites were identified through mean comparison. Similarly. Further in case of Maldives. Regardless of the commonalities certain differences exists in the case of Maldives which could be argued I terms of cultural differences.09. Though 'entertain myself'. Indian male and female considered 'reconnecting with old friend(s) who have lost contact' as most important reason to join social networking sites with mean 4.047). For the Maldivian male and female 'personalising ones profile' was considered as the . 'adding/removing pictures' were the most common variables in terms of user friendliness and ease of use with regard to all three nations. with mean 4.29. comparing Maldivian males. whereas for Indian males the same is the most relevant feature with lesser mean 4. Nepalese male are interested to 'reconnect with old friends (Mean =4.44 along with 'adding/removing picture' with the same mean. than 'adding/removing pictures'.002) 'entertain myself' (P=. From the comparison it is visible that Nepalese female.32). 'ease to register' with mean equal to 4. However. 'make new friends' (P=. for Maldivian males and females the preferred reasons to join social networking sites where 'communicating with friends'.32.001) differences exists. Interesting to add that Nepalese male gave second priority to 'blocking unwanted users'. Researchers' wanted to see whether there is any difference between Indian.56 and 4. Ease of Use of Social Networking Sites With respect to ease to join social networking sites Indian females preferred 'changing themes' (mean =4.62). 'leisure/ time pass' and 'making new friends' were common in all three countries.037). and 'ease of access to friends and family' both with the mean of 4. In addition. For further explanation. In case of Indian male 'ease of access to friends and family' which was the second important variable for Indian females considered to be most important variable here with the mean of 4. It is evident from the table that in case of 'entertain myself' (P=.08.07) which was the most relevant feature in case of Nepalese male.027).014).25 followed by 'adding and removing pictures' and 'removing items or posts' both with the mean of 4. Nepalese and Maldivian youths' in terms of reasons to join social networking sites.026). In case of Nepalese female users 'block unwanted users' emerges as the most relevant feature followed by 'sharing picture' (mean 4.79 for Nepalese female. Thus.50). 4.013) were different.45 for Indian male and 5 for Indian female. In case of Nepalese females 'ease of access to friends and family'. it can be inferred that there are common reasons for which youth of three countries are joining social networking sites. In case of Maldivian female totally different results emerged from the descriptive analysis. Maldivian males rated 'reconnecting with old friend(s) who have lost contact' as high priority reason with equal mean as 'communicating with friends' dimension.27 mean.33 was the most important variable followed by 'ease of access to friends and family' with 4. it is evident that 'ease of access to friends and family' again got the highest priority with a mean of 4.33) and 'communicate with friends' (Mean =4. 'business purpose' (P=.036) and 'removing items' (with P=. in case of Maldivian female users 'ease of access to friends and family' were found to be most important with the mean of 4.005).92 respectively. In addition. and 'make new friends' (P=. Whereas.14 were found to be important. From the above analysis we may infer that 'ease of access to friends and family'.032) and 'educational purpose' (P=. one-way ANOVA has been conducted for each of the items (reasons). in comparison to other two countries some interesting results evolved which reflected that 'communicating with family' (P=. 'leisure/ time pass' (p=.38. Similarly when researchers compared Nepal with other two countries 'leisure/time pass' (P=.000) and 'exploring the possibility of future relationships' (P=.004) were found to be different from the other two countries. As ANOVA analysis suggested that Maldivian users in comparison to other nation users have different opinion regarding 'ease to register' (with P=. Likewise. Features Relevance and Expectation on the Use of Social Networking Sites Descriptive statistics for the features relevance and expectations represents that for Indian females 'scrapping/ message posting' is the most relevant feature (mean= 4. 'share videos/pictures/ music' (P=. to this Indian male also give higher priority to 'block unwanted users' (mean= 4. In case of Nepalese male users 'ease to register' with mean 4.33). 'communicating with friends' (P=. followed by 'adding or removing pictures' with mean 4.14. followed by 'ease to register' with a mean of 4.

