This research is representing the view of Facebook users in developing world. About a decade ago, social network media has become the order of the day; among the leading sites is MySpace, Facebook and a more recent twitter. They have become the center of interest among the young generation not only in the developed country but, on almost every corner of the world. Globally, young boys and girls are logging in, updating their profile on daily basis, on area such as their relationships with invisible and visible partners. They are also engaged in commenting on other social affairs such as economical and political affairs that are touching their life in one area or the other. In recent times, taking part in some social sites is regarded to be a cool culture among the teens. Even though not all youth are fond of these sites, they (sites) are developing a totally new culture in the society around the world (Wasserman, 1994).
The culture seems to lose ground in Western developed world, where being a member of a site or not being is not a big deal. However, this is not the case with developing world, where young people, more so in colleges, are infatuated with the social networks. The high rate of embracing social sites by youth in both developed and developing countries globally has opened a new chapter in the history of development. This is accompanied by some issues of concern; first, the effects of these sites in the normal life of a youth should be analyzed. Also, there is a need to seek understanding of what are the core things that young people are learning from these sites. Secondly, the investigation of whether these modes of relating can replace one-on-one conversation should be done.
The study, covered in this paper, tries to unearth the underlying truth about the social networks relationships among the youth in the developed countries. To have a foresight on the above concerns, a researcher must understand the main characteristics of the social networks. From the outset it should be agreed that the social site is developing a new culture that tends to be adopted by the societies. This is a fact. It is becoming hard for a person who used to interact with this site to leave them and continue with a normal live without fear of losing identity. Young people are molding their identities around this technology. It is here a person can taint him/herself with a new identity and with time this person starts acquiring some trait, associated with his new identity. It is important for researcher to look into details how this new mean of communicating is corresponding with the most important peer based social life. This is crucial because the sites allow subscribers to associate with their friends at different levels of life. While the face-to-face mode of socialization remains at the core of human communication, the social media has to be embraced with a caution not to supplement one-on-one socialization, but to compliment it where possible.
The study, covered in this paper, is based on data, obtained from a survey, done by a government owned organization, dealing with youth. The data was obtained through a simple random method among the users of Facebook in Denmark. This was collected through a set of questions that was sent to randomly selected users of the site, asking them about their ways of communicating to friends, classmates and even parents. To avoid any bias, the questions were distributed randomly by a person who had no interest in the study, and was not a subscriber of the site under the study. Factors such as gender, race, religion, status class were disregarded in this study. A proper observation was also applied as a method of collecting information that was applied on the internet. In my paper, the term ‘youth’ is used to refer to young people between the age of 18 to 30, while the term children refers to people between age of 8 to 17 years.
In my study, I concentrated on Facebook as my case study. The reason behind my selection is that this site is the most popular among the youth; thus, a study done can easily be adopted and generalized to some other sites of interest in future to study the other social networks. The key reason to study this site and not any other is because of its popularity among the target group in my study. It is a fact from the study previously done that by 2006 55% of the teens between the age of 8 to 11 who had little knowledge about internet were followers of this site, while the site attracted about 87% of teens under the same category who were at the age between 12 and 17 years.
From the researches, covered in this paper, two types of anti-Facebook were found; the first group is that of those teens who were not informed about the existence of the social network, while the second group is that of teens who for some reason were objecting the importance of the site in their life. The first group was from areas that were not covered by network and, hence, had no access, and some were from schools that blocked their internet from accessing social networks. The second group was made of teens from parents that were against this social network and had imposed the same set of mind into the minds of their teens. The other members of the second group are from the poor families who could not afford access to the internet services. These teen felt that the site was for the rich and it was a cool way of communication.
In trying to find out the reasons that attracted youth to this site, I was overwhelmed by the reason of friendship as the main reason as to why they subscribed to the site, to keep in touch with their friends. From this answer the peer pressure became evidence as one of the key factor, influencing their participation in the social network sites. The popularity of the Facebook is based on the affordability of the access to the internet and its easy connections to the pool of friends. It also offers some entertainment, according to some teens. One of the participant claimed that it is totally impossible for him to do without the site for it is the most important place, where he could meet with friends at any time at the least cost.
The data collected was analyzed, using Excel and from the analysis the observations were made as follows: 83% of the participants in the age of 12 to 16 had a significant level on usage of internet. This is in comparison to another survey that was conducted in 2006, where only 42% had this level of knowledge on internet at the same age group. 72% of these participants who have knowledge about internet had subscribed to the Facebook, with 55% of them, having created detailed profiles.
From the survey, it was evident that the time, used on the site, is on decreasing trend, having dropped from an average of 4 hours per day to an average of 2 hours per day among the high school students. This is over a period of 5 years. Comparing my findings to a research that was conducted in 2006, I found that the group of teens that objects the social network site has been experiencing defection with most of its members, tending to embrace the existence of the site and its importance in their social life. 78% percent of the defectors attributed their actions to the pressure from friends and knowledge from other sources about the fact behind the social networks.
At the same time, the young people who are not in a position to access the internet have declined by 66% percent from the previous study. This development was greatly attributed to the availability of cheaper gadgets such as phones that can connect to the internet, allowing them to enjoy what was seen as a cool mean of communication some six years ago.
Sex seems to influence involvement on the site. While 48% of boys in the age of 12 to 17 have subscribed to the site, only 44% of girls are participating. This trend takes a twist at older age with 73% of girls and only 54% of boys taking part in this site.
The reasons to participate on the sites also differ significantly among gender, according to the perspective of the researcher, which is supported by the above results. While most of boys are in for chatting with friends already known to them, majority of their girls’ counterparts are on the site to meet new friends. In conclusion, the popularity of social network is increasing among the youth of developed countries; it’s evident that it is doing so in a decreasing rate.