Igi G. Acosta
University of Texas at El Paso
Online social networking has become one of the greatest successes of all time. Everyday millions and millions of users access these networks to communicate with friends, share moments with their families or meet new people around the globe. This Literature Review consists of reviewing and analyzing thereasons of this technological advancement’s creation, statistics of usage after its development, the direction it is taking and the future of the most popular internet creation until today.
Online Social Networks
Online social networks are a true growth point of the Internet. While people constantly interact with each other on business or personal matters, the ability to deliver this informationgrows stronger and stronger. Today there are a great amount of websites developed for online social networking that people can join. These sites allow individuals to present themselves and establish or maintain communication with others. As a consequence terms such as offline social network are known today, meaning face to face communication. This technological advancement grows quickly everyyear, with approximately two-thirds of the world’s Internet population and 10% of all internet time. Teenagers were originally the target of most online social networks, but as this way of communication popularizes, older generations are participating more. “Social networking has become a fundamental part of the global online experience,” (John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen Online). Today “Facebook” isthe most popular website with over 500,000,000 users and grows every day. The deeply impact of online social networks on Earth’s population will definitely be around in the future, and to get a better idea the following questions will be answered:
1. What is an online social network and what was its original purpose?
2. What impact have online social networking had on people?
3.Toward what people are social networks mostly targeting and why?
4. At the rate social network are advancing, what can people expect from the future?
This literature review will discuss the reasons why online social networks were created, social impacts caused by them, the direction they are taking and what probably will happen in a not too distant future.
What is an onlinesocial network and what was its original purpose?
Online social networking has been around since many years ago and continues with its original purpose which is “easier communication.” Approximately 16 years ago people around the planet were still grappling with the creation of the new system called Internet. Shortly after the creation of this last mentioned revolutionary tool, services suchas e-mail (developed for the general public in 1993) appeared to change the way individual or groups communicate with one another. Information exchange, group work, staying in touch socially and transmitting documents are some of the advantages e-mail brought. Some years later a new form of communication transformed the use of internet and e-mail; online social networks began to appear with thefirst recognizable website called “SixDegrees.com,” in which users were allowed to create a profile, list friends and family members, send messages and post bulletins. It was the first manifestation of social networking websites in the format now seen today. Today’s present websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are rocking everywhere. These last mentioned tools allow users to stay in closecontact with the world, “at least that’s what they advertise.” Twitter, for example, is a good way for pop-stars, actors, presidents around the globe and many other important people to communicate with their “fans” in a safely way. Facebook, on the other hand, also allows safely ways of communication for anyone, but also provides other kinds of entertainment such as games. In some universities...