Saturday, November 30, 2019

Social Media and Social Relations

Introduction This paper is aimed at discussing the ways in which social media are contributing to changing social relations. This issue can be illustrated by examining profound transformations that were brought by new technologies, especially Web 2.0.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on Social Media and Social Relations specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More For instance, it is necessary to mention that currently people representing different social classes, religious groups, or cultures have more opportunities for interacting with one another in order to achieve certain goals. More importantly, an individual is better able to convey his/her views to a greater number of people. Additionally, these tools can be viewed as the platform which enables people to discuss the most important social, political, and administrative issues affecting the entire community. These are some of the main trends that can be distinguished. Thes e issues can be discussed by examining empirical data showing how people use social media and how their interactions with one another have evolved during the last decade. Additionally, it is vital to consider social media as one of the factors contributing to the transformation of social norms. This analysis should be based on empirical studies carried out by various researchers. For instance, one can look at the values of people who are active users of social media. Apart from that, it is possible to examine the statistical surveys illustrating how people’s attitudes have changed due to the influence of mass media. This quantitative information can throw light on the impact of social media on the relations within the community. In order to analyse these issues, one should apply different frameworks that can explain people’s behavior. In particular, it is possible to apply the theory of affordance and the theory of mediatisation. These models are particularly useful fo r explaining how social media transform the behavior of individuals and groups. They are particularly helpful since they demonstrate how social and cultural norms are changed due to the development of information technologies. This paper will include several sections. At first, it is critical to overview the main concepts and theories that can be useful for describing people’s online behavior and discussing their worldviews and perceptions.Advertising Looking for essay on communications media? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More One should also illustrate the empirical findings that can throw light on the application of these theoretical models. Furthermore, the second section will include the main argument about the influence of social media on the changing relations between individuals and groups. Much attention will be paid to the transformation of people’s attitudes and new forms of cooperation between various s takeholders. On the whole, this discussion can be important for understanding the main trends affecting various communities. Additionally, this analysis can be useful for identifying the origins of various social phenomena. Yet, it can only be a starting point for further studies that can increase people’s awareness about the specific impact of information technologies, especially the way in which they influence people’s actions. Key research, theories, and debates It is possible to distinguish several concepts that are useful for discussing the questions relevant to this topic. At first, one should mention such a notion as social media that can be viewed as the tools that enable individuals to create information and share their views or ideas with another (Scott 2011). So, users are not only the recipients of content; more likely, they can act as producers and publishers (Scott 2011, p 5). In this case, one should not speak only about such social networks as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and so forth. It is important to mention that conventional media also become more oriented to the needs of modern Internet users who can also create content. For instance, the website of such a newspaper as The Guardian enables people to comment on news and discuss the most important social issues. T his is one of the main changes that can be singled out. Overall, social media can take different forms such as forums, social networks, wikis, and so forth (Choate 2008). One should bear in mind that the rise of social media can be traced back to the late nineties at the time when Web 2 0 technologies were elaborated. These tools provided people with the opportunity to create or modify content (Choate 2008). In the previous decades, Internet users could act only as the recipients of information. So, this concept is critical for the discussing the way in which technologies can impact social relations as well as the norms or values accepted by the community. It is critical to mention that conventional media such as radio or television do not enable people to communicate with one another or create content without the permission of the mediators representing a specific organisation such as a publishing house or a broadcasting company that can determine what kind of content can be made public. Social media remove this barrier almost completely.