Thursday, May 16, 2019

Effects of Social Networking Sites Essay

As the orbit moves into the second decade of the 21 st century, one of the major markers of this era is the rise and custom of online communities. In r eruptineicular, a paradigm called Web 2.0 describes recent technologies that focus on engagementing mass numbers of individuals into distinct communities over the profit (OReilly, 2007). Social net profiting sites (SNS) atomic number 18 online communities juted to connect individuals to wider networks of relationships, and ar one major example of Web 2.0 applications. Sites such as Facebook fox exploded in membership. In a short period of 2007 2010, Facebook estimates that its membership has freehanded from 50 million to over 400 million users (Facebook, n.d.). Online tender networks are now an integrated part of daily life and compel questions of how these media platforms fix human bustment, relationships, and interaction.Teenagers are among the most avid users of engineering science in general and companionable net work sites in point (Lenhart, M adjoinen, Macgill, & Smith, 2007b). Recent reports find that juvenility spend close to 10 hours per day using some form of technology, with sociablely networked media playing a large billet in their daily lives (Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010). New technologies are deeply intertwined with adult perceptions roughly teenage life. Mimi Ito and colleagues observe that, Although instantlys questions about kids these days have a familiar ring to them, the contemporary version is clean unusual in how strongly it equates generational identity with technology identity The earn finding is that directlys younker are increasingly connected to the world through brotherlyly networked media. While teenagers are engaged with technology, they are ever more disengaged from a nonher major component of their lives school.Read moreThe make of Social Media on College StudentsNational analyses find that nearly 30% of racy school disciples do not obtain their diploma on term (Cataldi, Laird, KewalRamani, 2009). High school completion rates are hard to measure, just various independent studies excessively suggest that nearly one-third of students ultimately drop out of school (Barton, 2005). When one compares these competing aspects of teenage life technology versus direction a simple strategy intelligibly emerges. Perhaps if educators catch to integrate amicable technologies into cultivation, they will increase student engagement and achievement in school. Heeding the call of scholars (i.e. Jenkins, 2006 Ito et al. n.d.) recent policy and search efforts are now racing to develop bare-assed(a) mixer media platforms and technologies for learning. For example, theFederal Department of Education and organizations such as the MacArthur Foundation have invested millions of dollars to build brotherly media platforms, television receiver games, and other digital tools for learning (Whitehouse, n.d.). Despite the optimism that s ocial media tools might advance student engagement and learning, the grim reality is that these new-made technologies often conflict with the practices of K-12 schools. Surveys find that the vast majority of school dominion leadership believe social technology flush toilet improve student learning. However, these same district administrators typically third power student chafe to online resources want social network sites (Lemke & Coughlin, 2009). The decision to ban students from attacking social network sites underscores a major conundrum for educators.Online social networks widen a students access to resources and social support and may have beneficial effectuate on their development. Conversely, as student access to the world widens they are inevitably undefended to potentially negative material and interactions. The simplest strategy to limit liability and safeguard school districts is to ban access to these new digital tools. However, such policies neglect the pot entially large benefits of using social media in the schoolroom. To meliorate this dilemma, educators and policymakers need a deeper clearing of social media and youngfulness. Several questions are critical in the area of youth learning with social technologies, including Which youth are using particular social technologies? How do they use these technologies to turn over, develop relationships, socialize, and learn? What are the effects of these technologies on youth development? What are the effects of these technologies when applied in educational contexts such as the classroom? In this dissertation, I look into these questions by examining a particular technology the social network site.Communities such as Facebook and MySpace mediate teenage life, affecting how youth communicate and learn from one another. In addition, social networks are intertwined into just about every major online conjunction today (Livingstone, 2008). These factors make SNS a particularly salie nt focus for evaluation. Throughout the following chapters I realise different questions surrounding the phenomena of social network sites and teenage youth. In Chapter 2, I review the extant query literature that examines SNS. I consider several(prenominal) controversies around SNS and youth (a) What kinds of youth are using social networking sites? (b)Does student participation in these online communities affect their privacy and social relationships? (c) Do student activities in SNS run their personal development in terms of self-esteem and mental well-being? (d) Does SNS use affect student grades and learning? The review highlights how search in this field is altogether just emerging. The