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Issues relating to privacy and publicity, morality and ethics, are some of the issues dominating amongst the discussions around social media. In relation to such discussions, there is one or a number of problem statements that can be derived. The topic of discussion in this research paper relates to social abilities of the social sites users. From these issues, the problem statement is derived.
Social sites enhance the social capability of the social users and the influential capacity of the users.
The research will mostly engage the information gathered by four scholars. The articles written by Eric Schoon and Cindy I. Cain (Facebook’s Boundaries), C. Clayton Childress (All Media is Social), Eric Gilbert and Karrie Karahalios (Predicting Tie Strength with Social Media) and Daniel M.Romero et al. (Influence and Passivity in Social Media) will be used to elaborate and further develop this problem statement. These sources have information relating to various fields relevant to the study. While Schoon and Cindy explore on the issue of privacy, Clayton expounds on the meaning and the content associated with social media. While Gilbert and Karrie offer information relating to gauging the strength of ties established by the users, Romero et al. are precise on the relationship between popularity and influence among the users.
Various authors have different perceptions relating to social sites/media. While some users have their reservations regarding these media, others have accepted them as a comprehensive and prevailing means of communication and interaction in the society in the world today. The resources used in this research elaborate differently on issues relating to all forms of social media. However, they seem to have a certain goal. All the information leans towards the strength of the social media in as far as personalities and influences are concerned. Schoon and Cindy (70-71) expound on the issue of privacy. Their concern is that there seems to be quite a narrow boundary between privacy and publicity in such sites. Their main focus is the social site known as Facebook. Such simple acts and private acts as befriending people are now public. While the site seems to imply that there is privacy when a user “unfriends” another user, there is still some form of publicity to such acts. The authors state that “the rise of unfriending demonstrates how an otherwise personal ritual has been transformed into a public act” (Schoon and Cindy 71). In relation to the thesis, the sites seem to control people’s sociability while making the users get the impression that they are still in control.
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Gilbert and Karrie (4-9) investigate the tie strengths between users of social media. Although their concentration is on Facebook users, this information is also applicable to Twitter followers, another influential social site. Friend requests array from known users to total strangers. The information gathered by the researchers indicates that having many friends does not necessarily imply that the user is sociable. It is relevant to understand that having adding another friend only requires the user to click on the “Add Friend” button. After this act, there may be no further communication or social activity between the user and the other friends. Through the model innovated by Gilbert and Karrie (9), the weak ties are present among Facebook users. This is because the users have both known people and strangers as friends. Through such indications it is clear that users only socialize with other users because they are at will to do so, but not because they trust the site.
Romero et al. seem to dwell on the influence capability of the users of these social sites. In their research, they concluded that “high popularity does not necessarily imply high influence and vice-versa” (Romero et al. 18). Many people feel that the presence of social sites has encouraged people to be social. Although this is arguably true; there is the misconception linking popularity to influence. Through this source, the statement made earlier was confirmed. If a user has many friends or followers it does not necessarily mean that he/she is influential. Similarly, it does not mean that he/she is highly sociable. Altogether, the influence of social media on the public cannot be ignored. Facebook and Twitter have been highly used in the world of politics and business over a number of years with a significant success. This source allows one to understand the relevance of gauging the influence of user rather than simply looking at the number of users he/she can access.
Childress (54-55) is more concerned with the resources classified as social media. Many people have the perception that social media are limited to blogs, social sites and other technologically based devices. Childress makes the reader understand that films, books and other old forms of social media are still relevant and influential today. The significant aspect of this source is that it pulls away the internet based forms of social media. The research spreads to other forms of media that were present in earlier times. This information allows the researcher to have a comprehensive view of this arena of social media. As is most relevant, gaining meaningful information and making comprehensive conclusions should be characterized by all forms of information dealing with the thesis or the problem statement. This source by Childress brings the all inclusive aspect to this research.
All four resources bring some form of information that is relevant in discussing and elaborating the problem statement. There is the issue of the social capability of the users and there is another issue regarding the influence related to the users and the sites. One thing emerging in these resources is that they do not offer contradictory information as though bringing two sides of a debate. Instead, they have information that develops the research from one perspective. This is the direction that the researcher intends to take. However, the research can take other directions as will be indicated.
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As indicated, there are other aspects to the research. For example, there can be various sides of the research such as presenting the arguments and counter arguments relating to the problem statements. This will include finding resources that are thorough on information relating to the various aspect of the research. In this approach, I could present the information that supports my arguments while presenting other arguments that are against my arguments. Additionally, I could present both sides of the argument and then come up with a conclusion leaning towards my perception. I could also make a conclusion that allows the reader to expound more on my topic. From another angle, I could give recommendations on some issues arising within the problem statements. For example, the issue of privacy is most prevalent. However, there are few researches giving solutions to the privacy weakness. I could expound more on some of the recommendations. Furthermore, I can gather more information that will make me narrow down my research even further. A more narrowed research ought to give more definite conclusive information as opposed to a wide problem statement or topic (Pande 55, 57, 61). For example, I could link my problem statement to specific social problems as related to families, teenagers or otherwise.
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