Background of the Study
The social media has become one of the most important communication means in recent times. However, social networking exist so as to provide communication among people regardless of the distance, making it open to people easily share information, files and pictures and videos, create blogs and send messages, and conduct real-time conversations. These systems are referred to as social, simply because they allow communication with buddies and coworkers so easily and effectively. It also strengthens the ties between people of those systems. The favorite in the realm of internet sites are Facebook, Twitter and others. These websites and social forums are way of communication directly with other people socially and in media. They are playing a large and influential role decision-making in the occasions from the global world economically, politically, socially and educationally. The driving factors for adoption of social media are the progressively ubiquitous access, convenience, functionality, and flexibility of social technologies [Brown, 2010]. It has been contended that, poor greater education, social technologies supports social constructivist techniques to learning they potentially have to improve students’ construction of understanding and promote student interaction (Schroeder, Minocha and Schneider, 2010). An additional benefit of social technologies provided on the internet is that they are frequently free or require marginal investment, eliminating a potential barrier to adoption (Brown, 2010). There has been various overview and opinions which recognized four major advantages of social media use in higher education. These include, enhancing relationship, improving learning motivation, offering personalized course material, and developing collaborative abilities (Wheeler, Yeomans, and Wheeler, 2008). This means that social networking activities have the possibility of enhancing student contact and is used to improve their participation in class, particularly where introverted students are involved. Students can function in online group learning, with less or no anxiety of needing to raise questions before peers at school (Wheeler, Yeomans, and Wheeler, 2008).
Social media has exploded as a category of online discourse where people create content, share it, bookmark it and network at a prodigious rate. Because of its ease of use, speed and reach, social media is fast changing the public discourse in society and setting trends and agenda in topics that range from the environment and politics to technology and the entertainment industry (Asur and Huberman, 2010). In the last ten years, the online world has changed dramatically, thanks to the invention of social media, young men and women now exchange ideas, feelings, personal information, pictures and videos at a truly astonishing rate. Seventy-three percent of wired American teens now use social media websites (Oberst, 2010). Martn, (2008) & Lusk, (2010) share the same concept of social media. To them social media is the use of Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, My Space and LinkedIn for the purpose of communication, sharing photos as well as videos. However for the purpose of this study social media is captured within the use of internet through Facebook, Whatsap, Twitter, Skype, MySpace as well as Yahoo Messenger for communication sharing of ideas, sharing of photos and videos by users. The increased use of Social Networking Websites has become an international phenomenon in the past several years. What started out as a hobby for some computer literate people has become a social norm and way of life for people from all over the world (Boyd. 2007). Teenagers and young adults have especially embraced these sites as a way to connect with their peers, share information, reinvent their personalities, and showcase their social lives (Boyd, 2007). In the past years, social media websites have become common; giving young people a new way to interact with each other and communicate with the world. Social networking became popular between 2004 and 2006, after Facebook and MySpace were created. Facebook, for example has over 500 million members and it is still growing and approximately 85% of undergraduate students are Facebook users (Schneider, 2009). These numbers are expected to grow since Facebook users will continue to grow.
And this is not only true for Facebook, numbers for YouTube users closely follow as well (University of New Hampshire, 2009). Social networking websites provide tools by which people can communicate, share information, and create new relationships. With the popularity of social networking websites on the rise, our social interaction is affected in multiple ways as we adapt to our increasingly technological world. The way web users interact and talk to each other has changed and continues to change. These users now socialize through the internet and it takes away from the person socialization that has been around forever. Social ne working websites have affected our social interaction by changing the way we interact face-to-face, how we receive information, and the dynamics of our social groups and friendships (Asur and Huberman, 2010).
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