Social Networking Does Not Require Essay

Pages: 10 (2606 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

Wellman (1996) argues that online and offline social networks do not exist as such but that they are useful analytic constructs for understanding social dynamics…" and that a social network will appear differently depending upon how it is measured. (2007)

A social network is defined in the work of Lange (2007) as "the relations among people who deem other network members to be important or relevant to them in some way." (p.360) Rouse (1991) is reported to have suggested a framework that is useful in understanding the role of media in social network maintenance. Through examination of a media circuit, the possibility exists to comprehended important social dynamics among those using the media. According to Lange (2007), "A media circuit helps some members of a social group to stay connected or interact in qualitatively meaningful ways. Not all members of a social group may participate in a particular media circuit, but examining media use reveals crucial aspects of relationships among participants." (p.360)

IV. Examination of Public/Private Boundaries and Erosion

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According to Lange (2007), it has been suggested by some scholars that communication technologies are possibly resulting in an erosion of the boundaries that exist between that which is public and that which is private and doing so "in fundamental ways." (p.363) It is reported to be asserted in the work of Weintraub and Kumar (1997) that "the enormous bodies of discourse that use 'public' and 'private' as organizing categories are not always informed by a careful consideration of the meanings and implications of the concepts themselves" (pp. xi-xii cited in Lange, 2007, p.363) Lange states that recent scholarship "on the public/private distinction in mediated contexts confirms this observation." (2007, p.363)

Essay on Social Networking Does Not Require Assignment

Lange states that several recent studies that discuss public and private media fail to acknowledge "nuanced meanings. For instance, they 1) consider either visibility or social relevance to 364 Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 13 (2008) [HIDDEN] International Communication Association determine public/private boundaries, rather than incorporating both lenses (Barnes, 2006; Sandvig, 2006) or 2) do not consider how contexts other than the one they are analyzing shed light on public/private dimensions (Al-Saggaf, 2006). Such limitations are unsurprising, given that entire volumes grapple with these complex terms (Schoeman, 1984; Weintraub & Kumar, 1997). Yet, nuances and gradations exist in who can access, manipulate, and distribute information.

Lange reports that a useful lens for interrogation of the "meaning of and response to public/private erosions is provided in the work of Gal (2002) who states that public and private are "relative terms and shift according to individual perspectives. The public/private dichotomy is thus more productively visualized as a "fractal distinction." A fractal is de-ned as "a shape made of parts similar to the whole in some way" (Feder, 1988). Gal explains, "Whatever the local, historically speci-c content of the dichotomy, the distinction between public and private can be reproduced repeatedly by projecting it onto narrower contexts or broader ones" (p. 81)." (2007, p.364)

Examination of the "…fractalized patterns of public and private video access and interpretation reveals different social networks and their dynamics within the context of public video sharing. Just as small towns constitute a socio-spatial domain that subdivides when smaller social networks require neighborhood interaction, so, too, do video-sharing practices sub-divide in ways that re-ect different social networks and relationship dynamics. Studying the fractalization of video-sharing practices thus provides a valuable lens through which to view how social relations shift and subdivide within the context of visible media sharing." (Lange, 2007, p.364)

The study conducted by Lange (2007) included interview questions including the following:

(1) What are the major advantages and disadvantages about participating on YouTube? Are you a "YouTuber"? Why or why not?

(2) Do you know all the people who have posted comments to your videos? Where do you know them from (YouTube, elsewhere online, of-ine)? What were your reactions to the comments on your videos?

(3) Under what circumstances do you "friend" someone? Do you only make YouTube friends with people you know of-ine? Do you make YouTube friends with people only online or only from YouTube? Why? How do you decide to whom you will subscribe? How is the practice of "friending" someone on YouTube different from subscribing to their videos? (Lange, 2007, p.365)

Lange states findings that include that YouTube participants used both technical and symbolic mechanisms to attempt to delineate different social networks. It proposed new categories of nuanced behavior types that are neither strictly public nor strictly private. Moreover, it demonstrated that parts of social networks, as supported by media circuits, can be examined to shed light on the dynamics of social network creation, maintenance, and negotiation. Beyond pro-le-based friendship connections, the analysis showed how video sharing can become an important way for participants to negotiate membership in social networks" (2007, p.365) There are also implications for social media network design and stated specifically is that as social groups and professional organizations increasingly supplement their websites with social network site components, it is important to be alert to fractalization touch points, where greater amounts of publicity or privacy may be required to meet different individuals' and groups' social needs." (Lange, 2007, p.363)

Summary and Conclusion

This study stated the objective of examining social networking and how it does not require social media and yet how social networking is increasingly using social media and how the individual's social networks in real life may or may not connect with their social networks online. Social networking was found to be the 'what' while social media was found to be 'the how'. Social networks connect traditionally as well as via social networking applications.

Social networking serves the function of use, gratification and social outcomes. Political mobilization is possible via social networking websites and this presents opportunities for political involvement and participation that is not otherwise so readily available. Various social outcomes were noted in this study due to use of social media networking including the strengthening of social contracts and higher level of social involvement. In addition, online groups serve to strengthen social contracts, the community engagement and attachment through community-wide social networking.


Gal, S. (2002). A semiotics of the public/private distinction. Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 13(1), 77 -- 95.

Lange, PG (2007) Publicly Private and Privately Public: Social Networking on YouTube. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Retrieved from:

Park, N; Kee, KF; and Valenzuela, S (2009) Being Immersed in Social Networking Environment: Facebook Groups, Uses and Grati-cations, and Social Outcomes. Cyberpsychology & Behavior. Vol. 12 No. 6, 2009. Retrieved from:

Pempek, TA; Yevdokiya, A.; Yermolayeva, and Calvert… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Social Networking Does Not Require.  (2012, October 23).  Retrieved November 27, 2020, from

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"Social Networking Does Not Require."  October 23, 2012.  Accessed November 27, 2020.