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on Social Media and Social Relations specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More This is one of the main details that should be singled out. Admittedly, social media can also include some restrictions; for example, one can speak about the work of moderators. However, their use is not very widespread, and they can be overcome. It is also vital to mention that social media are extremely interrelated. To a great extent, these online resources facilitate the flow of information from one another. This attribute can be partly explained by the fact that people can use different mass media such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram at the same time. Such a concept as convergence is often used to describe this interconnectedness of social media and their links with other information technologies as radio or television. It is possible to apply different theoretical frameworks that can be applied to describe the impact of social media on the relations among individuals and groups. In particular, one should examine the theory of affordances developed by Ian Hutchby (2001). In this case, the term affordance can be described as the main quality of a certain medium such as the Internet or television. This model is often helpful for explaining how different media complement one another. Nevertheless, this approach is also useful for explaining the way in which modern media change social relations by providing a set of opportunities to users who can get access to more sophisticated communication tools. For instance, information technologies provide people with the opportunities for self-representation (Kuo et al. 2013). Furthermore, they can display their creativity on the Web. In turn, the researchers note that this attribute is one of the factors that contribute to the increased number of social connections. To some degree, this theory implies that technology is the agent that changes the behaviour of individual and groups. It opposes the premise according to which technological tools, including social media are shaped by the emerging needs of the community and separate individuals. Overall, this viewpoint is not sufficient for explaining the impacts of new information tools.  There are certain important concepts that are related to this theory, In particular, it is necessary to mention such a notion as polymedia which is supposed to describe integrated media environment that shapes the behavior of users. Social Web can be viewed only as the component of polymedia. This concept is important for showing that social media do not function independently of other technologies such as radio or television. However, at the same time, social media profoundly transform the behaviours of many people because they have specific affordances or attributes such as increased functionality that enables users to modify content.Advertising Looking for essay on communications media? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More This is one of the aspects that should be taken into consideration by researchers who study the relations between social media and community.  Additionally, it is important to consider the theory of mediatisation introduced by Stig Hjarvard (2013). This model is aimed at explaining how digital technologies can alter social and cultural norms. These changes can be attributed to a wide range of factors such as increasing availability of information, new economic trends, and ability of a person to examine the same question from different perspectives. In this case, one should not speak only about the changing communication between people. More likely, it is important to focus on the transformation of people’s attitudes, values, and worldviews. In this case, technologies can also be described as the agent that changes the society. For instance, these media can make people more open to new lifestyles and behaviours. Moreover, they can question the key messages conveyed by the ma instream media such as television or radio. These are the main elements of this theory. The main assumptions of this model have been examined in empirical studies; for instance, researchers note that customers can rely on social media in order to evaluate different goods or services before making purchases (Barreto, 2014, p. 631). This trend is of great importance to producers and retailers. This example shows that social media enable individuals to examine the messages such as commercials conveyed by mass media more critically. Thus, their attitudes can also change profoundly. The theory of mediatisation is also supported by researchers who note that the users of social media can re-evaluate some of the values that could be viewed as the topmost priorities by previous generations. For instance, one can speak about the diminishing role of privacy in social networks (Young Jordan 2013). It should be mentioned that the users of social networks can openly display their photographs or state their marital status. Apart from that, the users of social networks are more willing to explore such issues as sexuality (Castaneda 2013). This behaviour was not a part of the norm before the arrival of Web 2.0. Researchers identify these patterns by examining the attitudes of people who actively use social media (Young Jordan 2013). These studies are important for identifying the changes in the behaviour of various social groups.  