Effects Of Social Networking Site In Interpersonal Communication

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Our world is made up of connections. We are connected to the natural environment around us and affect that environment with our actions. We are linked to one another by biological and social connections such as family and work associations and by physical and situational conditions such as proximity, timing and movement. We are also connected by commonalities, shared experiences and similar points of view. In most interpersonal cases, facilitating and fostering connections with one another requires some type of communication. This chapter highlights social networking sites (SNS). It deals with the use of social networking sites in interpersonal communication.


The realm of Social Networking Sites is increasingly emerging the same field. This will give a proper guideline to the research work and enable integration of the past studies leading to the expansion of knowledge.

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Interpersonal communication is both spoken and written words along with nonverbal cues to develop and maintain relationships with friends and family. Although online interaction has many benefits, scholars are saying as the learning of relational skills continues, people who rely on online relationships are losing the ability to interact with others in real life. The ability to talk or communicate face to face is becoming eradicated. The inability to effectively communicate may harm relational the interpersonal communication skills of young adults. This can potentially impact family relationships, socialization, school performance, and employment. Scholars are raising concerns of the negative effects of Internet among the younger generations and their potential risks to safety, well-being, and skill development (Drussel, 2012).

It is almost impossible to find users walking around without mobile devices in their hands. There are several studies suggesting that young adults today have very low media literacy because they would take Social Networking Sites as their personal space and act as they wish and may cause mental health problem for the excessive users (Kuss & Griffiths, 2011).

The Philippines’s social media usage stands in stark contrast to its internet speed. Fixed broadband speed here is among the slowest in Asia Pacific while mobile connections are among the fastest, according to the most recent Akamai report.

Nicole Ellison (2008) Social Networking Sites provides very thought provoking insights. According to this study, 85 % of the respondents use one or more social networking sites. The extent of the usage of Social Networking Sites has increased dramatically in the past two years and the usage of Social Networking Sites as well differs considerably by age. Consequently, Facebook is the most commonly used Social Networking Site, with twitter as the second choice. The majority of the users of Social Networking Sites spend 5 hours or less per week. Younger respondents report spending more time than older respondents. It also emphasized that most students (87%) put access restrictions on their profiles. Younger respondents and females are most likely to do so.


The study conducted by Anne West, Jane Lewis and Peter Curries (2009) on “Student Facebook ‘friends’: Public and Private Spheres”, suggested that Social Networking Sites, such as Facebook are associated with new ways of constructing some of the notions surrounding the traditional public/private dichotomy. Notions of what are private and what are public is fuzzy, with no clear-cut public/private dichotomy. Computer mediated communication appears to make this fuzziness more apparent than has hitherto been the case.

Greenhow and Robelia (2009) researchers have found that teenagers find creative ways to gain access to new technologies, participate in various online communities that help them learn new skills, and delve into deep learning on topics that are personally interesting to them (Ito, et al., 2010). Teenagers also utilize social network sites to provide social support to peers, share creative work, and network with others. Participating in communities such as Facebook or MySpace provide new venues through which individuals learn these new media skills. Systematic differences in access to these online communities may thus reflect opportunities, or lack thereof, for particular youth populations to cultivate these literacy skills.

Mecheel (2010) identifies the impact of the social networking on the social relations. It has been applied on the total sample of (1600) young users of social networks in Britain, the results showed that more than half of the adults who use the sites, including (Facebook and Youtube) admit that they spend more time on the internet more than on the real friends or with family members. The study also undertakes that they do not talk much by phone, do not watch TV a lot, and do not play many computer games. The study showed that about 53% of those who participated in the survey state that the social networks of Internet change their lifestyles. The study revealed that half of Internet users in the UK are members of social networking sites, as compared to (27%) only in France, 33% in Japan, and (40%) in America.

Donna Reid and Fraser Reid (2004) examined how technology can positively impact interpersonal communication. They focused on Social Networking Sites used by college students. The study states that compared to other means of communication, users of Social Networking Sites were found to be more likely to discuss their “real-self” through Social Networking Sites. It appears that there is something special about Social Networking Sites that allow people to develop their interpersonal relationship with others. This is a clear example of how technology can help interpersonal communication. On the other hand, some advancement is decreasing the personal nature of communication especially with virtual contact at times replacing face to face contact.

While opinions may differ on whether it is good or bad, at the very least it is confirmed that it changes the landscape of interpersonal communication. Social networking sites have added entirely new meanings to interpersonal interaction and community. It is the interplay between the internet and real-life communication and its subsequent effect on interpersonal relationships. Social Networking websites have bundled many of the internet communication standards such as e-mail forums, and instant messaging into one resource.

