The Role of Social Networking in the Social Reform of Young Society

The Role of Social Networking in the Social Reform of Young Society

Emad Abu-Shanab (Yarmouk University, Jordan) and Mushera Frehat (Al-Qassim University, Saudi Arabia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8900-6.ch010
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Social networks are virtual communication sites that allow its participants to connect, building relationships, and collaborate on social issues. It became part of our lives and spread rapidly among youth. Young people join these sites to keep strong relationships with friends and to make new ones. Therefore, it is important to investigate the factors that influence the intention to use social networking sites (SNSs) to gain better position in the social reform among young people. This study developed an integrated theoretical model which has five major factors that predict the intention to use SNSs. An empirical test was conducted, where a sample of 302 university students and an instrument containing 27 items was used. The results provide consistent evidence that all hypothesized positive associations exist except for the isolation variable. After taking into account different demographic and attitudinal variables, Facebook use still predicted respondents' social reform. The future work might focus on a specific context such as the effects of using social networks on education, and focus on students' environment in education and the influence of social network. Detailed results, conclusions and future work are stated in later sections.
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2. Literature Review

2.1. History of Social Networks

Social networking sites allow its participants to connect with each other and build relations among people who have the same interests and activities (Das & Sahoo, 2011; Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Social networking is defined based on three perspectives: 1) build public and semi-public profiles, 2) articulate a list of friends who share a connection, 3) and view and traverse friends’ lists. These three characteristics make the social networking sites differ from previous media (Ahn, 2011; Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Social networks enable users to share and upload different types of photos, music, and videos that they like to share with others. In addition, this type of site provides a resource of information and a relation with other people, and emotional and social support (Dogruer, Menevis & Eyyam, 2011). Social media tools allow people to develop and maintain social relationships in ways that appear to differ in quality and quantity than face-to-face relationships (Hemsley & Mason, 2013, p. 141). The first social networking site was launched in 1995, the Purpose of its building was to give the students a connection during or after their degree completion (Ahmed & Qazi, 2011). Then, was built in 1997 focusing on the idea that every user is tied with everybody else via six degrees of separation (Boyd, & Ellison, 2007; Das & Sahoo, 2011; Ahmed & Qazi, 2011), then a chain of social networking sites were built such as: Cyworld in 2001, Friendster in 2002, Skyblog in 2002, Orkut in 2004, Myspace in 2005, Yahoo 360 in 2005, Twitter in 2006 and Facebook in 2006 (Ahmed & Qazi, 2011). Nowadays, there are more than 100 social networking sites connecting millions of people.

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