This piece of writing is a small research carried out in my research application class ( Feb - May 2011)
The Facebook was created in the year February, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his two other friends when he was enrolled in Harvard University (Valenzuela, et al., 2008). There were rapid users using Facebook for different purposes. In the year 2007, there reported to have more than 21 million registered members generating 1.6 billion pages each day (Nicole, et al., 2007). Every year, many user register and it have now hit 500 million active users (TNVV, 2011).
In many of an earlier research, it was found that Facebok helps people to keep in contact. People overwhelmingly used Facebook to maintain friendship from the high school. The Facebook helps to maintain ties among different kind of peoples, including professional, researchers, neighborhoods, community members etc. (Ellison, et al., 2007)
According to the research conducted in The University of North Carolina by Stutzman, F (2006). The study found that 71% of all respondents indicated participation in Social Network Communities. 90% of the respondents were undergraduate students who all were using the Social Network Communities. Three common Social Network Communities are The Facebook, Friendster, and MySpace. This site is used as Social Network to maintain and keep in contact with friends etc.
The Facebook is widely used everywhere in the world. There is no membership; one can login to the Facebook account using any of the email address. (yahoo, hotmail, gmail ).
Several studies have been carried out in United States in different universities. The study conducted in Lousiana State University found that students use the Facebook to fulfill students‟ needs and interpersonal communication with the friends. (Sheldon, 2008) The survey of 172 students conducted, the study found that woman use Facebook to maintain existing relationship, pass time and get entertained themselves by visiting and playing the features within the Facebook. On the other hand, man uses Facebook to develop new relationship or meet new people besides maintaining existing friendship.
In many of the studies found that using the Facebook has many benefit and people overwhelmingly registered to share information to people around and maintain or intensify relationship characterized by some form of offline connection such as campus closeness or a shared class. For many, Facebook provided a way to keep in touch with previous school mates‟ friends and establish links (Hewitt & Forte, 2006)
It is very interesting to know that the Facebook have become a popular personal site for college students. The Facebook user use full names and about 89% of names are valid. The study has found that reason why people join the Facebook is to share certain types of information. (Pashley & Govani, 2007). The Facebook has got features where we can write and post on wall of any individual. Share certain information and tagging the friends to view those information
when they login in to Facebook which prompt with the notification message with red colored number. In fact, Facebook allows user to post long information compared with Myspace and Friedster (Stutzman, 2005).
In the study conducted by Govani & Pashley, (2007) Student Awareness of the Privacy Implications When Using Facebook found that over five million accounts have been created and over 70% of those account are accessed every day. The reasons why users join the Facebook is (97%), friend‟s suggestion and request, (68%) that helps to keep in contact and (57%) looking for classmates. The figure 1, below explains clearly the reason for users joining the Facebook.
Figure 1. Reason for joining Facebook
There are also some privacy issues in using the Facebook when user gives his or her information on the sites. The most information provided in the sites include personal information like gender, date of birth, relation status, hometown, school, information regarding movies, music, clubs etc, therefore, studies have found that majority of users provide most of the information but they do restrict information such as contact numbers, mailbox and home address. These pieces of information are considered to be private and direct way of contacting a user.
Social networking sites are designed to increase social interaction in virtual environment. Such interaction can potentially address many concerns of teenagers and emerging adults for the need of friendship and peer feedback. (Tiffany et al., 2009)
Using the Facebook is easier and less time consuming than picking up the phone to call a friend. It is very easy means of communication within the friends and people in network. The Facebook also give an opportunity to learn something about friends. . (Tiffany et al., 2009) Therefore, the Facebook is medium of communication in this virtual world where people get entertained themselves by posting comments on pictures, videos, links, status and many more