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How Does Social Networking Affect People’s Lives? sample essay

Social networking is quickly becoming more and more popular. I am going to investigate exactly how and why it influences people lives. I’m going to specifically look at different age groups and see if there is any pattern in their lifestyle. I will find my information from books, articles, news stories, the internet and people’s experiences and opinions. I will interview a whole range of people so I can get more of a range of opinions from teenagers to OAP’s to see if there is a general feeling for different age groups. My essay will address many questions such as are people’s opinions affected by their age? Does it influence people’s lives in different ways because of their age? This topic interests me because it is becoming more and more popular with most people’s lives; I hope to find out why so many people use it and the reasons for it.

This is also an interesting topic because it is currently in the news with bullying stories and school grades decreasing. My information will include data tables, graphs etc. I will base my study on these resources to allow me to draw conclusions from this question. This will then lead to producing a presentation to a large group of people. I hope to gain an extra qualification to combine with my others to make me more of an all rounded student. It will also give me some experience of partaking in presentations to a number of people which would help me if I go to university. I also want to find out whether social networking does influence people’s lives and how. The internet is a global network of computers that allow you to go on things like social networking sites, instant messaging sites, and factual sites and so on. The internet originally started with the name ARPAnet, it was created by the US government to use as a defence mechanism for the cold war in the 1960s.

Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn developed TCP/IP, ’A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection’ (in 1974), to connect different networks. The internet was consequently a ’network of networks’, although the Internet Protocol (IP) came to dominate networking. At the end of 1969, there were only four computers on ARPAnet, and they were all at US universities. This grew to 5,000 internet hosts in 1986, after which the number of users grew rapidly into the millions and then hundreds of millions. Social networking is an online community of people with a common interest who use a Web site or other technologies to communicate with each other and share information, resources, etc: a business-oriented social network. A simpler definition is a web site or online service that facilitates this communication. This includes Facebook, Twitter and MySpace along with lots of others.

Instant messaging is basically text communication between two or more people. This uses the internet and is present on most social networking sites. Most common programmes include MSN, BBM and whats app. These both have their good and bad publicity. They let people communicate from around the world. On the other hand lots of cyber bullying stories are heavily linked to these services. Blogging is a list of journal entries posted on a Web page. Anybody who knows how to create and publish a Web page can publish their own blog. Some Web hosts have made it even easier by creating an interface where users can simply type a text entry and hit publish to publish their blog.

This is an old type of social networking that has got took over by popular sites like Facebook. Video conferencing is a conference between two or more participants at different sites by using computer networks to transmit audio and video data. Each participant has a video camera, microphone, and speakers mounted on his or her computer. As the two participants speak to one another, their voices are carried over the network and delivered to the other’s speakers, and whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other participant’s monitor. Most popular programs used for this are Skype and imessenger. These services are present on Facebook via the messaging service.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are many advantages and disadvantages about social networking. You can chat to your friends through the messaging services available on most sites. This makes it easier for people to communicate to people without costing any money through telephone calls or messages. This could range from friends in different countries, old school friends or family. However it does have its disadvantages like a lot of people tend to make fake accounts attempting to be someone else and end up being pedophiles. This can lead to people being harmed both physically and mentally which aren’t the reason why social networking has been made. It is usually used by teenagers that are taking part in important exams that could change the shape of their future lives.

They use these services in their free time when some people say that they should be studying. People are always complaining that this leads to underachieving exam results which is a disadvantage and wasn’t why social networking was made. It is the opinion of some people that social networking is leading to the percentage of young people becoming obese to rise. They’re saying that the time that is spent on these sites could be used as exercise time rather than sitting down looking at the computer and eating or drinking while doing this. Social networking is known for its links to bullying and possible self-harming which in some cases has been suicide. This can be through the ease of free speech with most social networking sites through status updates, tweets and blogging.

This makes it possible or anyone to see these things and be made aware of this. Bullying can also come from the messaging services available that allow you to write anything to anyone you’re friends with no restrictions on what you can write. On these sites whenever you want where you want. This is because you access these sites on your mobiles pretty much anywhere you go with the new mobile network technology. The technology allows you to access the sites through 3G and the new EE networking. These new technologies are very cost effective and affordable so this increases the amount of people that have these services available to them. These services have also been made very user friendly and easy to access. This make both social networking accessible to people that aren’t familiar with using computers.


The growing ubiquity of cell phones, especially the rise of smartphones, has made social networking just a finger tap away. Fully 40% of cell phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28% do so on a typical day. Young people, blacks, Hispanics, the highly educated and those with a higher annual household income are more likely to use SNS on their phones than other groups.

Social impact

Do social networking sites isolate people and truncate their relationships? Or are there benefits associated with being connected to others in this way? In November 2010, we examined SNS in a survey that explored people’s overall social networks and how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, community, and political engagement, and found: * Social networking sites are increasingly used to keep up with close social ties * The average user of a social networking site has more close ties and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American * Facebook users are more trusting than others

* Facebook users have more close relationships * Internet users get more support from their social ties and Facebook users get the most support * Facebook users are much more politically engaged than most people * Facebook revives “dormant” relationships * MySpace users are more likely to be open to opposing points of view

Does Social Networking make us more unsociable?

There is an argument that social networking is making people more unsociable. This can make social time very unsociable as people are checking there Facebook, twitter accounts etc. to some people they think that it limits conversation length and interest. This of course is an influence on people’s lives. Some people of course think it’s bad and some people like the fact.

Does Age Matter?

This leads me onto say that people’s age can affect the amount of time they go on social networking sites and how it influences them. The graphs above prove this point as it clearly states that younger people tend to go on social networking sites than older people. This gives me an indication that it could make generations more unsociable than others. For example if there are less old people using social networking then there are no distractions when in sociable events. I also see this very often when I am at social events. As a teenager myself I see it a lot with my age group constantly looking at their phone to check for updates on these sites. This does lead to less sociable conversation as people don’t spend as much time giving people eye contact and listening effectively.


Social networking sites have become an important additional arena for politics. They are a resource for political news, information, finding likeminded issue-oriented people, and a tool for voter outreach in the run-up to elections. During the 2012 campaign season, Pew Internet released a number of reports on the role of social networking sites on elections and the political process.


A survey by SciJourner of 51 youth, ages 21 and under, finds that nearly a third say they are “addicted” to social networking, but only 8% of the teens and young adults surveyed feel that social networking affects their relationships with other people. The survey also showed that younger teens, ages 14 and 15, use the social networks Facebook and Bebo more than teens at the age of 17. Approximately equal number of males and female took the survey. Of those who responded, 37% are under 16. Most of the teens used Facebook, but 30% preferred Bebo and 20% were on both Bebo and Facebook. How much time are teens spending on social networks? For this survey we defined addicted as checking their Facebook or Bebo page more than 3 times a day. Around a third of the 51 teens fell into that category, spending 30 minutes to 5 hours per day on social networking. [1] 23/01/2013


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