Popularity Social Networking Sites Facebook Myspace Twitter  Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

popularity social networking sites Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Skype grown phenomenally years. Social networking a feature life 21st century phenomenally reshaping people connect interact .

Only a few decades ago, the basic means for communication were mobile phones, letters, e-mails and direct interaction. Presently, the general scope of human communication has evolved to text messages, voice messages, online video phones, and, most importantly, a plethora of social media installments. With the ongoing development of the Information Age, characterized by the ability to easily access and exchange information through technology, people's options of interaction with one another have continued to advance. This work's purpose is to outline how social networks have completely changed and enhanced the way people communicate, with a special focus on relational, educational and health-care benefits.

Friendship bonds could be considerably strengthened by an online social platform. Due to the fact that Internet sites, such as America Online or Facebook, encourage groups of users to connect with other groups, people are able to engage in group forming activities that are similar with face-to-face groups. To illustrate this tendency, a 2006 study revealed that 43% of the Internet-using subjects who are part of online communities feel as strongly about them as they do about their real-life equivalents (Giffords, 2009). Moreover, it is believed that individuals may, when using social networking, be more inclined to establish mutually benefiting relationships based on constant support, assistance and flow of information (Giffords, 2009).

To expand on the peer-to-peer relational onset, it was found that benefits of online communication also include enhancement of people's ability to relate to each other, to understand and accept different viewpoints, to thoroughly express thoughts and feelings in an organized, fulfilling way, and to develop critical thinking skills (Hinduja & Patchin, 2008). Another bonus of virtually perceived friendship quality is that social networks increase the possibility to connect with peers, and therefore boost self-esteem together with creating feelings of well-being (Selfhout et al., 2008). In this light, it would be relevant to observe that social networking is an ideal environment to have a good time and share personally significant items, such as stories, music or photos, and maintain a close connection with various friends, regardless of geographic distance.

In addition, other research studies conducted among adolescents seem to indicate that youngsters who initiate virtual bonds of friendship consider them to be as real as their other relationships, deeming them trusting, long-term and very meaningful (Mishna et al., 2009). Even more importantly, it was discovered that socially challenged teens should actually be advised to take advantage of online friendships, because they may act as initial propellers back into a safe and comfortable face-to-face interaction (Wolak et al., 2003). The above-mentioned benefits altogether favor virtually defined interpersonal links, especially in the case of adolescent participants, who are in a stage of exploring their own identity and shaping their social skills.

Concerning romantic relationships, social media may have the potential to broaden the communicational horizon and increase individuals' ability to get acquainted with potential partners from across the world that they may not have met otherwise. For single and searching participants as well as for those that are uncommitted, this is a remarkable advantage, as it opens up numerous dating opportunities with a real person that they can choose out of a vast spectrum. Facebook, for instance, is exponential for this global reach, because it paved the way to connecting with people that one may never otherwise made contact with. Alternatively, OKCupid, eHarmony or other such websites diligently provide manifold options for those looking for the elusive match, and alleviate communication challenges of those who are shy or have trouble making friends so they can relate with more like-minded people.

Besides dating opportunities, social platforms could also portray a bridge between the offline and online worlds for the established partnerships, hence presenting the power to consolidate already existing relationships. Hence, it can be proposed that computer-mediated communication is highly useful for keeping in touch - through Skype, for example -, and makes for a promising alternative to helping relationships grow solid.

Familial relationships have much to gain from expanding in the field of virtual communication, as well. The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication examined computer-mediated communication in households and reached the interesting conclusion that members of the family who communicated in both online and face-to-face forms were able to connect closer than those who did not participate in the online activity (Lee, 2009). Thus, social networks might simply add another dimension to family communication.

Furthermore, computerized mediums of communication are often employed mostly to keep in touch with relatives who are out of reach (Kim et al., 2007). It makes sense that those who are unable to physically congregate have the option to stay connected in a way that could not be achieved with any other communication type. This is a most useful tool for people from many miles apart who can now communicate exactly the same as those who share the same neighborhood. Browsing photos of loved ones or registering status updates on Facebook may even initiate a sense of immediate connection between family members who are physically unavailable, delivering the gift of imagining that they are together rather than a long distance away.

The availability of readily accessible ways to reach estranged relatives is presently accelerating to limitless extents. To prove this point, family members are now capable of forming multiple visual and oral connections at once, as opposed to engaging in a phone call conversation, which offers to connect two individuals at a time, and only in audio. An illustrative example is the Skype platform, which instated the valuable option to video-call in pairs or groups, and for an unlimited amount of time. Needless to re-enforce, this is an admirable technological aid for families that have been separated for given short or long-term reasons, and need to keep in close contact.

A proactive use of social media can endow the educational system with innovative teaching methods and more efficient communication. By constructively relying on social networks, educational experts can interact with each other and with their students in a resourceful and interesting setting that breaks apart from the rigid institutional framework. In this sense, Lucy Harper envisioned four practical ways to improve school communication using social media (2013). Firstly, setting up a Facebook classroom page for the purpose of posting updates, amusing stories and homework assignments online would increase the sense of community, together with minimizing student and parental homework-related discomfort (Harper, 2013). Secondly, Harper contends that Twitter is ideal as assignment, test, supplies, field trip or conference reminder, while also facilitating communication between teachers and parents (Harper, 2013). Thirdly, the author suggests that pinning photographic records of classroom projects and activities on Pinterest would further serve the parent-classroom rapport. As a final recommendation, Lucy Harper introduces the notion of classroom blogging as an ideal medium for the students to organize their thoughts and practice writing skills (Harper, 2013). Overall, it is clearly visible that Harper's model has the potential to approach students in a fresh manner and to insure the transparency of all teaching lessons, thereby confirming social networks' educational value.

Social networks could have a major positive impact on communication pertaining to the health care domain. To begin with, online social communities which unite various ailing patients according to their afflicting backgrounds might promote solidarity and help participants set health goals. Moreover, the broad array of social platforms enables access to and sharing of essential information throughout the American health care system.

Significantly, social networks are likely to have a great influence on the future development of U.S. health care. So far, these virtual mediums are efficiently enabling patients' interconnection which serves to better manage their individual courses of treatment, as well as physicians' availability to…

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