Social Networks and Young People: A Case Study

Social Networks and Young People: A Case Study

Neuza Ferreira (International Association for Scientific Knowledge (IASK), Portugal)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0924-2.ch018

Abstract

This paper aims at stating the main advantages and implications of Web 2.0 by analysing popular social networks in Portugal and addressing some examples of their utility. The authors present results of an empirical study applied to young people, aged between 12 and 20 years old, in a specific Portuguese region. In the first part of the study, main characteristics and differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are presented. In addition, results of empirical research and concluding remarks are presented and discussed. Achieved results seem to be particularly relevant for academics and industry professionals who might be interested in the application of new technologies for communication and socialization purposes.
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Changing Of The “Web 1.0” To “Web 2.0”

The so-called “Web 2.0” is very distinct from the “Web 1.0” and, according to Coutinho et al (2007, p. 199), “people began to produce its own documents and publish them automatically on the network without the need for a further knowledge of programming and sophisticated computing environments”. The shift from the paradigm “Web 1.0” to “Web 2.0” was very fast, and it is therefore important to present some differences between them (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Comparison between “Web 1.0” and “Web 2.0”

According to Table 1, it is possible to draw some conclusions: previously, individuals had a role as mere spectators, while now, besides the access to information, people can also produce it, create and edit Web pages, use the servers for free, and have numerous tools. Thus, blogs, Wikipedia and Hi5 are examples of some of these tools available on the Web. These tools can also be categorized as presented in Table 1. According to a study carried out by Cardoso (2007) at the national level, young people between 13 and 18 years old have at least one computer at home (over 50%), have Internet connection at home (87.3%) or use it at school (47.9%), friends’ or relatives’ home (20.3%) and even in cybercafes (8.3%).

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