Social Networks and Relationships - Sociology Essay Example

Social Networks and Relationships, Yay or Nay? - Social Networks and Relationships introduction?? Malynda Robinson Kean University Abstract 15 students from Kean University were surveyed to measure social networks’ connections with the development, maintenance and closure of relationships. The purpose of the survey was to determine whether or not social networks are healthy for relationships. Facebook was listed as one of the networks that is most frequently visited and consumed a lot respondent’s time. 53% have facebook accounts, 6% have twitter accounts, 33% have both accounts and 6% have neither account, M=2. 27 SD= 1. 16.

The amount of hours a person spends on social networks had a significant interaction with the ending of relationships. Findings show that the more partners communicate through social networks the more likely their relationship will be maintained. There was a statistical significance r=. 84 p< . 05 in jealousy and people end relationships; the more jealous they are or become the more likely the relationship will end. There was no statistical significance between gender and other variables in this study. (155/2,237) Literature Review It is no shocker that technology is used every day of our lives.


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One technology source that we can’t seem to get enough of is computers. Social networks are a place where many people base their lives on. Hall supported his views on the amount of time College students spent on social networks, their motives for using these networks, and their levels of extroversion, outgoing or sociable person (Oxford dictionary, 1997) and neuroticism, a personality trait characterized instability, anxiety, and aggression (World English Dictionary, (2009) . To find how each were related to one another or the highest rate of the four, a survey was given to 101 college students.

Results of the study showed that the overall motives for using social networks were for entertainment, information, relationship development, relationship maintenance, and trend following (Hall, 2009). There were many associations between the motives and the levels of extraversion and neuroticism but the one that overshadowed them all was, “extraversion was associated with time spent on the sites and with endorsement of relationship maintenance and time-passing entertainment motives. ” (Hall, A. (2009). This association demonstrates that those college students have an extravert personality.

Facebook was used as the tool to help those with a high extroversion score to maintain existing relationships. The survey was given to only college undergraduate student therefore the findings were not enough to make a generalized to a larger population. Facebook was a main social network site discussed in the article because it was initially created for college students and they are the most active users. As facebook goes, it will become more appealing and addictive to all users. Hempel, J, and Kowitt B discuss the growth, financial strength and people’s addiction to facebook (social network site).

The article went into depth of the purpose of 24-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s facebook creation and his future plans for the social network site. Facebook has expanded nationwide and it was stated that “…it grows at a rate of five million new users a week. ” (Hempel, J & Kowitt B, (2009). Facebook was initially made for college students between 18 and 24 years old but due to growth and trend it has exceeded its age limit. The article introduced Peter Lichtenstein, 57 a chiropractor and acupuncturist who didn’t think facebook was necessary or appealing to his daily life.

He got persuaded o become a member because his long time friend posted a link of photos and refused to distribute them any other way. He like other middle aged people have joined the army of over 175 million. (Hempel, J & Kowitt B, (2009). According to Comscore people are logged into facebook about ‘169 minutes a month” The more information that you display on facebook, the more interesting your news feed will become. Therefore, more people will log on daily jus to see what’s new in everyone’s life. (Hempel J, Kowitt, B (2009).

This shows a huge association with the Authors title “Facebook is Taking Over Our Lives,” because its explains how its features make individuals so addicted that they go from just updating their status to scrolling down to their friends newsfeeds, photos, status information, etc. Facebook can either make one available, in a relationship, or make things complicated just by the click of a status button. Relationship statuses are categorized by: single, in a relationship, engaged, married, it’s complicated, and in an open relationship (Suddath, 2009).

She discussed her feedback she received when she asked others about the importance of announcing a relationship status. Their responses ranged from those who change their relationship status when they have a significant other to those that don’t think it’s necessary to display that type of information on social networks. Relationships go astray when one wants to tell the world and the other doesn’t. Another common problem is when partners delete relationship status and everyone on the network finds out about their breakup. Once it’s put out there, you cannot control the spread.

This spread causes others to then be a part of the relationship which can make the situation even worse than the actually breakup. American divorce lawyers, academics and analysts concluded that facebook has a lot to do with the high divorce rate. Evidence was conducted through a 2010 by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and “four out of five lawyers reported an increasing number of divorce cases citing evidence derived from social networking sites in the past five years, with Facebook being the market leader,” myspace with 15% and Twitter with 5%.