few studies that examine social network sites are mainly exploratory. However, media researchers have a rich history of scholarship from which to draw new insights. I integrate previous thought on Digital Divides, Psychological Well-being, Social Capital Theory, and cognitive and Social L earning theories to guide SNS researchers in future studies. In Chapter 3, I present an empirical analytic thinking using a national dataset of teenagers from the Pew earnings & American Life Project (Lenhart et al., 2007b Pew Internet & American Life Project, n.d.).In this study, I ask whether demographic variables such as education, socioeconomic status, and access to the Internet are significantly related to whether teenagers participate in social network sites. This line of abridgment is typical of digital divide studies that examine whether particular populations have less access to new technologies. If new technologies do have positive benefits for individuals, only when under- represented populations do not have access to such tools, there are tremendous issues of equity and access yet to be addressed (Jenkins, 2006). Most studies of digital divide and SNS examine adult and college-age populations. I present an analysis of teenage populations to examine their usage patter ns.The results of this wallpaper highlight how the association between demographic indicators and social media use are weaker in 2007 than seen in in the first place studies. Teenage youth of all backgrounds increasingly find ways to connect with others using social network sites. In Chapter 4, I consider a question of particular importance to teachers and education leaders. Through a large- outperform experiment, I examine whether using social network sites in urban classrooms has any causal effect on students social capital, engagement with school, or pedantic achievement. I build an experimental social network site that approximates the functionality seen in sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The key difference in this experimental actor is that the site is private to two urban, school districts and explicitly for use to exchange educational information. Working with 50 classrooms and nearly 1,400 students, I utilize a cluster-randomized trial,where class periods are random ly assigned to use the experimental site. Employing this randomized trial design, I find that an academic social network site does not needfully improve student engagement with their peers, their classes, or increase student achievement. However, I find exploratory reason that existing social network sites such as Facebook and MySpace improve students feelings of connection with their school community.The study offers tell for one compelling idea Perhaps schools should attempt to leverage students existing social networks, rather than wad access to them or impose their own. In Chapter 5, I outline what is needed in future research about social network sites, and new technologies in general, to better inform the policies and practices of schools, educators, parents, and those interested in youth development. In particular, previous scholarly thought has foc employ on either a proficiently settled or social agency perspective. Technological determinism suggests that a media tool itself affects social outcomes such as learning, but a long history of research underscores the fallacy of this philosophy. Scholars who focus instead on social agency, explore how individuals use new technologies in cultural and social contexts. However, this stream of research neglects rigorous evaluation of how new media affect youth. Both perspectives in isolation offer incomplete analyses of how new media, such as SNS, bushel youth. I argue that future researchers must develop and test finer hypotheses that simultaneously consider the technological affordances of social network sites, the social and cultural institutions within which SNS are used, and the actual interactions between individuals that occur in these online communities.The chapters in this dissertation examine the phenomena of social network sites and youth through different but complemental lenses notional, descriptive, and experimental. The summative contribution of these analyses is a deeper picture of how t eenage youth use SNS and its effects on their academic and social development. The studies show that youth of all backgrounds are increasingly connected via online social networks. The empirical analyses also show that social network sites are no silver bullet for improving learning in high school classrooms. The technology itself does not improve learning, but social media might help students wrick more connected and engaged with their school communities. The implications for educators andschools are numerous. Problems such as student disengagement with education are profoundly significant issues, and additional research is needed to better understand how online networks incline youth development and learning.The current tools of teenage communication go by a peculiar set of names. fence in Posts, Status Updates, Activity Feeds, Thumbs Ups, Facebook Quizzes, and Profiles are some of the ways that youth today communicate with one another. These tools are features of social networ k sites (SNS), such as Facebook and Myspace. SNS are part of a suite of recent weather vane applications, also called social media, which utilize Web 2.0 principles. The term Web 2.0 defines websites that are designed to (a) rely on the participation of mass groups of users rather than centrally controlled content providers, (b) aggregate and remix content from multiple sources, and (c) more intensely network users and