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OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment Abstract Onlinesocialnetworkinghasbecomeextremelypopularwithadolescentsand youngadults.NinetythreepercentofcollegestudentshaveaFacebookaccount.

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prevalenceofonlinesocialnetworkinggrowssodopsychologistsconcernsaboutInternet communicationseffectonadolescentsocialdevelopment.Inreviewingtheliterature,there weretwopredominateconcernsmypaperaddresses.Whoisusingonlinesocial networkingsites?Somedatapointstoadolescentswhoarealreadysociallyadeptusingthe Internettomaintainrelationshipsandconnecttonewgroups.Thisphenomenonisknown astherichgetricherhypothesis.Otherresearchsupportsasocialcompensationthesis,in whichyouthwhoarelesssociallyadeptusesocialnetworkingwebsitestoselfdiscloseand makenewfriendswhentheymightbetooshytodosoinreallife.Thesecondquestion researchersposeaskswhatisthenatureoftherelationshipsadolescentsareforming online?Researchprovidesevidencethatyoungpeopleuseonlinesocialnetworkingto maintainalreadyformedfriendshipsandbuildcommunities.Soaresocialnetworking websitessimplygivingadolescentsanewoutletforsomethingtheyweretraditionally focusedoninthisstageoftheirlifeoristhedistancetheInternetprovidesdetrimentalto thedevelopmentofyoungpeoplesfacetofacesocialskills?

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment Introduction OnlinesocialnetworkingandInternetcommunicationisbecomingwildlypopular

withadolescentsandyoungadults(Allen,Evans,Hare,Mikami,&Szwedo,2010,Anderson Butcher,Ball,Brzozowski,Lasseigne,Lehnert,&McCormick,2010;DeGroot,Ledbetter, Mao,Mazer,Meyer,&Swafford,2011;Finkelhor,Mitchell,&Wolack,2002;Greenfield& Subrahmanyam,2008;Kramer&Winter,2008;Regan&Steeves,2010;Sheldon,2008). 93%ofyoungpeopleinAmericabetweentheagesoftwelveandseventeenareusingthe Internet(AndersonButcheretal.,2010).Ninetythreepercentofcollegestudentsreport havingafacebookaccount(Sheldon,2008)andthesenumbersareonlyincreasing.As youthonlinesocialnetworkingusagegrowsinprevalence,sodopsychologistsconcerns abouttheeffectsvirtualcommunicationhasonadolescentsocialdevelopment.After reviewingtheresearch,itbecameobviousthereweretwoaspectsofadolescent developmentandsocialnetworkusagemostoftendiscussedbyscholars. First,isthedebateoverwhetherInternetcommunicationisusedmostbythose alreadysociallyadeptforadditionalinteractionstobolsteralreadythrivingsocial networksorthoseyoungpeoplewholacksocialskillsandemploysocialnetworksasa formofsocialcompensation(Sheldon,2010).Second,adolescenceispossiblythemost essentialtimeforsocialdevelopmentinapersonslife.Inthisperiodteenslearntoform andmaintainintimatefriendshipsandotheressentialsocialskills.Theseskillsbecome vitalinyoungadulthoodwhenpeergroupsbecometheprimaryresourceforemotional support(Allenetal.,2010).Researcherswanttocomprehendthenatureofthe relationshipsadolescentsareformingonline.Thispaperwillbeanindepthexaminationof theresearchfindingsonthesetwotopics.

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment RichGetRichervs.SocialCompensation Researchershaveproposedtwoopposinghypothesisinanswertothequestion;