the interaction between nationality and gender was insignificant. a percentage analysis has been carried out to find out the disadvantages of social networking sites (see chart below). [FIGURE 11 OMITTED] Apart from the above mentioned analysis. However. It is also useful to note seventy five percent of the variance in 'communicate with friends' is explained by the extracted factors. Fstatistics for gender was 0. in case of Indian youth. .20). 'lack of face-toface interaction' showed significant result (p = 0. however Maldivian respondents as in the earlier case. Similarly. in this case. the stated disadvantages are felt to a lesser extent by the other two countries. the null hypothesis (nationality and gender have no relation on number of friends at social networking sites) was partially supported.521. the Indian youth reflected disadvantage in terms of 'time consumption' and 'addiction'.001).000) and 'ground for sexual predators' (p = 0. Therefore. all three nation users (including both female and male) considered social networking sites as an 'addiction'. Nepalese male considered this as the most disadvantageous (mean =3.415 which was insignificant as p value was equal to 0. However. Nepalese females also reflected that using social networking sites create a 'lack of face-to -face interaction' which is the second disadvantage for them. 4. ANOVA results for assessing feature relevancy and nationality showed no difference between Indian and Nepalese users opinion. Analysis of variance in terms of expectations from social networking sites in future with nationality and gender suggested that in case of 'diverse applications' (P=. depicted different opinion regarding 'sharing videos' (P=. ease to join and disadvantages. for Nepalese users (mean =3. The lowest score illustrative from the chart (for all the three countries) lies in cyberbullying.034) were significant at 0.70).1 Factor Analysis Factor Analysis has been carried out to find out the underlying dimensions for reasons to join social networking sites. To substantiate the above results. Also. two-way ANOVA was carried out taking age and gender as the independent variable to find out the effect of social networking site on the number of friends. for Maldivian youth 'time consuming' (p = 0. one-way ANOVA was conducted to evaluate each disadvantage item with respect to three nations separately.05. For Nepalese users 'time consuming' (p = 0. The following results from factor analysis throws light on above mentioned aspects.76) and Maldivian users (mean= 4. Social networking site drawbacks greatly felt by Maldivian youth include 'time consumption'.001) and 'lack of face-to-face interaction' (p = 0.862 which was significant at p<0. For Indian users 'addiction' (with mean 3. In addition.019). The results showed that F-statistics corresponding to nationality was 8.006) was significant at 95 percent of confidence level. Likewise.001.0). Nepalese youth perspective in terms of disadvantage is reflective from 'addiction' and 'lack of face-to face interaction'.67) for both. For Maldivian females 'lack of face-to-face interaction' emerged as highly disadvantageous. Reasons to Join Social Networking Sites Communalities Table-VI explains the extraction communalities which are useful as these are obtained using the extracted factors.006) and 'personalising ones profile' (p=. Disadvantages of Using Social Networking Sites Regarding the disadvantages.most relevant feature (mean= 4. In the present research seventy nine percent of the variance in 'Entertain myself' is explained by the extracted factors.046) Maldivian youth has different expectations about this. 'addiction' and 'lack of face-to-face interaction'.

Above mentioned rotation table represents that 'find information'.22 percent of the variance. and family' can be grouped together as second factor namely 'access ease'. Results obtained from the factor analysis are supported by the following qualitative research analysis. 'entertaining'. 'leisure/timepass'. 'lack of face-to-face interaction' and 'cyberstalking'. 'ease to access to friends. 'make new friends' are part of one factor. Total variance explained can be seen in the following table. It is also useful to note 71. lastly. four factors can explain the 64. And. It is clear that 'communicate with family'. In the present research eighty two percent of the variance in 'cyberbullying' is explained by the extracted factors. Similarly the variables: 'ground for sexual predators'. namely 'addiction'. It is also important to note that out of six variables. Thus. and 'convenience' can be grouped as one factor. two factors can explain the 63. 'can edit privacy settings' and 'remove items/posts' can be grouped together as one factor namely 'personal posting ease'. Disadvantages of Using Social Networking Sites Communalities Table-XII explains the extraction communalities which are useful as these are obtained using the extracted factors.It is also important to note that out of thirteen variables.4 percent of the variance in 'ground for sexual predators' and 'cyberstalking' is explained by the extracted factors.1 percent of the variance in 'remove items/posts' is explained by the extracted factors. It is also useful to note 80. 'ease to register'.30 percent of the variance. Similarly.8 percent and 71. Similarly. 'add/remove pictures'. variables like 'business purpose'. 