Dissertation: Effects of Technology on Personal Relationships

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¶ … Technology on Personal Relationships

The rate at which information is shared in today's world is very different than just a few years ago. More and more, individuals, particularly college students are living both in the "real" world and in the virtual world provided by the internet, Facebook and other social media sites. There is a concern, raised by some, that because of the use of advanced technology, young people are no longer engaging in traditional forms of social capital or interpersonal engagement. The following study seeks to examine the impact social media has on the development of mature interpersonal relationships. Participants for the study will be college students at a designated college or university who will voluntarily participate in the study. Through the use of the Facebook Intensity Scale and the SDTLA Mature Interpersonal Relationships Task, this study will seek to determine if there is a difference in the impact of social media along gender lines, whether the level of use impacts development of mature interpersonal relationships, and whether college and university administration can utilize this information to "connect" to this generation of learners. Further, from the results of the study and the findings, recommendations for future research will be made.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

2 ABSTRACT

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS

5 LIST OF TABLES

6 TABLE OF FIGURES

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

71.1 Technology and personal relationships

111.1.1 Positive effects of technology on personal relationships

121.1.2 Negative effects of technology on personal relationships

151.2 Purpose of the Study

151.3 Research Questions and Hypothesis

161.4 Variables and Sample Size

161.4.1 Introduction

171.5 Significance of the Study

181.6 Definition of Terms

Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

202.1 Introduction

212.2 Sense of community

222.3 Affiliation

232.4 Social interaction

252.5 How people get online

282.6 How online personal relationships compare against face-to-face relationships

282.6.1 Views

302.6.2 Emotion

312.7 Application of the interpersonal theory

332.8 Effects of online personal relationships

352.9 Facebook as a medium of communication

Chapter 3: METHODOLOGY

373.1 Introduction

413.2 Research Design

413.3 Sampling and sample size

423.4 Data Collection and Presentation

433.5 Presenting qualitative data

Chapter 4: FINDINGS

454.1 Facebook Intensity Scale: Demographic data

464.2 Usage of Facebook

474.3 Use of Facebook to form personal relationships

484.4 Self-esteem of users of Facebook

484.5 Satisfaction with college life

494.6 Self-reported elements in Facebook profiles and the perceived audience of Facebook profiles

Chapter 5: DISCUSSION

Chapter 6: SUMMARY

Table 1: Demographic data

Table 2: Summary of statistics for the Facebook intensity scale

Table 3: Summary of statistics for Facebook use for preexisting offline contacts and meeting new contacts

Table 4: Summary statistics and factor analysis results for self-esteem and satisfaction with college life items

TABLE OF FIGURES

Figure 1: Self-reported elements in Facebook profiles

Figure 2: Perceived audience to Facebook profiles

Figure 3: Offline-to-online vs. online-to-offline mean scores by year in college

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Technology and personal relationships

Technology has greatly impacted the way in which people currently communicate. Generally, there is a shift of how people relate to one another that has been brought about by people embracing technology the world over. Technology in many organizations has been thought to be a fast changing variable in the organizations and it has a huge effect on how the organization works, the organizational culture, how research within and outside the organization is conducted and the practices of the organizational employees and other stakeholders such as shareholders, suppliers, distributors, etc. As well Orlikowski, 1992()

With the advent of computers and later the Internet, there have no doubt been revolutionary creations and indeed changes to the world as we may have known it. Both of these inventions or innovations have caused the advancement of the society socially, intellectually and economically Greiffenstern, 2010.

Everywhere you look at home, in schools or the office, you're bound to see or use something related to the internet, be it a funny email, a work related assignment or to accomplish a task through research or communication.

There is little doubt that the internet is changing every facet of life and is thus becoming an extremely powerful tool to provide people today with an array of entertainment options and most importantly instant access to information. Students and other researchers can receive help with work. Sites such as Wikipedia, JSTOR, Google, Facebook and many others are becoming every day tools that people just cannot do without Barker, Terry, Melissa, & Pinard, 2009.

There is an email to help us inexpensively keep in touch with the rest of the world which includes friends and relatives. Not forgetting there is online TV and online publishing that is done at a lower cost and blogs, news sites, educational resources and social networks like Facebook that are literally changing lives. Whether you are a business entrepreneur or just one looking to be a business owner, the internet provides more information than any other resource in the world.

There is profound opportunity too for businesses with the advent of the internet. Inventors and entrepreneurs continue to emerge, jobs have been created and several business opportunities for the sale of. There is growth in online advertising, various sites that cater for online sales and shipping like EBay, Amazon.com, and Overstock.com. Through starting huge internet companies such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and others, many have turned to instant millionaires and even billionaires from the virtual resources offered by the internet.

The internet is indeed remarkable but we must not forget that new technologies contradict the culture that they emerge in, thus there are bound to be several problems associated with it. "Those who go online do decide to begin signing on risk becoming addicted to the internet" Wall, 2001.

Other major problems include cyber-crimes such as website spoofing, frauds and other spam mail. Many a times we have seen or heard the emails that entice us by claiming that we have won millions or even billions of dollars in inheritance and upon replying to the emails, we are added to spam lists and at the same time try to swindle our money. We have also seen and heard of the EBay frauds where after sending the seller the buy price, we never hear from them. Of course we cannot forget the scores of inappropriate adult content that is getting its way to teens and other youth despite how hard their parents try to fight through parental control and other measures of censorship. These are just representations of the internet's negative influence.

Whether the internet a boon or it is unhealthy, the jury is still out on that. It is a valid question. A response to this is that the society is embracing the profound benefits of the technology and information provided by the internet and is searching ardently for ways to alleviate or eliminate the problems associated with it. Examples are the various antispyware, antimalware, antivirus software that provide internet protection that we see on sale these days.

We can use this understanding of the impact of technology on personal relationships within organizations to make a general understanding of how technology has impacted personal relationships in the general world.

In today's world, where information moves almost beyond what can reasonably be comprehended, keeping up-to-date with all that is going on in world and current events, appointments, one's social calendar and social life, it has become essential for many individuals to utilize advanced forms of technology just to keep up J.A. Bargh, McKenna, & Fitzsimons, 2002.

The early 21st century saw the beginnings of the internet which ushered in a new modality of information sharing.

The Internet, however, has its roots in public forums rather than industry or business focused. The vitality of this medium is contingent upon a continuous stream of individual users who regularly and repeatedly log in, point, click, comment, upload, share, tag, and create content within their individualized internet portals. Since its inception, social media has continued to evolve to meet the needs and desires of its current users while also focusing on continuously attracting new users.

College student development is contingent upon a group of socio-cultural, cognitive, and psychological tenets that have a close relationship to an the growth experiences of an individual through his or her collegiate experiences Arnett, 2000(; Baym, Zhang, & Lin, 2004)

. It has been posited that social networking sites will most likely have a significant influence on a student's growth particularly in the psycho-social arena; however, some argue that there may be influence and implications in other areas including psychological and cognitive areas.

Many argue that because of the use of the internet and other advanced technologies, many have lost the ability to communicate in more traditional ways: face-to-face, letter writing, telephone calls, and so on. Moreover, internet users are utilizing the internet and other social media forums to make interpersonal relationships and even develop romantic relationships via virtual sites. One of the primary demographics of internet users is college students that have effectively served to incorporate social media into their traditional college lives Lampe, Ellison, &… [END OF PREVIEW]

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