In the recent years, researchers have expressed concerns over the alarming rate in the spread of the use of social network applications. Most researchers agree that the issue deserves attention, which could be attributed to the widespread use of mobile phones due to their availability. With the recent developments and innovations on mobile phones, more social networks applications have come into use.
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With Smartphone being one of the recent mobile technologies, widespread use of various social networks applications has been inevitable. In addition, the technology through the utilization of social networks applications has eased our day-to-day operations in various ways.
Just as the name suggests, social networks applications are sort of programs that enable or even enhance communication among individuals regardless of the geographical distance separating them (Goldenberg et al., 2006). However, these social networks applications have had impacts across various aspects of the society in general. This paper shall be based on the application of social networks in Smartphone coupled with my personal social media experience.
Apart from the aspect of interacting with friends, the social media technology can be utilized to achieve many other goals that include soliciting funds and an avenue through which one can find a job among other aspects. My social media experience will be based on the use of social media applications to maintain a long distance relationship. The paper shall also highlight some of the implications of utilizing these applications both to an individual and to the society.
After John, my closest friend, went to Australia for studies, I could not stand the loneliness. The available few modes of communication were quite expensive and inefficient, especially for the long distance communication. At times, I felt as though our relationship was falling apart as communication was curtailed by the geographical distance between us.
Notably, for a relationship to remain steady, communication should be put into consideration and should be consistent. However, we kept on exchanging gifts and communication was through phone calls and other means such as emails and telegraphs. These modes were quite expensive and unreliable at times. For instance, it would take such a long time for John to reply my fax messages and emails, especially if I had sent them without informing him first.
On the other hand, we spent a lot of money sending parcels through air couriers. Telephone calls also proved to be expensive since they were international and the call rates were quite high. It even came a time we had to stay for weeks without communicating due to unavailability of funds since we had no jobs and thus we depended on parents for our upkeep.
Currently, the trend has changed a great deal and we can communicate any time we want. With the latest development of Smartphone among mobile technologies, communication has been eased significantly. Smartphone is a type of mobile phone that has additional features and programs, thus making it better than other mobile phones.
A Smartphone can perform different functionality at the same time, which is missing in other normal phones. For instance, a Smartphone comes with a feature that lets the user to divide the screen into different portions and run different tasks on those compartments at the same time.
With the introduction of these smart phones into the market, communication between us eased as we were in a position to utilize both free and paid social networks applications that come along with a smart phone (Goldenberg et al., 2006).
Apart from G-chats and short messaging applications, we also learnt to utilize other social networks applications to enhance our communication, thus, shortening the distance between us. Through invitations for TV nights, we were able to watch our favorite shows through the Skype together. Through this application, John remained updated on commercials that were being aired back here at home. Meeting new friends and introducing them to each other was quite an easy task.
For instance, through the Google hangout application, we managed to arrange for double dates. With social media applications, life seemed normal for us as we were in a position to do most things together.
Playing games as scrabble was not such a big deal, as we could still communicate as the game proceeded as though we are physically together. Boredom is one aspect that creeps in when repetitive activities happen for quite a long time, and thus to break away from the monotony of social networks, we could send manual packages to each other.
Many couples and friends find themselves in a dilemma due to geographical distance separating them. Appreciably, it can be quite cumbersome to maintain a long distance relationship. With the emergence and widespread use social networks applications, the challenge of distance should no longer be a hindrance in a relationship, especially in the wake of Smartphones.
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In addition, various Smartphones support these applications, hence making communication easier. Social network applications are sort of programs that enable communication through additional modifications that include sharing of pictures, status updates, playing games, and sending messages among many others. Face- to- face communication can be enhanced through Skype, which is an application that allows you to see the other person as you communicate.
Many other activities can be performed through the application, viz. preparing meals together and having dinners through the Internet. In addition, other applications let the communicating parties to send voice notes and video messages if they are not available for a chat. Facebook and Twitter are other types of network applications that allow people to share their feelings through status updates, photographs, and comments among others. However, these applications do not allow face-to-face communication, as they do not support such features.
Currently, a myriad of social networks can be utilized to keep a long distance relationship. In addition, social networks can be utilized for other purposes other than maintaining relationships. For instance, in the political arena, politicians utilize social networks to launch their manifestos and make them available to citizens.
In the field of medicine, there exist social network applications that can be utilized by medics to treat patients in other countries and regions. On the part of education, social networks are used to convey reading materials and other academic information to students; therefore, enhancing electronic learning (Goldenberg et al., 2006). In maintaining long distance relationships, the concept of creativity on the usage of social media plays a key role in ensuring effective and exciting communication.
Although social networks have played a significant role in enhancing communication, they have had both positive and negative impacts to individuals and the society in general. Conventionally, social networks have helped in making the world a global village. With just a click, information can be relayed to persons quite far away from each other.
Through these social networks, people have been in a position to create identities whereby people can search a person’s profile through the social media. Connecting with people in the community has been enhanced through these social networks, hence maintaining relationships (Hill et al., 2006).
Although conversation could take place through phone calls, connecting to many people at the same time was such a difficult task. In addition, one could only speak to people familiar to him or her, since not all people were willing to share their numbers. With the emergence of social networks, the idea of friendships changed as one could make many friends within a short time and communicate with multiple individuals simultaneously.
