What is a Social Networking Site?
At the most basic level Social Networking Sites are sites that allow users to set up online profiles or personal homepages, and develop an online Network. The profile page functions as the user's own webpage and includes profile information ranging from their date of birth, gender, religion, politics and hometown to their favorite films, books, and what they like doing in their spare time. Users are then able to build a network of connections that they can display as a list of Friends. It is important to note that the term "Friend" as used on social networking sites is totally different from the traditional meaning given to the term in the offline world. In this article we will use the as it is used on a social networking site to mean anyone who has invited, or been invited by, another user to be their "friend".
The 5 Attitudes & Behaviors Of Individuals Towards Social Networking Sites.
Social networkers differ in their attitudes to social networking sites and in their behavior while using them. Research indicates that site users tend to fall into five distinct groups based on their behaviors and attitudes. These are as follows,
- Alpha Socialisers These are people who use Social sites in intense short bursts to Flirt, Meet new people and be Entertained. They are mostly male and under the age of 25 years. These people mostly prefer sites that do not hold intellectual content but rather exchanging pictures and simple short texts. This group is the minority(3%) in the Social Networkers population.
- Attention Seekers These are people who crave for attention and comments from others, often by posting photos and customizing their profiles. These are mostly Females although there are some males who can not help it but seek attention too. These females range from Teens to 35+ years especially mothers who are on social sites. Theses constitute approximately 15% of the social networkers population.
- Followers These are people who joined social sites to keep up with what their peers are doing. They are both male and female and this category contains people of all ages. These people always prefer not to initiate conversations online but enjoy viewing what their peers have posted on their timelines. They approximately constitute 42% of the Social Networkers population.
- Faithfuls These are people who basically use social networking sites to rekindle old friendships, often from school or University. Both males and females are always active in this group especially the corporate class people. The faithfuls are usually 20+ years. Such people are very active on Facebook and Twitter. They constitute 35% of the Social networkers population.
- Functionals These are people who tend to be single minded in using social sites for a particular purpose. They are majorly professionals who only associate with people of the same interests. They are very common on Twitter and Google+ ,They are always driven by their interests and hobbies to participate on social sites. They are mostly males of 20+ years of age. They constitute 5% of the social networkers population.
Non-Users of Social Networking Sites also fall into distinct groups;
These groups are based on their reasons for not using social networking sites. They include,
- The Concerned about Safety These are people who are always concerned about their safety online, in particular they hate to reveal their personal details online.
- Technically inexperienced These are people who lack confidence in using the internet and computers. These people always fear to laughed at hence decide not to get involved in social networking.
- Intellectual Rejecters These are people who have no interest in social networking sites and see them as a waste of time. They usually claim to be very busy with their lives and jobs.
By Mwebya Fred,