whyareyoungpeoplesoapttoutilizesocialnetworkingsites(Sheldon,2008)?Thefirstof theseistherichgetrichertheory.Moreextravertedteensthatalreadyhavewell establishedpeergroupsreportusingthecommunicationwebsitesasadditionalpeer interactiontoreinforcealreadyformedfriendshipsandkeepintouchwithlongdistance friends.Ontheotherhand,lesssociallyadeptyouthexplaintheironlinesocialnetworking asaplacetoanonymouslyselfdiscloseandmakefriendswhentheymightotherwisebe toouncomfortabletodoso.Thisgroupisusingonlinesocialnetworkingtocompensate socially,thusdisplayingthesecondhypothesis,thesocialcompensationhypothesis (AndersonButcheretal.,2010).Thereismuchdebateandcontradictoryresearchover whichofthesemotivestakesprecedencebecausepastresearchhasshownthatlesssocially capableteensaremorelikelytoturntotheworldwidewebwhilecurrentresearchis showingtheopposite. Sheldon(2008)conductedastudyinwhichsheexploresstudentsmotivesfor creatingandmaintainingafacebookaccountandtherelationshipbetweenunwillingness tocommunicateandfacebookusage.Shewantedtodiscoverwhatstudentsmotivesfor facebookusagewere,ifthosewhodidnotlikefacetofacecommunicationhaddifferent motivesforutilizingfacebook,andifunwillingnesstocommunicatecouldpredicta studentsbehaviorandattitudeintheironlinesocialnetworking.Sheldonsurveyeda sampleof172fromalargeuniversity.Studentscompletedaquestionnairethataskedthem toreportontheirdemographics,unwillingnesstocommunicate,motivesforhavinga facebookaccount,theamountoftimetheyspendonfacebook,andtheirattitudetoward

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment thesocialnetworkingwebsite.Afteranalyzingherdate,Sheldonfoundmaintenanceof relationshipsandpassingtimewerethemotivesforfacebookusagethatscoredhighest. Whenshecomparedmotivesforemployingfacebookandunwillingnesstocommunicate, theauthorfoundstudentswhodidnotenjoyorfeltanxietyaboutfacetofaceinteraction usedfacebooktopasstimeandfeellesslonelybutwerefarlesslikelytobelieveonline communicationwouldaidtheminmakingnewfriends.Finally,Sheldonlookedatthe correlationbetweenunwillingnesstocommunicateandtheamountoftimespenton

facebookaswellasattitudestowardsit.Herdatasuggestedthatstudentswhoengageless inpersonalsocialinteractionhavefewerfacebookfriendsbutloggedontofacebookmore. Theresultsofthisresearchappeartosupporttherichgetricherhypothesis. Allenetal.(2010)hypothesizedthattheyoungpeoplewhoparticipatedinonline socialnetworkingwouldbemoresociallyadjusted.Theyalsoexaminedhowadult communicationwasaffected,whichwillbediscussedlaterinthisreview.Theresearchers conductedalongitudinalstudyon172participants.First,theysurveyedandinterviewed preteensontheirpeersociometricstatus,positiveandnegativepeerinteraction,and symptomsofdepression.Themothersofthesepreteensweresurveyedabouttheir childrensdeviantbehaviors.Whenparticipantsreachedyoungadulthood,theresearchers askedforaccesstotheirfacebookpagesiftheypossessedone.Allenetal.coded92 facebookpagesfornumberoffriends,connectionwithfriends,frienddisplaysofsupport, hostileprofilebiographies,andinappropriatepictures.Theyalsosurveyedthese92young adultsonthequalityoftheirfriendshipsandsymptomsofdepression.Finally,theyasked friendsoftheparticipantstocompletetheYoungAdultBehaviorChecklist.Afterperforming anordinaryleastsquareshierarchicalmultipleregressionsoneachvariable,these

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment researchersfoundpreteenswhohaddisplayednegativityinfriendshipsandreported

