Research Paper: How Facebook and Myspace Affect Communication in the Physical World
Communication is in the process of changing itself. It will always do this and always has throughout due mostly to technology and the way we see ourselves but at this point in time there a revolution occuring. The beginnings of this new change in communication took place through the Internet. It started out simply as email and instant messaging. This has been around for over ten years. Though an advanced form is in the works. It is people communicating by means of Web 2. 0. Web 2. 0, is the name for the massive forms of new communication of Myspace, Facebook, and other Social Networking Sites.
People go on these sites, not just teens anymore, and interact with fellow networkers. It might have been cute and nice in the beginning but now some are getting addicted and living in these worlds that are technically extensions and some are even fantasy such a Secondlife. com Now I could write for months about these topics and sites but I would like to narrow it down to two websites on one topic. This is an informal paper in the sense that its methodology wouldn’t bode well with those of the social sciences. Also, I took surveys and they weren’t all random so from a statistical standpoint it is not a true sample.
At the same time, I feel those I have chosen are from a wide range of “Myspace and Facebook backgrounds” though in this paper I generally found that Myspace has been eliminated among my social peers and is almost obselete. Though it still has credence. Alot can be explained why Myspace has failed among my peers when compared to Facebook. I and most of my peers fit the hegemonic group she explains(Boyd 2007). I asked seven questions to my subjects and there were also follow up questions when those who were interviewed gave answers that provoked me to probe deeper in this search.
I tried to interview thirty subjects but only about twenty were willing to give honest answers. Some declined to even take the survey for they refused to think about prior situations pertaining to the matter or they were scared their names may be revealed in this study. This is not the case and only those who gave permission will be noted on a name basis in this. I found that Facebook and Myspace had huge impacts on people’s lives and many checked them multiple times a day to see what other’s were saying or to check pictures. The impacts were both negative and positive.
Some expressed a feeling of regret because of overuse and others told me that they expected to use it for a long time based on its ability to communicate with family and friends who are a distance away. The majority of the interviewee’s had mostly viewed these social networking sites as positive but there was an element of disgust, drama and negavitity. I started out asking respondents “how do you think Facebook and Myspace relationships affect your relationships in the physical world? ” Not all of them understand the question.
I believe that was because the physical world threw them off. Once I rephrased it or explained in a causality statement they quickly understood and provided answers. While a few believed these relationships had absolutely no impact on their real relationships many believed it did. The majority cited drama that occured with other people that transferred into the real world. Possibly there boyfriend or girlfriend would have something written on their wall that irritated the respondent or visa versa. That would then cause a fight in the physical world.
They felt many times this drama wouldn’t have occurred if it wasn’t for the possibility of having Facebook and/or Myspace. Don Mainardi of Elmwood Park, NJ said, “This girl wrote ‘hey hotstuff’ on my wall. My girlfriend quickly saw it and she was angry and jealous for a while. She always thought that girl was trying to cheat with me on her for the remainder of our relationship. ” The other response I seemed to receive was that friends and family who lived far away were able to keep in contact. This provided a great tool to stay in contact and see how the other person was doing. Do you think your life would be different if it wasn’t for Myspace and Facebook? ” The response varied. Some felt life would be less complicated while others maintain there lives wouldn’t be different at all. A few felt that they were less inhibited online and could say certain things they wouldn’t dare in person. The computer screen provides a false sense of confidence for some. Relationships were generally easier to keep up that were long distances as some cited. They would probably let these go by the wayside but Facebook and Myspace add an element of keeping in touch.
Others felt just the opposite. These people cited their disgust to keep relationships on their deathbed and continue to communicate with someone you believe that their friendship is not as important anymore. It also allows you to reconnect with older friends from the past. Haley Loughran of Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ feels the same way. She said, “It allows me to reconnect with old friends I haven’t seen in a while. I find them or they find me and sometimes a new friendship is built on it. ” Even if they don’t talk to old friends or flames they still can “stalk” their page.