According to Vitak (2008), there are various reasons why individuals use social networking site. The first reason is for them to meet strangers and become friends. The majority of respondents of her research paper (57%) said that they were initially introduced to those “friends” through mutual friends, which increased the likelihood of such relationships developing into strong ties. While a significant portion of respondents stated that they have at least a few online friends, 85% said that they do not communicate with most of their online friends, and the majority of respondents said that they considered those friendships as strong ties. Through social networking sites, users tend to maintain their interpersonal relationships with their online friends because of easy communication. Therefore, they can use private messaging, chat rooms, and other methods of communication provided by the website.


MANILA, Philippines – In 2015, you’ve seen a wide variety of events unfold before your eyes –while scrolling up and down your own Facebook news feeds. Aside from being a social networking platform, Facebook has also become one of the leading sources of news and information worldwide. Thanks to the easier access to the Internet, a Facebook user can easily keep up with current events through the news that pop up in his/her feed.

Each major event that happened in the Philippines and all over the world created a unique social conversation that triggered not just emotions but also action. We have witnessed how global movements unfolded together with the news, and how social media played a crucial role in making it all happen.

Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) Chairman Ivan John E. Uy said that social networking sites can be a useful tool in public service delivery. “The use of Facebook and Twitter in government offices provides better access to the public,” he said in an interview aired over DZRB. There are 24 million Internet users in the Philippines, 51% of which use social networking sites. Social media is an effective platform for information dissemination and engagement. “It’s about time to engage with our stakeholders. There are 1.4 million government workers all over the country.

Facebook, in particular, is not only the most prevalent but also the most preferred form of communication for many students and young adults today. As of April 2016, Facebook was the most popular social networking site in the world, based on the number of active user accounts—more than 1.94 billion monthly active users as of March 2017. Facebook is a social networking site that allows users to post comments, share photographs and links to news or other interesting content on the Web, play games, chat live, and even stream live video. Shared content can be made publicly accessible, or it can be shared only among a selected group of friends or family, or with a single person.

Nowadays, when you look around you, you’ll notice people with their heads bowed down, hands busy tapping on their phones. Instead of talking to their friends who are right there with them, they prefer to do online activities with their other friends. Ironically, social media – the supposed great enabler of interpersonal communication – is actually causing its demise.


Social media not only impacts interpersonal communication and relationships but also the character of the users. Social media is making us impatient and anxious. Many teenagers and adults wake up in the middle of the night just to check their phones because they fear missing out on something that is happening on allowssocial media platforms as if the information will not be available the next day. People begin to have tantrums out of restlessness if they don’t find access to social media for a few hours. We are losing our ability to interact with intensive engagement in face-to-face interactions

Many scholars believe that the main function of social networking is to augment face-to-face relationships rather than replace them or build new contacts. Ling (2010) said, “Facebook, and other forms of online interaction supplement co-present and telephonic contact” (p. 183). One study reported that the main purpose of social networking was for users to keep in touch with their friends. Only trivial communications were exchanged through these sites, and social networking didn’t act as a replacement for face-to-face communication and voice calls (Coyle et al. 2008, p. 15).

An aspect of social networking that has become popular is its ability to connect people who geographically cannot have face-to-face communications. Facebook and sites like it allow people to connect to old friends and acquaintances or to stay connected as friends and family travel or move geographically. Essentially it allows people “to stay linked with people with whom they used to be more closely involved, e.g., former classmates” (Coyle et al., 2008, p. 14).

At this point, a social network user has already made the choice, or had the choice made for them, to see that person less regularly, even though they are still interested in their well-being and recent news. Social networking websites allow family members to keep in close contact while in separate geographic regions (Berker, 2006, p. 62).

Originally, people use the internet for informational knowledge but somehow nowadays, it was used for communication and news updates for trends and/or as entertainment channels. Phil people use the Internet and Social Networking Sites to connect and communicate with each other because of the easy Internet access. Since everything is updated on the Internet or Social networks for almost twenty-four hours a day, therefore, the users may feel the pressure to be online all the time to be part of the mainstream or the social norms(www.ultius.com).


Overall the research seems fairly consistent. Most studies conclude that social networking websites are not replacing face-to-face social interaction entirely because such interactions tend to be relatively superficial, except for the uninhibited and honest communication that tends to happen between people who already know each other. Social networking may act in place of face-to-face communication only when there are few other ways for people to stay in contact, as the case might be when a family member or friend moves to another location. As social networking sites continue to grow in popularity it is our belief that technology is a vital part of today‘s student success equation. Many researchers have been diving into a considerable amount of research on how social media affects students’ communication. 


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