symptomsofdepressionwerelesslikelytopossessasocialnetworkingprofile.Incontrast, earlyadolescentswhoreportedmorepositiveintimatefriendshipsweremoreliableto possessawebpage.Thisarticlealsosupportstherichgetrichertheory. KramerandWinter(2008)didastudyonhowselfesteem,extraversion,self efficacy,andselfpresentationareaffectedbyonlinesocialnetworking.Theirfirst hypothesisexploredtherelationshipbetweenpresentingoneselfonsocialnetworking sitesandextraversion.Theyconductedtheirstudyon58youngpeoplewhoweremembers ofstudiVZ,whichisaGermansocialnetworkingwebsitemuchlikefacebook.Theseyouths completedasurveyontheirlevelofextraversion,selfesteem,andabilitytoeffectively presentthemselves.Thentheparticipantsprofileswereassessedonnumbersoffriends, groups,photos,biographicalfieldscompleted,andwords.Theyalsocheckedprofilesfor realnames,politicalleanings,andrelationshipstatus.Theresearchersconducteda multivariateanalysisofvarianceusingextroversionasthestablefactor.Theydiscovereda positivecorrelationexistedbetweenextravertedindividualsandamorecreativeprofile picture.However,noothersignificantrelationshipsshowedupintheiranalysis.These researchfindingswereinconclusiveandsupportneithertherichgetricherorthesocial compensationhypothesizes. DeGrootetal.(2011)conductedanextensivestudyonyoungpeoplesfeelings towardssociallyconnectingonlineandselfdisclosureaspredictorsofcommunicationon facebookaswellasthelevelofintimacyinrelationships.Theirstudyincludednine hypotheses,twoofwhicharerelevanttothisexaminationoffindingsonthetwomotive hypotheses.Theresearchersaskifonlinesocialconnection(OSC)hasapositiverelationship

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment withthefrequencyoffacetofacecommunicationwithfacebookfriendsandif communicatingonfacebookispositivelycorrelatedwithpersonalinteractionswith

facebookfriends.Therewere325facebookuserswhoparticipatedinthisstudy.Theywere surveyedontheirattitudetowardsonlinecommunicationandthenaskedquestionsabout arandomlyselectedfacebookfriend.Thesequestionsincludedwherethefriendlived, amountoffacebookcommunicationwiththisfriend,nonInternetcommunicationwiththis friend,andhowclosetheyweretothisfriend.Afteranalysis,theresultsshowedthatOSC hasapositiverelationshipwithcommunicationviafacebookwhenonlineselfdisclosureis low.Theyalsofoundthatpersonalinteractionwithafriendmadeitveryprobablefor facebookcommunicationtooccur.Evidencefortherichgetricherhypothesisisshownin thisstudy. Aspreviouslydiscussed,currentresearchisbeginningtoshowsupportfortherich getricherhypothesis.However,becauseonlinesocialnetworkingissuchayoungfield furtherresearchisstillneededinordertofullyconfirmthishypothesis.Ifyoungpeople whoalreadyhavesolidsocialcommunitiesandskillsaremorelikelytoemployonline socialnetworking,itraisesthequestion,cantraditionaladolescentrelationshippatternsbe appliedtoonlinesocialnetworking?Thisquestionandotherswillbeaddressedinthe followingsection. Relationships Inthediscussionofonlinesocialnetworkingseffectsonteenrelationshipsmany questionsarise.Whatkindofrelationshipsareadolescentsformingonline?DoesInternet communicationstrengthenbondsorweakenrelationshipsbecausethereislessfaceto faceinteraction?Doadolescentrelationshipsandinteractionsonsocialnetworkingsites

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment paralleltraditionalyouthrelationshipsandinteractions(GreenfieldandSubrahmanyam, 2008).Researchintheareaofonlinesocialnetworkingandadolescentrelationships attemptstoanswerthesequestions. Mitchelletal.(2002)conductedresearchonadolescentonlinerelationship closenessandtriedtodescribehowmanyandthetypesofrelationshipsformedonlineby