(Adams,R, 2011) This site has made the lives of people more open and relationships are no longer private. Also in the defense the spokesman stated, “It’s ridiculous to suggest that Facebook leads to divorce. Whether you’re breaking up or just getting together, Facebook is just a way to communicate, like letters, phone calls and emails. ” (facebook spokeman) (Adams,R, 2011). One spoke out against the article and said that it’s the people who cause divorces not facebook. It may be the leading source of relationship failure but it is not the only social network source that causes much confusion.

Twitter is another popular social network. Maria Puente purpose is to inform readers not to allow twitter to interfere with their personal relationships with others. She gave scenarios of dates have gone wrong due to lack of attention on the date and more focused on twitter. This article was primarily based on others who reported on their experiences with twitter and relationships. (Puente, M. (2009). “No one is actually in the moment anymore. (For some people) strangers on the Internet are more important than the people in their real lives. ” (Puente, M. (2009).

Even though the creation of twitter was to bring people closer, it seems to her that it is also creating much distance between couples. Social networks do influence the development, maintenance and outcome of a relationship. This study will explore the negative and positive of these social networks in hopes to focus on how they influence a relationship. Common questions are; “Is social networks sources of breakups? Is having a profile on social networks healthy for a relationship? These are questions that do not have accurate answers but are often up for debate.

Therefore, exploration in those areas are necessary and will show that the more accounts an individual has the more likely the relationship will end, the more likely the participants spent hours online the less likely individuals develop a relationship, and communication through social networks will help maintain the relationship. Social networks have fostered the idea that relationships can be developed, maintained or destroyed quickly. Method Participants A survey was conducted among college students of Kean University.

15 participants (12 females, 3 males) were invited and given a consent and agreed to complete the survey. The mean of the participant’s ages was 22. 2 and the range was 18-30 years old. Procedures Each student was selected using a convenience sampling approach. The participants were specifically told that they were completing a survey on social networks and relationships. Each participant was given a consent form to read and sign before they completed the survey. (Appendix) They were given up to 20 minutes to complete the survey. After it was complete, each student was given candy.

Materials; demographic survey (gender, age, relationship status), questionnaire, consent form, candy Measures The survey was to measure whether or not social networks are healthy for relationships. The survey had two 4 point likert scales (Strongly agree =1 agree=2 undecided=3 disagree=4 strongly disagree=4) & (Often=1 sometimes=2 rarely=3 never=4) The convergent validity is the jealousy it involved, time spend on social networks, privacy and attention seeking. The survey consisted of 27 statements and needed to be completed using the two scales above.

Some examples of statements were; facebook/twitter helps the development of relationships, both individuals in the relationship should have accounts, people cause relationship to end, people should establish regulations for usage of social networks, and social networks makes relationships stronger. Results There was no statistical significance between gender and other variables in this study. Frequency Respondents were asked about how much time they spend of social networks to make a connection with relationship breakups. The average of respondents that have a facebook, twitter, or both accounts was M= 2.

27 and SD= 1. 16. (See table 2) The hypothesized correlation that the hours people spend online would be strongly related with networks ending relationships. Results were significant r = . 37 p < . 05. In addition, hours online and the development of the relationship were not significant r= -. 46 p < . 05. Therefore, the more likely the participants spent hours online the less likely individuals develop the relationship. Jealousy When asked if they get jealous if they see certain things on their partners profile page (facebook/ twitter), the M= 2. 53, SD=1. 06.

There was a statistical significance r=. 84 p< . 05 in jealousy and people end relationships; the more jealous they are or become the more likely the relationship will end. This would reflect my hypothesis that social networks influence relationships. Communication Participants were asked if it was important to put their relationship status on their facebook (e. g. Single, in a relationship, widowed, married, engaged, in a civil union, etc). The hypothesized correlation between status promotion and the maintenance of a relationship was significant r= . 93 p < . 05.

Findings show that the more partners communicate through social networks the more likely their relationship will be maintained. The mean and the standard deviation of the two was; status promotion M= 2. 73 SD= 1. 09 and maintenance of relationship M=2. 4 SD= 1. 50. Discussion The results of my study do not support that gender plays a role is related to any other variables. This study does not divide the answers between male and female, instead it was more general. It was not necessary to conduct the findings needed. The hypothesis stating that the more accounts an individual has the more likely the relationship would end was supported.

This can be because a person may become more involved and interested in social networks that they lack the interest in the individual. The results of the study supports that, the more likely the participants spent hours online the less likely individuals develop the relationship. One partner may spend extreme amount of hours on facebook and/or twitter that they lose focus to develop their relationship. Also, the hypothesis that communication through social networks (status promotion) helps maintain the relationship was supported.