'valuable' and 'features ease'. Third factor consisted of 'change themes' and 'create something of my own' variable which can be named as 'creativity'. Above table clearly depicts that with the help of factor analysis researchers are able to find out the underlying following four dimensions. It is clear that 'time consuming' and 'addiction' has similar factor loading can be grouped together as one factor. Ease of use of Social Networking Sites Communalities Table-IX explains the extraction communalities which are useful as these are obtained using the extracted factors. Further. 'entertain oneself'.4 Comments on Actual Gains From Social Networking Sites Upon asking about the actual gains from using social networking sites from the respondents in the form . 'share video/ pictures/music'. researchers can infer that broad reasons of respondents' inclination towards social networking sites are 'communication purpose'.3 percent of the variance in 'ease to register' is explained by the extracted factors. From the above table it is clear that three variables are explaining the sixty nine percent of variance with Eigen value more than 1. In the present research 82. Table-XIV clearly depicts that with the help of factor analysis researchers are able to find out the underlying two dimensions. 'educational purpose' and 'keep up to date with social happenings/events' can be a part of one factor. 4. 'communicate with friends' and 'reconnect with old friends' which has similar factor loading can be grouped together as one factor. can be grouped as one factor namely 'cyber harassment'. 'cyberbullying'. It is important to note from the table that two variables have Eigen value of more than 1. 'explore possibility of a future relationship'. It is important to note from the table that four variables have Eigen value of more than 1.

And to get that we keep on adding to people that we do not know. disadvantages and usage pattern of using social networking sites by youth of the three nations. Analysis of those responses suggested that most of the respondents considered social networking sites as a platform for meeting especially old friends and on linkedin. And in doing that we learn how to mix up/socialize with people of different age and background. their updates on home page provides easy way of getting updated. I generally use social networking for having an insight to people who have made this world a better place to live by their innovation or ideas. "I rather then wasting time on making useless friends. videos and up-to-date themselves with the happenings in their respective communities. It is also reflective to note that India and Nepal share commonalities across various variables. It is evident that most of the respondents see social networking sites as a communication channel connecting their friends and families. Some of them expressed that they were very selective in making friends. music. For example I met CEO of mouthshut." Most of them felt that it is also a discussion gateway in the form of community or cricbuzz. I know my family and friends are just a click away and I don't feel so out of touch either. the analysis done with the help of statistical tools clearly indicate the reasons. Among the five selected social networking sites Orkut considered most popular site in India. "It is a medium of advertising and promoting one-self in order to gain 'popularity' which are measured by i) the number of friends that I have in the friends list ii) my profile settings and. Secondly. He also does social activities in Mumbai currently helping the poor. Best of all." One respondent opined that. some also felt this as an enhancing knowledge and as a mean to share ideas. Easy mode of Sharing pictures and friends commenting on pics without any difficulty is really awesome". Cricket updates are faster than while Facebook appeared as most popular in Nepal and Maldives. Analysis shows that youth use social networking sites as a discussion platform to talk about their interest. ANOVA and factor analysis including open-ended question analysis reflects that youth from all three nations joins social networking sites to communicate with their friends/family and reconnect with old friends.of open-ended question. According to one respondent. Some of the respondents expressed that these kinds of sites gave a platform for branding oneself. iii) my photos and my themes. According to one respondent.5 Findings and Summary Thus. respondents expressed their opinions freely. One expressed that. keeping in touch with all friends. "lot of interaction with people from different parts of world improves knowledge of human culture. expectations and disadvantages with regard to social networking sites. However. Results from mean comparison." Most of the respondents reflected that using social networking sites is fun and entertaining activity which helps in time pass. At the same time many of them felt that it is an addiction. work on meeting great people who are achievers and influence my life and motivate me to do the same. "Now. I get to see their and their children's pictures and videos. communities provide good platform for discussing topics extensively. 4. qualities that we do not possesses and groups that we do not belong to. In this research researchers have focused on respondents from three nations . advantages. Many of them felt that these social networking sites are good public relation media. sharing picture. No NEED to go to friend's page and check for updates n and was shocked to know that he started this site at a very young age and it was an idea which he put to work so efficiently. The analysis with findings indicated the reasons of joining. whereas Maldives displayed distinct results majority of the cases. Results communicated that youth from all three nations felt that using social networking sites is an addiction and this leads to them to spend more than 2hours daily.