teens.Theyusedanationwidesampleof1,501youthsandconductedtelephoneinterviews withtheteensafterreceivingparentalconsent.Participantswereaskedabouttheir Internetsafety,casualonlinefriendships,closeonlinefriendships,romanticrelationships online,andmeetingsomeoneonlinethenmeetingtheminperson.Afterfrequencieswere runonthevariables,datadisplayedthat55%oftheyouthsurveyedhadusedsomeformof Internetcommunicationinthepastyeartointeractwithsomeonetheyhadnotmetin person.25%describedcasualfriendships,14%saidtheywereorhadbeeninvolvedina closeInternetfriendship,7%ofyouthsinterviewhadactuallygonetomeetsomeonethey metonline,andonly2%admittedtoaromanticrelationshiponline.Thisresearchsuggests thatfriendshipsformedonlinearemoreoftenshallow,casual,andshortlived. GreenfieldandSubrahmanyam(2008)thoroughlyreviewedliteratureonInternet communicationexploringhowonlineinteractionshapesrelationshipswithfriends, significantothers,strangers,andfamily.Theyexplainedthatpeersseemtousesocial networkingsitesmostoftentostayintouchwithofflinepeers.However,girlsusuallyuse onlinesocialnetworkingtomaintainpreviouslyexistingfriendshipswhileboysaremore likelytouseonlinecommunicationtomakenewfriendsorflirt.Theauthorsalsoreport that48%ofteensbelieveonlinesocialnetworkinghasimprovedtheirrelationships(Pew InternetandAmericanLifeProject,2001;ascitedinGreenfield&Subrahmanyam,2008).

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment However,GreenfieldandSubrahmanyamsarticlesuggeststhatonlinesocialnetworking sitesmaybeimpactingadolescentrelationshipsbybringingselectionofsocialnetworks andfriendgroupstoanewverypubliclevel.Teensalsouseonlinesocialnetworkingto reinforceromanticrelationshipsinthesamewaytheyuseittomaintainfriendships.The

authorsalsoreportrelationshipswithstrangersonlineareusuallysuperficialandnotlong lasting.Onlyasmallpercentageofadolescentsreportacloserelationshipwithsomeone theymetonlineandtroubledyouthsweremostlikelytoreportanonlinerelationshipwith someonetheyhadnotmet.Internetrelationshipswithstrangerscanstillposerisksto teensandshouldbemonitoredbyadults.Finally,thisarticlereportsthatalargenumberof parentsfeeltheamountoftimetheirchildspendsonsocialnetworkingsitesinterferes withfamilyfunctioningandbonding. Inapreviouslydiscussedstudy,DeGroot,etal.(2011)wantedtoknowif relationshipintimacycouldbepredictedbytherelationshipbetweenOSCandonlineself disclosure.TheyfoundthatOSCandOSDdidhaveapositivecorrelationwithclosenessin relationships.Teenswhocommunicatedthroughsocialnetworksandselfdisclosedvia Internetcommunicationweremorelikelytohaveintimaterelationshipswiththeirpeers. ReganandSeeves(2010)analyzedresearchanddiscussedthewayonlinesocial networkingcouldempoweryoungpeople.Theauthorsexplainedthatadolescentshave beenthefirsttousesocialnetworkingsitesbecausetheiragegroupispredisposedtofocus onpeerinteractionsandsocialrelations.Theyalsodiscussedthesocialcapitalmodeland describethewayinwhichsocialnetworkingwebsitesallowyoungpeopletomaintain existingfriendships,makenewfriends,andfindpastfriendsinordertorenewold relationships.Thusonlinesocialnetworksareabletobothbridgeandbondsocialcapitalby

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment

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connectinglargegroupsofpeopleinloosenetworksandallowingforcommunicationthat fostersrelationshipcloseness.Intheirfinalcommentsonrelationshipstheauthorssuggest thatselfesteemmaybeboostedbytherelationshipsandfeelingsofconnectionand integrationthesesocialnetworksprovide.Theserelationshipsinnetworksmightevenhelp sociallyisolatedyouthsfeelmoreincluded. Allenetal.(2010)conductedalongitudinalstudypreviouslyexaminedinthis review.TheseresearchersalsoexploredInternetcommunicationandtheadjustmentof youngadults.Theirdatadisplayedapositiverelationshipbetweenpreadolescentswith positivefriendshipsandyoungadultsnumberoffriendsandsupportreceivedfromfriends ontheironlineprofile.Preteenswhoexhibitednegativefriendshipswerelesslikelyto connectwithfriendsontheirwebpage.Thisresearchsuggestscontinuitybetweenfaceto facerelationshipsandhowpeoplebehaveonline.InawellknowncartoonforTheNew Yorker,adoginfrontofacomputersaystohiscaninecompanionontheInternetnobody knowsyoureadog.Onthebasisofthecurrentfindings,however,itisperhapsmore accuratetosayontheinternet,youbehavelikethedogthatyouare(Allenetal.,2010,p. 55). AndersonButcheretal.(2010)researchedthepositiveandnegativedevelopmental effectsofadolescentbloguse.Theyusedasampleof100teensthatpostedblogsonxanga. Theresearcherscodedblogsfromthepastthirtydaysfromeachuserforgeographic location,druguse,theTeacherReferralChecklist,theSearchInstitutesdevelopmentalassets framework,andcommunitybuilding.Theyusedthreecodersinordertoensurereliability oftheirdata.Thedatadisplayedthatblogslikeotherformsofonlinesocialnetworkingwas primarilyusedbyteensforcommunitybuilding.Mostoftenblogswereusedtofosterand