Apart from that, it is important to mention that social media help different stakeholders to discuss various questions related to politics or economy. In some cases, social media can also assist those people who may disagree with the policies of the state. This argument has been particularly relevant if one speaks about mass protests that are usually known as the Arab Spring (Jamali 2014). These protests were largely coordinated with the help of social networks. It is important to mention that these technologies facilitate the spread of informati on within the community. Thus, citizens can better mobilise their efforts and force the government to consider the needs or concerns of various social classes. In many cases, these people try to bring changes in the political and social agenda. For instance, social media are often applied by LGBT activists (Peterson Panfil 2003). Thus, social media lead to profound transformation in the life of many communities. Overall, these changes can take place at the global level. Additionally, it is necessary to speak about the creation of online communities or groups of people who have similar interests, values, or agendas. Much attention is paid to the online behaviour of adolescents and young adults who are more active users of social media (Solis 2010, p. 19). As a rule, researchers prefer to examine the lifestyles of people whose age is lower than thirty. In the past, online communities were made up of people who were very skilled in the use of technology (Warburton 2012, p. 4). Neverth eless, the situation has changed profoundly because information technologies have become more accessible, and modern social media can attract people with diverse educational and professional backgrounds. One should keep in mind that people who interact in online communities have more opportunities for anonymity (Farrington et al. 2014, p. 125). As a result, they can openly express their opinions that can seem provocative or even insulting (Farrington et al. 2014). Moreover, these individuals can become more critical of the assumptions that are often taken for granted. This opportunity is also vital for the re-evaluation of the existing norms. These are the main trends that attract close attention of various researchers who want to determine how the behaviours of individuals and groups have evolved due to the influence of social media. Argument Social media produce two important impacts on the relations between individuals and groups; in particular, they contribute to the transformat ion of the norms established in the communities. Moreover, they can create new forms of cooperation among individuals who may have similar interests. Nevertheless, these people represent different cultural groups or classes. These elements of the argument should be elaborated in greater detail. Although, social media enable people to make a more personalized use of technologies, they also create new ties between various community members who can interact without the use of intermediaries. As a result, people can establish social ties even though they did not know each in the past. There are several important trends that can be identified. In particular, one should mention that social media enable people to transcend the boundaries of the social class, religious groups and so forth. In fact, these barriers can become irrelevant to Internet users. In the past, these people could be deprived of this valuable opportunity. For instance, it is necessary to mention that on average, a Faceb ook user can have about 130 online acquaintances (Lee 2012, p. 18). Furthermore, the users of social may compete with one another in terms of how many friends they have (Bakardjieva 2014, p. 375). Certainly, one can say that such behaviours can deprive the word friendship of its meaning as well as value (Bakardjieva 2014; Vihalemm 2003). This is one of the short-comings that should be taken into account by people who are too optimistic about the role of social media. However, in many cases, these people can share values or interests, even though they may have different backgrounds (Lee 2012, p. 18). However, this evidence indicates that people have more opportunities for establishing social relations with one another. As it has been said before, conventional media such as television, radio and internet do not enable individuals to communicate with one another. These details are important for explaining the popularity of social media and the profound implications that they have for t he community.  There are other impacts that should not be overlooked. For instance, it is possible to speak about changing relationship between employers and employees who now have opportunities to work online (Daft 2012; Chehimi 2013). For instance, companies can encourage workers collaborate on joint projects with the help of Wikis or Intranet sites. Thus, social media can be useful for the creation of employment opportunities. Additionally, much attention should be paid to crowd-sourcing activities that are also facilitated by social media. This case is important because it illustrates new forms of cooperation between individuals and organisations. In some cases, these new forms of interactions can be important for the economic growth of the society (Daft 2012). This is why they should not be overlooked by researchers.  Much attention should be paid to the creation of the network communities in which people are able to discuss various issues in a more critical way. As it has been said before, these online tools promote political activism that is important for bringing changes into the social or political norms. In particular, they are critical for upholding the rights of people who could be previously marginalised or discriminated. Moreover, it was demonstrated that the increasing use of social media transforms the values of individuals, such as their perception of privacy. Additionally, one should also speak about the increased openness of people who are more willing to speak about such issues as sexuality (Warburton 2012). Such behaviours could hardly be possible in the communities that did not incorporate online environment. To a great extent, this argument is based on the theory of mediatisation introduced by Stig Hjarvard (2013). One can say that new technologies do not change only the process of communication; more likely, they influence social norms and create new forms of cooperation among individuals. Overall, it is possible to argue that socia l media produce a positive impact on the social relations. Admittedly, one should not forget about some negative impacts. For instance, researchers pay much attention to the changing meaning of such a concept as friendship and its devaluation (Lee 2012). However, these negative impacts can be mitigated. In this case, much depends on the actions of parents and educators. This is the main details that should be singled out.  