content together (OReilly, 2007). People use these web applications to interact in hyper-aware ways and the scale of this mass communication phenomena is significant. As of May 2009, Facebook ranked as the 4 th most trafficked website in the world and Myspace ranked 11 th highest (Alexa, n.d.).That high school youth are connected to these world(a) online communities is both a frightening prospect for parents and educators and an intriguing area for social science research. Educators and parents in the fall in States face difficult quandaries concerning students and SNS. No one denies that youth use these technologies to communicate with the world, and they do so with high frequency and intensity (Lenhart et al., 2007b). numerous scholars suggest that students learn in new ways using social media and that educators should embrace these new platforms (Ito et al., n.d. Jenkins, 2006). In a recent national survey, the vast majority of school district leaders report that they view social media as a positive development for education (Lemke & Coughlin, 2009). Nevertheless, 70% of districts also report that they banned all access to SNS in their schools. Despite the clear understanding that social media can be vital to student learning and digital literacy, educators currently struggle with how to comply with regulations standardised the Childrens Internet Protection Act (CIPA), as well as overcome general fears about student interactions in social network sites.To inform both the policy concerns of district leaders andthe local practices of teach ers and parents, research is needed to understand how youth use SNS and what effects it has on their social and academic development. In this chapter, I consider several key controversies around youth usage of SNS, and review relevant research that begins to inform these debates. I first define the media effects framework and outline how this research tradition attempts to understand the effects of new technologies on social outcomes. Second, I define social network sites and describe studies that assume how youth use these technologies to develop relationships, hang out with friends, and learn new skills. Third, the chapter reviews relevant research that informs several controversies concerning SNS and adolescents. I also connect these contemporary debates with previous scholarly thought about students out-of-school time (OST) and traditional concerns about the effect of technology on learning. The specific controversies reviewed are What kinds of youth are using social networkin g sites? Does student participation in these online communities affect their privacy and social relationships? Do student activities in SNS influence their personal development in terms of self-esteem and psychological well-being? Does SNS use affect student grades and learning? Finally, I outline the overall condition of research on SNS and youth. The current call down of the literature is suggestive of the effects on adolescent social and academic development, and primarily consists of ethnographical and cross-sectional data.I outline the future questions that will be critical for the field and suggest relevant methodological directions to move this emergent research stream forward. What Can We Learn from a Media Effects Framework? Many of the controversial questions concerning social network sites ask what kinds of effects these technologies have on youth development. Given this focus, I work primarily from a media effects tradition of research. Media effects scholars exami ne the outcomes that arise when people use new technologies. Talking about effects engenders important theoretical discussions that must be laid clear when examining studies. Most significantly, the term implies a focus on causality. Studies in this framework imply that a media form, or the features of the technology, causally influences some outcome (Eveland, 2003). The structure of questions from this perspective is usually in the form of Does media affect learning? Does television influence student achievement? Or do socialnetwork sites affect the psychological well-being of adolescents? Media effects scholars in a variety of fields have quickly come to pee that the answers to these questions are more complex.Very rarely, if ever, is there a direct causal relationship between a technology and a social outcome such as learning (Clark, 1983 Clark, 1991 Schmidt & Vandewater, 2008). Early media questions often used a technological framework or object-centered approach (Fulk & DeSanc tis, 1999 Nass & Mason, 1990). Such a perspective assumes and tests whether a technology itself causally affects a social outcome. For example, in Education a major question of technology research is whether media affects learning. Education researchers now firmly conclude that media does not affect student learning (Clark, Yates, Early, & Moulton, In Press). many studies show that the media tool neither improves nor negatively impacts learning when compared to the same teaching strategy in the classroom (Bernard, Abrami, Lou, Borokhovski, Wade, Wozney et al., 2004 Clark, 1983 Clark, 1991). What matters is not the computer, but the learning behaviors that occur within the software or educational program. The findings of non-significant media effects on student learning do not mean that technology has no influence. For example, Richard Mayer (2001) shows through a series of experiments that the design of a multimedia presentation affects student learning of a topic. Putting words a nd pictures close-hauled together on the screen, when they are relevant to each other, helps students retain more knowledge than when the elements are laid further