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment maintainrelationshipswithpeers.Theauthorssuggestedthatthisisthemaingoalin

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adolescence;thusbloggingparallelstraditionaladolescentrelationshipsandinteraction. Conclusion Sincethemassivepopularityofsocialnetworkingsitescomeaboutuntiltheearly 2000s,researchinthisfieldisobviouslyincrediblyyoungandthereisstillmuchtobe done.Thestudiesreviewedinthisarticleappeartoindicatethatdespiteinitialconcern, onlinesocialnetworkingmayhavemorepositiveinfluenceonadolescentsthannegative. Internetcommunicationisanoutletforbothextrovertedandintrovertedyouths. Traditionalsocialdevelopmentdoesnotseemtohavebeenimpactedsincesocial networkingpatternsseemstofollowthenormsinthisarea.Teensmostoftenusesocial networkingsitestoconnectwithfriendsandbuildcommunities,somethingtheyarealso doingoffline.Nevertheless,riskslieincommunicationwithdangerousstrangers,lackof facetofaceinteraction,andtheweakeningoffamilyties.Muchresearchremainstobe doneinthisfieldbeforeanyconclusiveassumptionscanbemade.

OnlineSocialNetworkingsEffectonAdolescentSocialDevelopment WorksCited

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Allen,J.P.,Evans,M.A.,Hare,A.L.,&Mikami,A.Y.(2010).AdolescentPeerRelationshipsand BehaviorProblemsPredictYoungAdultsCommunicationonSocialNetworkingWebsites. DevelopmentalPsychology,46(1),4656.doi:10.1037/a0017420 AndersonButcher,D.,Ball,A.,Brzozowski,M.,Lasseigne,A.,Lehnert,M.,&McCormick,B.L. (2010).AdolescentWeblogUse:RiskyorProtective?ChildAdolescentSocialWorkJournal, 27,6377.doi:10.1007/s105600100193x DeGroot,J.M.,Ledbetter,A.M.,Mao,Y.,Mazer,J.P.,Meyer,K.R.,&Swafford,B.(2011). AttitudesTowardOnlineSocialConnectionandSelfDisclosureasPredictorsofFacebook CommunicationandRelationalCloseness.CommunicationResearch,38(1),2753.doi: 10.1177/0093650210365537 Finkelhor,D.,Mitchell,K.,&Wolak,J.(2002).CloseOnlineRelationshipsinaNationalSame ofAdolescents.Adolescence,37(147),441455. Greenfield,P.&Subrahmanyam,K.(2008).OnlineCommunicationandAdolescent Relationships.www.futureofchildren.org Kramer,N.C.&Winter,S.(2008).ImpressionManagement2.0TheRelationshipofSelf Esteem,Extraversion,SelfEfficacy,andSelfPresentationWithinSocialNetworkingSites. JournalofMediaPsychology,20(3),106116.doi:10.1027/18641105.20.3.106 Regan,P,&Steeves,V.(2010).KidsRUs:OnlineSocialNetworkingandthePotentialfor Empowerment.Surveillance&Society,8(2),151165.www.surveillanceandsociety.org Sheldon,P.(2008).TheRelationshipBetweenUnwilingnesstoCommunicateandStudents FacebookUse.JournalofMediaPsychology,20(2),6775.doi:10.1027/18641105.20.2..67