On the whole, it is possible to agree with the theories of affordances and mediatisation because they explain the way in which social media influence both individuals and groups. They cannot be viewed as mere tools that serve the interests of the society. Such an assumption cannot fully reflect a variety of new trends influencing different social groups. More likely, they can be regarded as the factors that change social interactions. Certainly, the issues that have been discussed still require additional research. In particular, it is important to find empirica l evidence which may fully illustrate the theory of mediatisation. Researchers can conduct additional studies that can test the assumption according to which the values and the norms are shaped by social media. Nevertheless, despite this limitation, one should not reject this model because it is important for explaining the emerging social trends. Conclusion On the whole, the examples that have been included in this assignment indicate that social media have profoundly changed the interactions between individuals and groups. The main impact of these media is that they transform social norms accepted by community members who are able to take a more critical look at the assumptions that are often taken for granted. In particular, one should mention the diminishing role of privacy and the development of new political agenda. This is one of the main details that should be taken into consideration. Apart from that, it is important to remember that social media eliminate cultural, social, and religious barriers. Moreover, these information tools create new forms of cooperation between various individuals. For instance, it is critical to remember about new economic opportunities originating from this cooperation. To a great extent, these arguments are based on empirical studies examining the behaviour of people using social media. Overall, it is possible to accept the theory of affordances introduced by Ian Hutchby (2001) and the theory of mediatisation. In particular, they show that social media can act the drivers of change. The themes that have been identified require additional studies which can illustrate the impact of specific media on certain social relations such as employment or political activism. These are the main arguments that can be put forward. References Bakardjieva, M 2014, ‘Social media and the McDonaldization of friendship’, Communications: The European Journal Of Communication Research, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 369-387. Barreto, A 2014, à ¢â‚¬ËœThe word-of-mouth phenomenon in the social media era’, International Journal Of Market Research, vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 631-654. Castaneda, D 2013, The Essential Handbook of Women’s Sexuality, ABC-CLIO, Boston. Chehimi, N 2013, The Social Web in the Hotel Industry: The Impact of the Social Web on the Information Process of German Hotel Guests, Springer Science Business Media, New York. Choate, M 2008, Professional Wikis, John Wiley Sons, New York. Daft, R 2012, Organization Theory and Design, Cengage Learning, New York. Farrington, N, Hall, L, Kilvington, D Price, J 2014, Sport, Racism and Social Media, Routledge, New York. Hjarvard, S 2013, The Mediatization of Culture and Society, Routledge, New York. Hutchby, I 2001, ‘Technologies, Texts and Affordances’, Sociology, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 441-456. Jamali, R 2014, Online Arab Spring: Social Media and Fundamental Change, Chandos Publishing, New York. Kuo, F, Tseng, C, Tseng, F, Lin, C 2013, ‘A s tudy of social information control affordances and gender difference in Facebook self-presentation’, Cyberpsychology, Behavior And Social Networking, vol. 16, no. 9, pp. 635-644. Lee, N 2012, Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness, Springer Science Business Media, New York. Peterson, D Panfil, V 2003, Handbook of LGBT Communities, Crime, and Justice, Springer Science Business Media, Boston. Scott, P 2011, Auditing Social Media: A Governance and Risk Guide, John Wiley Sons, New York. Solis, B 2010, Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web, John Willey Sons, New York, 2010. Vihalemm, P 2003, â€Å"Changing Media in a Changing Society†, Demokratizatsiya, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 587-600. Warburton, S 2012, Digital Identity and Social Media, IGI Global, New York. Young, S Jordan, A 2013, ‘The Influence of Social Networking Photos on Social Norms and Sexual Health Behaviors’, Cyberpsycho lology, Behavior and Social Networking, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 243-247. This essay on Social Media and Social Relations was written and submitted by user Jadon Brooks to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly. You can donate your paper here.

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