Communication technology involves the passing of information from one person to another across a network. The most commonly used network is the internet since it is the only medium that provides a social network. There are various social media that are used such as Facebook and friends view. Facebook or friends view functions as a place where people can invite others to join in their network to enhance communication.
People who join the networks of social media can exchange information like video, audio, pictures and can also chat online. For communication to be enhanced people need to develop a social network by the use of social software. The software is the platform that users can communicate. It acts as the interface between the user and the medium he or she is using to contact other people. It is not clear how social networks originated but their existence is evident. Social media has become a very popular way of networking with other people since it’s a cheaper and fast way of communication.
Social networking is a system and is made of different individuals, groups of people, and organizations who connect to communicate. Social network analysis defines how it has emerged as a key in modern communication technology as well as a popular topic of interest today. Social network analysis is the pattern of ties or bonds that people use to communicate. It started as a suggestive metaphor and then evolved to an analytic approach. Social network analysis can be best explained by the use of social media (Michael Levenson, 2008-03-11.)
Theories of Social Medias
There are various theories that are existent and are associated with social media but the main aim of all the theories is social effects with communication media. One of the theories called Social presence theory is mainly concerned with telephony. The theory suggests that the social impact of a certain communication channel depends on the social presence users are allowed to have. This means that if the communication channel has a good social presence then more people are likely to have contact and therefore communication will be enhanced. A social presence is the properties that a channel has, for example, the physical contact allowed. Most social media are developed using this theory such that they have a social presence to allow many people to contact each other.
A social media is the use of electronic and internet tools to share and exchange information as well as experiences with other people within a particular network. The manner in which information is represented varies depending on perspectives of shared meaning among societies when people share their information or ideas.
Characteristics of social media
Social media have some characteristics that differentiate them from traditional media. One is that it can create opportunities for both induction and deduction. Induction is for the purpose of validation or authentication of different users’ information. Second media is not finite, meaning that no set number of pages or hours exists. People participate in social media by adding comments as well as their profiles and stories. Social media takes the form of words, text, video, audio, or graphics. An example of Social media is Facebook.
Facebook is a social networking website that enables groups, organizations, or individuals to communicate with one another. It was launched on February 4th, 2004, and is the leading social networking site in the world. Users usually join the network organized by cities, workplaces schools, and regions and they can also interact with other people. The networks that are formed help users to connect with other members of the same or different network. This in turn helps users to connect with friends, and have rights to access their profiles. Facebook is usually free and generates income from advertisements and other investments. (Caroline McCarthy, 2007-05-13).
Facebook has a number of features that a user interacts with. It has a wall which is a space on the user’s profile and it allows friends to post information for their friends to see. It also has a poke feature; this is a notification that tells a user that they have been poked. It has a photos feature where users can upload photos and albums. The photos feature is the most commonly used application on Facebook. Users upload photos and albums every day since they are allowed to upload as many photos as possible. Finally, there is the status feature that allows users to inform their friends of their whereabouts, events plans, and any other thing that interests friends. Facebook has added some new features over time. For example, a Newsfeed was introduced and this appears on every homepage of the user as well as upcoming events and birthdays of friends. (Peterson, Chris, 2006-02-13).
As much as people use social media to communicate there are various disadvantages associated with it. One of them is decreased productivity. Users of social media tend to concentrate more on the media than doing their work. This has caused some organizations to block social media sites in workplaces. Some people also use Social media sites to criticize the government and as a result, some countries have banned the use of social media sites. Social media sites have also been accused of invading privacy which has brought some controversy on the degree of privacy. Finally, as much as Social media sites are attractive to use one should be very careful about the method to use.
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