apart on the screen. These results do not validate a technological orientation, where one expects that the computers themselves improve learning. Rather, the pedagogical strategy of placing relevant words and images together in a presentation affects cognition.Media researchers understand that the features of a technology afford certain possibilities for activity. A multimedia video on the computer allows one to design words and images on the screen, while a computer simulation might guide a bookman using models of real-world cases. A media tool allows for different possible learning behaviors (Kozma, 1991). This subtle difference in theoretical orientation is what scholars call an emergent perspective (Fulk & DeSanctis, 1999) or a variable-based approach (Nass & Mason, 1990). Scholars using an emergent or variable-base d approach view technology as a structuring factor. Features ofa technology, not the technology itself, enable and constrain how one uses that tool. Conversely, social forces such as cultural norms and behavioral practices influence how one ultimately uses a technology. William Eveland (2003) offers five characteristics of media effects research that help define how studies take into account both technological and social variables. Media effects studies have (1) A focus on an hearing, (2) Some expectation of influence, (3) A belief that the influence is due to the form or content of the media or technology, (4) An understanding of the variables that may explain the causality, and (5) The creation of empirically testable hypotheses.A focus on audience compels researchers to understand the characteristics of the youth who use SNS. Knowing who uses, or does not use, social network sites is an important sociological question for scholars of digital divide. In addition, Hornik (1981) notes the possible differential effects for disparate populations, If communication researchers have learned anything during the previous three decades, it is that communication effects vary with members of the audience (p. 197). Current media studies also focus on the form or content of a technology, and move extraneous from making black-box comparisons between technologies. Questions that ask whether Facebook is related to lower grades, or if MySpace is unsafe for children, are broad and uninformative directions for future media effects studies. Instead, the pivotal questions explore how the features of SNS enable or constrain behavior. Future media studies about SNS and youth should not frame questions using a technologically deterministic perspective where one expects the technology to lay down an outcome. Instead, media scholars identify how youth interaction, communication, and information sharing are the critical variables in understanding SNS effects on social and academic outcomes. This understanding of media effects research helps define finer-grained hypotheses of why a tool like SNS might affect student development, under what uses, for whom, and when. What are Social Network Sites and How Do Youth utilisation Them? When a teenager joins a site like Facebook they first create a personal profile.These profiles debunk information such as your name, relationship status, occupation, photos, videos, religion, ethnicity, and personal interests. What differentiates SNS from previous media like a personal homepage is the bring out of ones friends (boyd & Ellison, 2007). In addition to exhibiting your network offriends, other users can then click on their profiles and traverse ever widening social networks. These three features profiles, friends, traversing friend lists represent the core, defining characteristics of social networking sites. wiz will notice that SNS also include other media tools such as video and photo uploading and many websites n ow employ social networking features. For example, YouTube is primarily a video sharing service, but users can add others as their friends or subscribe to a members collection of videos. Using boyd & Ellisons (2007) definition, YouTube can be included as a type of social network site. As researchers examine the effects of SNS on social behaviors, they will undoubtedly come across these blurring of technologies. Sonia Livingstone (2008) notes that SNS invite convergence among the hitherto recite activities of email, messaging, website creation, diaries, photo albums and music or video uploading and downloading (p. 394).This convergence of technologies may complicate what one means by the term social network site. Amidst the sea of what websites can be termed SNS, the technical definition of social network sites still provides a shared conceptual foundation. Comparing across common features i.e. profiles and friend networks researchers can begin to understand how various communitie s co-opt these characteristics to create entirely new cultural and social uses of the technology. Patricia Langes (2007) ethnographic study of YouTube shows that users deal with issues concerning public and private sharing of video. Some YouTube users post videos intended for wide audiences, but share very little about their own identities. Their motivations might be to achieve Internet fame and set up viewers. Other members upload videos intended for a small network of friends and may restrict the privacy settings to only allow access to those individuals. The concepts of friend and social network for these users are entirely distinct. Dodgeball, an early and now inoperative mobile-SNS, is another social network site that has been studied. In Dodgeball, a user broadcasts their location via cell-phone to their network of friends

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