A common feeling among many is that you have a certain connection when you read their walls, comments, look at their photos and check out their interests you are re-establishing their connection. One respondent said this, “I feel like I have a real connection with someone through Facebook and Myspace, but it’s really just faux intimacy. ” To get a gauge I asked these users how often or how many times were they on Mypsace of Facebook a day. The number varied and just about everyone except one was on every single day. He would go on once a week to keep up or even satisfy his friend’s desires to be up to date.
The nature of these sites can provide an addicting factor into the mix. While the average was between three to five times a day some went on of excess over ten times a day. This time range could easily count for an hour a day in the average but if it was a boring day where there was nothing to do some might spend a lofty two hours. This may be due to the fact of the availability of easily downloading photos and the ability to instant message. About half were embarrassed to admit how often they were on. A common response would be, “do I have to answer this? It must be noted that some may not have given accurate amounts of time online of Facebook and Myspace due to the embarrassment of the subject. “Have you ever had a romantic relationship or friendship begin or develop from a small friendship due to Facebook or Myspace? ” Most people have indeed knew someone in passing or had them in class. They might have been aware of someone in their course for example and they a Facebook exchange took place and the relationship bloomed in the physical world due to it. Some found letting romantic relationships bloom perturbing and unclassy.
These people also felt if someone wanted an add as a friend and they did not know they would always deny the person’s friendship. Most subjects were found to have some type of romantic encounter develop because of Facebook and Myspace. One added a guy she didn’t know and they dated for two years. Another went out on a date with a guy she met on Facebook and her friend ended up dating the guy after it didn’t work with the original and their relationship lasted over a year. It provides a new network of possible romantic suitors. Some have also messages a person they were attracted to, had a romantic encounter and that was the end of the story.
There are also many stories where some since they feel more inhibited in real life have an easier time setting a romantic encounter up through the use of these two sites. For example, Keri Kublin of Ringwood, NJ says, “I met this guy at a party and he was really shy. The next day he ‘Facebooked’ me and thought I was attractive and wanted to go out on a date. He was just too shy to ask for my number that night. ” It also goes for the girls, where one male respondent received a message via Facebook that insinuated a possible sexual encounter. Finally I asked my respondents what do you think the “POKE” is used for?
How do you feel about it. There was many answers given but certain patterns formed on how they felt about it. They thought it was mostly used as a mild form of flirtatious dislay. Some thought it clearly signified a sexual connonation and some thought it was rather an attention getter. Mike Macneil of Oakland, NJ thought it was “a quick way to say hello and grab someone’s attention without writting on their wall or messaging them. ” Christina Dyciewski of Brick, NJ stated that the poke is clearly, “sexual” and that person definately “has some sexual interest in you and wants to let you know. Keri Kublin stated that, “the poke is similar to a glance at a party. It shows you have some interest in them. It’s more a flirtatious sign. ” Some feel that the poke is cute at first but can get annoying if it continues in a “poke war. ” It is essentially up to the viewer’s discretion because there is no one accepted definition for it. Some points to also note. A few feel that Facebook and Myspace are robbing people of true communication for intimate and physical conversations. One respondent said, “It is easier to communicate with people who are of distance but it also threatens real relationships. People are becoming wkward because they have fake communication and real communication is suffering for it. ” This could be a topic all in itself. Many people now say “facebook me” at the end of conversation with someone new or someone they haven’t seen in a while. Instead of getting a number they might facebook someone and they would make plans there rather than communicating a phone. Lauren Sarno of Toms River, NJ said “people say ‘facebook me’ and then we do lunch. ” It’s forming a new way of communication. It is common to talk to someone and at the end of the conversation for an exchange such as ‘facebook me’ and we shall be in touch.
These two social networking websites are changing the lines of communication for both the better and the worse. People are getting in touch with loved ones and friends that haven’t seen in a while. They attribute this to Facebook and Myspace. It causes headaches and heartbreak because people are acting like normal selfish people and ‘drama’ is occurring on a regular basis just like it would in real life. The only difference is that its creating some at a different level and bringing it to the physical world. This is rapidly shaping how this generation thinks about the world and how it might turn out.