All five articles reveal that social networks influence the development, maintenance, and outcome of relationships. In the future there should be more demographic survey questions and gender should can be connected to social networks to show the differences in gender. Appendix Table 1 Consent Form You are invited to participate in a undergraduate student research project that explores “Does social networks influence relationships? ” You have been selected using a convenience sampling approach. Your participation will include you filling out a short survey. This is completely voluntary and confidential.

At no time will you be asked to provide any private information nor will it be linked to your name on your consent form. If you agree to participate in the study, please sign and print your name below. Please keep one copy of this consent for your records and return one copy for me. Thanks for your time and effort! ( ) I have read and understand the information provided above, and I have voluntary agreed to participate. Survey 1. Gender (check) M___ F___ 2. Age (check) 18-20____ 21-24____ 25-30____ 3. Relationship status (check) Single_______ In a relationship_____ Married ______ 4.

I have a facebook and/or twitter account (check) Facebook______twitter______Both______ 5. On average, I spend ______ hr(s) on social networks per/ week (circle) Less than 11-2 2-3 3-5 5-7 7+ Questions ( 6-16) use this scale (Strongly agreeagreeundecideddisagreestrongly disagree) 1 2 3 45 6. Facebook/twitter helps the development of relationships 1 2 3 45 7. It is important to put your relationship status on facebook ( ex: in a relationship, single, widowed, married, engaged, in a civil union.

etc) 1 2 3 45 8. Both individuals should have a facebook account 1 2 3 45 *Twitter account 1 2 3 45 9. The two individuals help the development of the relationship 1 2 3 45 10. People cause relationships to end 1 2 3 45 11. facebook/twitter cause relationships to end 1 2 3 45 12. It is rude to be on social networks while on a date 1 2 3 45 *While hanging out with your partner 1 2 3 45 13. Facebook/twitter is a source used to cheat on someone 1 2 3 45

14. People in relationships should establish regulations for usage of social networks 1 2 3 45 15. I would deactivate my accounts to maintain my relationship with someone 1 2 3 45 16. It is invasion of privacy for partners to share passwords 1 2 3 45 Questions (17-24) use this scale Oftensometimesrarelynever 1 2 3 4 17. Before a Re-tweet things I think about if it will affect my affect my current relationship 1 2 3 4 18.

I tweet subliminal to get his/her attention 1 2 3 4 19. I get jealous when I see certain things on my partners profile page (facebook/twitter) 1 2 3 4 20. I have had arguing over facebook/twitter 1 2 3 4 21. I check my partners profile (facebook/twitter) 1 2 3 4 22. I use social networks to communicate more than (text messaging, phone, face to face) 1 2 3 4

23. I ended a relationship because of the influence of social networks 1 2 3 4 24. Social networks make relationships stronger 1 2 3 4 25. Social networks are healthy for relationships Strongly agreeagreeundecideddisagreestrongly disagree Table 2 N=15 Descriptive Statistics | mean| Std. deviation| gender| 1. 8000| . 41404| account| 2. 2667| 1. 16292| Hrs online| 3. 2667| 1. 62422| Ppl end relationships| 2. 0000| 1. 19523| Indvd help development| 2. 4000| 1. 50238| Networks end relat| 2. 6667| 1. 17514|

jealousy| 2. 5333| 1. 06010| Arguments over networks| 2. 8000| 1. 08233| Communicate more| 2. 7333| 1. 09978| Networks make relations| 3. 1333| . 89974| healthy| 3. 6667| . 97590| References Adams, Richard, ( 2011). Facebook a top cause of relationship trouble. Retrieved October 31, 2011. http://www. guardian. co. uk/technology/2011/mar/08/facebook-us-divorces Extroversion. (1997) In Abate. R. F (ed. ) Oxford Pocket Dictionary and Thesaurus. (p. 271) 1- 937. New York: Oxford Press. Hempel, J. , & Kowitt, B. (2009). How Facebook is Taking Over Our Lives. (cover story). Fortune, 159(4), 48- 56.

Retrieved October 11, 2011. neuroticism. (n. d. ). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved October 30, 2011, from Dictionary. com website: http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/neuroticism Puente, Maria. (2009). The Popularity of Twitter has some relationships in a Twist. Retrieved November 1, 2011. http://www. usatoday. com/life/lifestyle/2009-04-14-twitter-relationships_N. htm Suddath, Claire. (2009). Your Facebook Relationship Status: It’s Complicated. Retrieved October 31, 2011. http://www. time. com/time/business/article/0,8599,1895694,00. html.

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