Social Network and Social Capital




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Social Network and Social Capital

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Social Network and Social Capital

Social capital is the defined as the entire value that results from the human interaction. It leads to liking to help each other in life. The outcome of this interaction within a society brings about social cohesion and enhanced flow of information. The impacts of social sites in peoples life cannot be underestimated. This is because they are used to bring people together though they are physically far apart (L.S. Goulet, lecture, February 25, 2015). They create their profiles on the internet to make their fellow friends have a touch of who they are communicating with. In addition, people with low self-esteem have been using the sites to raise their esteem and have formed the majority, compared to their counterparts of high self-esteem. This is according to research done on one of the largest universities in the United States. The first social network was developed in 1997, but since then several others have come up, with the users increasing day by day. In U.S, for instance, a majority of the student population use Facebook. The usage rates for Facebook among students are above 90% (Burke, Marlow & Lento, 2010).

The peers using the social sites are important for the generation of offline benefits. Social impact is a flexible constraint used in the description of the benefits derived from ones relationships with other people. Intense use of Facebook has a close relationship with the formation and maintenance of social capital. Continued use of social network sites plays an important role in psychological development. The sites are used as tools for development and maintenance of relationships, and, therefore, important in emerging adulthood (Burke, Marlow & Lento, 2010).

The social networking sites provide a platform for active communication between friends thus complementing the network relationships. These sites have been associated with high levels of social capital since the existence of a social structure makes its benefits possible (L.S. Goulet, lecture, February 25, 2015). The benefits of social media include bridging social capital, through allowing flow of information, and allowing friends to reach out to each other. Previous studies have proved that students who are active on Facebook tend to develop high levels of social capital, especially for students with lower self-esteem. Consistent users of social network sites show greater social trust and civic participation (Burke, Marlow & Lento, 2010).

Impacts of social sites in social capital

Continued use of social sites has changed the way people relate socially. The sites have created a kind of a society where people use most of their leisure time chatting with friends online, tagging photos of others and unlimited snooping of each others profile. The time spent online is far much more than the time spent interacting with physical friends face-to-face. This is common with the teenagers and the middle-aged who form the majority of the sites users (L.S. Goulet, lecture, February 25, 2015). This, however, has the positive effect of reducing loneliness through the direct communication with friends all over the world. Recent studies have shown that users will only socialize with a limited number of their friends in their network, even as the network size grows. Unlike what many people may expect of the users to keep track of their friends activities, the situation is different. These users will in most cases dwell on certain friends, considered as their favorites depending on the type of information they exchange. Some may considered boring, and thus their friends will ignore them even when it comes to chatting. There are others who take long before updating their profiles, and will, therefore, be ignored since they have nothing new to offer to their friends. This scenario suggests that the social network operate just like in the real world, where some people are preferred over others (L.S. Goulet, lecture, February 25, 2015).

There exist a complex relationship between consumption and reading stories about a friends activities, a user may feel embedded in the social circle or left out. Social feeds of social sites such as Facebook may cause individuals to be attracted to the feed since it reduces social boundaries. On the other hand, the users may avoid the feeds because it reduces the social distance they feel face-to-face. This illustrates that the substantial time spent on the social sites is associated with loneliness. Individuals incline to turn to the social sites as a technique of combating boredom. Researchers have established out that several forms of social capital are meticulously interrelated to social wellbeing, such as self-confidence and pleasure. However, the same research have shown that the connections between self-esteem, measures of wellbeing and social capital have shown the importance of family, close family and intimate relationships (Hampton, Goulet & Purcell, 2011).

Research has shown that high consumption of the social sites is closely associated with emotions such as depression, stress, and loneliness. Further studies showed that the use of online tools was no longer associated with decreased communication and involvement with the family (L.S. Goulet, lecture, February 25, 2015). The effects of the social sites use were generally positive. For instance, it was shown that through the use of social sites, moderation can be done on both introversion and extraversion. The emotional health of users is also influenced by the use of social sites. Increased online interactions minimize loss of communication with others. There is decreased loneliness and depression from the use of social sites, in addition to increased perception of social support and self-esteem all derived from engagement in online chat sessions (Hampton, Goulet & Purcell, 2011).

Improved technologies such as distribution lists, photo directories, and search capabilities in the social sites promise an occurrence of new forms of social capital; this is because the technologies support online linkages with others. This, however, poses the risk of increased weak ties between the user and his close friends and family members.

Nowadays it is very cheap for social sites users to access them at a reduced price. This is because of the discovery of smartphones that comes with social sites applications. The large pool of operators will then generate and continue great systems and relationships from which they can possibly draw resources. Social site fills the gap that would be created in terms of social capital. This shows that youths use the social site to sustain a great network of associates. The young adults with such large network of friends are interested to achieve the network with a service like Facebook, whatspp, or linkedh that they find more suitable and dependable. Therefore, social sites have been so contributory in prompting the connecting of social capita (L.S. Goulet, lecture, February 25, 2015).

In conclusion, the power of social sites in the present era cannot be underestimated. Users of the sites have been increasing day by day. Their use of the sites has had tremendous effects on their social interactions, most of them spending most of their time interacting with their online friends. The social sites have also significantly influenced social capital. Through improved technology the future of social sites is bright. In addition, the effects of the sites in the future seem to be even more real as new users graduate into the sites.

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