Researchers have established that loneliness can result into people taking actions that lead to destruction of their own lives in addition to stress and depression. However, through social networks, people can socialize and thus do away with loneliness (Boyd, 2008). Through social media, people share life experiences, hence depicting a sort of group therapy.
The point is, by people sharing their experiences, they can empathize with each other and one can easily find solutions to his or her problems. One person may have gone through such an experience previously and can inform the other on how he or she went through the whole situation. Social media enhances the speed of communication, thus ensuring speedy and efficient communication. Currently, time is never enough to most people because of work and commitments to family.
Social networks offer a chance to this class of people to communicate with other efficiently and effectively. For instance, it takes an individual less than a minute to post updates to one social network, say Facebook, and with the help of a feature that allows cross posting to other social networks, the updates reaches all intended parties instantly.
The social media opens up the world to an individual through making it a smaller place as opposed to the earlier days when these applications were inexistent. Social networks have also created the aspect of equality towards everyone regardless of the geographical location. For instance, families living far apart can remain in touch with the rest of the family members living in the hometown. One can also connect with school friends that have relocated to other towns or states.
Sharing one’s interests is one of the ways through which social networks can be utilized to create identity (Goldenberg et al., 2009). For instance, some social networks allow a person choose people with similar interests for friendship. On the other hand, others like Twitter will let a person follow those with statuses of interest, thus making connections with people with similar interests, which would be hard to establish if socializing offline.
The aspect of socialization can be viewed in different dimensions including the economic dimension through marketing and other aspects of commerce. Social network applications enhance network-marketing techniques that help marketers identify influencers and predict variables affecting the behavior depicted by various consumers (Hill et al., 2006).
Depending on how people behave on various social network sites, marketers can easily identify characteristics of various individuals, demographics of a certain state or region, and any form of existing constraints, hence leading to identification of market gaps that depict a marketing opportunity.
Just like most issue in life, social networks also have positive and negative impacts attached to them. On the part of education, the social media has a direct impact on the value of information (Acquisti & Gross, 2006). For instance, friends usually influence the shaping of mind especially for children and teenagers. Currently, there has been an array of social media that when utilized can influence a person’s way of thinking and perceptions.
From the analysis of my experience, both of us were in a position to influence each other negatively, which could happen through video clips shared through various sites such as MySpace. The same information could be extended to other friends back at school. The same information is also made available in social media through blogs, video clips, and audio in the form of songs.
Currently, children have access to social media, hence exposure to apparent dangers associated with social media. When children log into these social websites, they might end up disclosing crucial information to child predators and scammers (Acquisti & Gross, 2006). They are also subject to cyber bullying in addition to getting access to unsuitable sites and pages.
For instance, a child may arrange for a meeting with a stranger through social media, only to be found dead after the meeting. This threat calls for parents to put stringent measures on their children against the utilization of social networks. On the other hand, social media is a time-waster among starters as quite a significant proportion of time is spent on these sites while ignoring other constructive chores and tasks.
Researchers carried some surveys and disclosed that more than a third of interviewees confessed to spending time on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace among other social network applications. Time spent is usually spent on editing profiles, posting photographs, and comments, which are not necessarily urgent or necessary (Boyd, 2008).
Through social networks, the subject of privacy is highly compromised (Acquisti & Gross, 2006). For instance, people post photographs into these sites and can be accessed by different people who log in into the site. Sharing of information with friends also depicts a compromise of one’s privacy.
The future of social networks applications is quite promising despite the many controversies surrounding the utilization of these sites. Information technology specialists should engage in various innovations in a bid to come up with competitive packages that suit different user needs in the market. These specialists also need to understand that consumerism is not only limited to cloud services and mobile devices, but also social network applications (Hill et al., 2006).
Social network applications can be utilized for other purposes apart from communication, especially in the business world. Currently, business organizations are shifting towards enterprise social applications that best suit their needs. For instance, a company may have trouble in distributing information especially to mobile employees. Innovations should be incorporated into social applications to make them useful.
For instance, the incorporation of news feeds and real time technologies into social applications can help employees to remain productive and stay in the loop (Goldenberg et al., 2006). Unlike when business organizations used blogs and intranets to pass messages to their employees, they have shifted to sleek and fun -filled options that are found in social networks applications (Goldenberg et al., 2009).
This aspect forms a platform for IT specialists to incorporate enterprise collaboration software into various social networks to be utilized. In a bid to enhance efficiency in the utilization, specialists should be in a position to advise various organizations on the best packages for their organization.
Acquisti, A., & Gross, R. (2006). Imagined communities: Awareness, information sharing, and privacy on the Facebook. In P. Golle & G. Danezis (Eds.), Proceedings of 6th Workshop on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (pp. 36-58). Cambridge, UK: Robinson College.
Boyd, D. (2008). Why youth (heart) social network sites: The role of networked publics in teenage social life. In D. Buckingham (Ed.), Youth, Identity, and Digital Media (pp. 119-142). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Goldenberg, J., Han, S., Lehman, D., & Hong, J. (2009). The Role of Hubs in the Adoption Process. Journal of Marketing, 73(2), 1–13.
Goldenberg, J., Lehman, D., Shidlovski, D., Barak, M. (2006). The role of expert versus social opinion leaders in new product adoption. MSI Working Paper, Report No.06-124, 1-16.
Hill, S., Foster, P., & Chris, V. (2006). Network-based Marketing: Identifying Likely Adopters via Consumer Networks. Statistical Science, 21(2), 256-276.