Nowadays social networks are attracting attention of scientific circles from all over the world. Scientists are arguing about the relevance of social network in the future. Each social network has its own structure, rules, priorities and believes.
Before the 1970s networks were used for military purpose only. The excess to the process had few privileged hubs. Years have passed and the need of the connection between different parts of social life grown terribly. People were interested in creating connections between each other to share information on mutual topics: politics, cultural difference and diversity, sports and so forth.
Social networking is a part of public discourse. According to this, the usage of “networking” is not appropriate. The networking is relation initiation mostly between strangers and can be classified as “latent ties” (Boyd).
Every social network has a branchy structure: profile, list of connections or friends, massages, groups, news, settings and bookmarks. Profile often embraces basic information, contact information, interest, education, work etc. The basic information consists of facts name, sex, date of birth, location and languages. Structure can differ accordingly to the purpose of the network. According to this, social network is a new phenomenon of a “small world” (Perez).
The scope of social networks contains more then well known Facebook or Linkedln. The classifications of social networks embrace social connections, multimedia sharing, professional social networks, informational social networks, and educational social networks, networks on hobbies and academic research (White).
The main goal of social networks is to stay in touch with people or communities who share the same interests. In this case social connections help to renew old relations. As most people perceive information visual, multimedia sharing are very popular recently. Among them there are Youtube and Flickr. The professional social networks provide information on career opportunities. One of the famous is Linkedln. Now it has 175 million+ members. Apart Linkedln there are other networks. However, they are narrowly specialized, e.g. Nurse Connect is popular among individuals with nursing professions. The informational networks have varied information beginning from what take on vocations with, ending with advises where to bye the cheapest ticket to the Opera House. If there is need to conduct a research or prepare for the class, educational or academic networks can provide all necessary information. Moreover, they are getting more popular among students and scholars.
Despite classification all this networks can be mixed with each other. Before the appearance of thematic educational sites, all videos were downloaded on Youtube. Most people are using old school way to share the knowledge with other. But if there is an opportunity to have own space, no one will miss the chance to arrange everything in the way he or she wants. So site becomes something personal and has value for creator.
The first noticeable social network SixDegrees.com was launched in 1997 (Boyd). The idea of this network was to list friends and to create profile. After the great start of Six Degrees appeared social networks like LiveJournal Friendster, MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, Twitter, VK and Google buzz. Though the revolution caused by BBSs and IRC chats in the late 1970s, social networks continue to evolve.
For example, MySpace is a social networking website. It is provided with a simple interface. There are few main structural parts: personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos. MySpace drives social interaction by providing a highly personalized experience around entertainment and connecting people to the music, celebrities, TV and etc (MySpace). The headquarter is located in Beverly Hills, CA. There are more than 110 billion active users. Another interesting fact is that there are around 8 million bands and artists on MySpace. The company was launched in 2004.
There are grounds to claim, that influence of social networks on life is huge. Mostly youth is using social networks on every day basis. The desire to stay in touch with everyone and be aware of the resent news, provoke to log in by every opportunity. Often this can be compared with the addiction. Despite this, people in order to save time, use abbreviations and as a result can not write properly on exams or just fill the application form in. The privacy of participant is under question. The information posted via social networks can be used to harm you or your relatives. Difficulties, also, can emerge while working with the material without copyright. The best example is Youtube.
Often social networks are named as the time killer. If you want to stay in touch with others this means that your account should be alive. In reality it takes very much time and often there is a feeling that people are missing important thing and wasting time posting about everything around them. It looks funny, especially when tourists are taking pictures of their breakfast and are posting them immediately. In my opinion, social networks scatter and distract attention. And in this case, only person decides what to do with a virtual space.
Despite everything, social networks can provide us with good quality information. Almost all magazines and newspapers have their pages in social networks. This simplifies the way to the information and, what is important, news are really fresh. The easiest way is to subscribe the most interesting pages and receive updated new about recently published book or new band performance.
Another interesting fact about social network is that usually each of them has group or communities on interest or hobby. All this connections can be used to support ideas or protest government’s decisions on important social issues.
Nevertheless, we continue to create our personal virtual space, forgetting that with the help of this virtual space we can make a change and develop.
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