Need help with my writing homework on Thesis Topic: Are social networking sites good for our society. Write a 2000 word paper answering; There are always two sides of the coin, and the rampant use of such sites put forth both advantages and disadvantages to society. Whether the benefits outweigh the consequences is a matter of personal control. Defining Social Network Sites This paper makes use of the definition of boyd and Ellison (2007) citing that social network sites are: 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. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site. In some literature, one may encounter the term “social networking sites.” While this is used interchangeably with “social network sites,” the former makes use of a term (i.e. networking) that emphasizes on relationship initiation, most especially among strangers (boyd & Ellison, 2007). In effect, this paper sticks to the term “social network sites” to demonstrate the sites’ unique capability of making a user’s social networks visible to others. Theoretical Framework The social network theory is used to explain the growing popularity of SNSs. This concept was initially used in 1954 by J.A. Barnes to describe “a complex set of relationships between members of social systems at all scales” (“Social Network,” n.d., n. pag.). This concept views social relationships in terms of nodes and ties, where nodes refer to the actors in the network while ties are the relationships between and among actors. Yet unlike traditional concepts on sociology, the social network theory posits that what’s more important are the relationships and ties with other actors and not the attributes of the actors themselves. SNSs also provide an avenue for people to take tabs on others. As Rogers (2007) puts it, these SNSs perform an incredibly good job at being a gossip engine. The British anthropologist Robin Dunbar (as cited in Rogers, 2007) notes that back when our ancestors were still more monkey than human, it was highly important to understand and establish one’s place in a certain group. Stature is essential for survival, thus the need to have knowledge on relationships – so one may know who to ally and fight with. While this concept is centuries old, its applicability in the modern context is obvious. Social network sites provide users a non-invasive yet convenient way of keeping tabs on their friends’ lives. Additionally, the social comparison theory states that many attitudes and behaviors are formed as a result of comparing oneself with others who are believed to be reasonably similar to him/her (Halabi, 2007). Facebook, among others, capitalizes on this by being the first to offer applications embedded on the site. Users can play online and compete in real time against their friends. Discussion Background of the Study It is no question that SNSs affect – and altogether – alter the way people relate with each other. Thanks to these sites, communicating with lost friends is shorter and expanding one’s circle of friends is faster. The ability of SNSs to connect people with one another make it an essential and deeply-embedded part of users’ lives (Donath & boyd, 2004). Before, introductions were made face-to-face and in accordance to a “complex weave of social obligations” (Donath & boyd, 2004, p.
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