. R. 31: 125-146. B. * Raache. MA: MIT Press. 11 (2): 1-7. and Raache. MySpace and Facebook: Applying the Uses and Gratifications Theory to Exploring Friend-Networking Sites. Steinfield. Cyber Psychology and Behavior. Paper Presented at the AEJMC Midwinter Conference.hindustantimes.html . and Lampe. The Benefits of Facebook "Friends": Exploring the Relationship Between College Students' Use of Online Social Networks and Social Capital. N.cia. enisa_pp_social_networks. Feb 2324. * Gangadharbatla. J. (2008). and Lee." MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning--Youth. Quarter 1. * http://www.ofcom. July 6).pdf * http://www. (2008). article 1. (2006). J. J.. Taking Risky Opportunities in Youthful Content Creation: Teenagers' use of Social Networking sites for Intimacy.europa. Thr Cromwell Press. Personal Information of Adolescents on the Internet: A quantitative content analysis of MySpace. Reno. Beck. Young Consumers.. * Raskin. Researchers hope that the study carried out about exploring the inclination of youth towards social networking sites will help in building an understanding for future investigations of issues surrounding social network R. (2007. Need to Belong.comscore. Great Britain. (2007). * Ellison. There is further scope to be this type of exploration to be carried out on other socio cultural contextsexplored. S.indiana. print/np. Sage Publications. D. (2008). 10: 393-411. Wiltshire. Facebook Faces its Future.. Social Networking Profiles: An Examination of Student Attitudes Regarding Use and Appropriateness of Content. * Hinduja. (2007) "Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication..getsafeonline. [Retrieved from http:// www. Cyber Psychology and Behavior... and Karl.html].respondents only. Journal of Interactive Advertising. Online Research Methods.].W. [Retrieved from www. * Livingstone. N. privacy and self-expression. [Retrieved from http://jcmc. M. * Fielding. * * http://www.. * Madhavan. Major Social Networking Sites Substantially Expanded Their Global Visitor Base during Past Year. (2007). Identity. and Digital Media Volume (ed. Methodologically researchers' ability to make causal claims is limited by a lack of experimental or longitudinal studies and limited sample size. Facebook Me: Collective Self-Esteem. (2008). and Internet SelfEfficacy as Predictors of the iGeneration's Attitudes toward Social Networking Sites. 1-29. Nevada. Marvez. References * Boyd.cfm?a_id=1469 * https://www. David Buckingham). K.aspx? id=f2565bb8-663e-48c1-94ee-d99567577bdd] * Nyland. (2008). Hindustan Times.. R. (2007). C. Journal ofAdolescence. 11 (1): 1-4. R.. J. New Media Society. and Patchin. 12 (3). India Gets More Net Cool. Cambridge. Inc (2007). * Comscore.

2008 Table-II Population. Jyoti Regmi Adhikary Assistant Professor. Republic of Maldives. features relevance and disadvantages from social networking sites. Literary Rate and Age Structure in The Three Nations Country Gender Literacy rate India Male 73. The paper also examines the usage pattern and prevailing popular social networking sites in these nations.588 14. Kathmandu University School of Management. Age 15+ Social Networking SiteTotal UniqueVisitors (000) Jun-06 MySpace Facebook His IOrkut Friendster 66. accessed on 22 July.167 28.174 It also explored and identified the reasons behind users' interest to join and their expectations.675 % Growth 72 270 58 78 65 Source: www. Nepal and Maldives about inclination of youth towards social networking sites.4 percent Female . Maldives College of Higher Education.Dr.comScore. Fathimath Shiraani Assistant Lecturer. Divya Singhal Assistant Professor. Goa Institute of Management Goa. The present paper provides an exploration of three nations comprising. Nepal.083 18.147 52.401 14.098 13. India.917 Jun-07 114.120 24. Table-I Worldwide growth of usage of some key social networking sites Worldwide Growth of Selected Social Networking Sites--Total Worldwide Home/Work Locations Among Internet User.

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