1.1 Background to the Study
Since the beginning of time, people have created ways to communicate, evolving from primitive language and markings to more recent technologies including telephones and computers Rianne Farrugia (2013). Prior to today’s technology, people developed relationships face to face. Face to face interaction allows a person to respond in conversation by utilizing verbal and non-verbal clues they receive during the conversation. Today’s systems of communication allows people to interact with each other in settings that are not face to face. The use of telephones and computers has paved the way for the most recent addition to commun4cation-social media.
Faffugia (2013) further opined, that online social networking sites (SNS) have tried to recreate face to face interactions on the web by allowing people to interact publicly or privately. Many people use social media or privately. Many people use social media as a way to stay in contact, while others use the medium as a way to develop new connections. The benefits of social networking websites is that they allow people to develop or maintain relationship with individuals who may not be close to themselves geographically. When it comes to location, social networking websites allow families, couples and friends to stay connected using a simple click of a button.
Marshall, Bejanyan, DI Castro, and Lee (2012), in their own contribution pose a question thus, what happens when people who have developed an intimate relationship (Either offline or online) try to maintain it online? What psychological factors can develop due to the use of social networking sites? In their answer to these questions they argued that facebook claimed to keep people connected but the challenges faced by romantic relationships were unknown. Could facebook cause the demise of an intimate relationship?
According to Altman and Taylor (1973) that each relationship goes through a set of steps allowing the connection to flourish from an acquaintance to a close friend or even lower. According to them, individuals worked their way through four stages of relationships equating to higher level of intimacy and depth within said relationship.
According to Lasalle (2004), the four stages are best defined as follows: orientation, exploratory, affective exchange and stable exchange.
Computer mediated communication (CMC) allows individuals to have an interactive exchange of communication through technological devices. CMC is a way in which people are developing relationships online, often without the visual and oral cues that face to face communication would deliver (Rau, Gao, & Ding, 2008; Whiny, 2007).
Whitty (2008) Said that CMC might actually be a better way for people to communicate because individuals are more likely to their true self online.
The global system of networked computers, servers and routers known as the internet has transformed many aspects of modem society and social interaction. The onlinedistribution of goods and services, for instance, has influenced almost every industry and has radically transformed many (Ellison and Boyd, 2013). Alongside commerce-oriented technological development has been a rise in what has been termed “social media” one of the most significant developments connected to social media is the rise of social network sites (SNS), such as facebook, linkedin, myspace, cyworid and google plus. Although site of this nature first emerged around 1997, they rose to a cultural significance as a phenomenon in 2003, when Friendster first attracted mass media attention. Less than a decade later, millions of people of all ages across the globe have joined SNSs (Anderson and Bemoff, 2010).
The use of social media platforms, such as facebook, myspace, and twitter has become widespread over the recent years. For many, the use of these social media platforms has become daily routine, particularly young generations. Social media become an integral part of their socials (Hallikainen, 2006).
According to Hailikainen (2006) the use of various social media platform has become everyday routine for many people. The number of active facebook users has more than doubled in a couple of years being around one million users in 2012 and social media application allows individuals users and organizational users to interact dynamically and share as well as produce using these platforms.
Social media is generally used to describe collaborative media creation and sharing on a fairly large scale (that can include SNS but also other participatory media activities such as news blogs) but can be extended to include smaller users-generated content networks or micro-communities (i.e. the small media aspect of the current media environment), and things that sometime fall outside SNS such as blogs/vlogs, podcasts, wilds, game modding (Boyd and Ellison, 2007).
Today, there are numerous SNS of all these, the facebook is one of the most popularly used. (Bowe, 2010) Says that facebook as a social network was the 4th most visited website, attracting over SOOmillion users to date.
1.2 Research Problem
It is quite an indisputable fact the use of the social media and its technological components such as the facebook, cuts across every facets of human endeavours and the social media audience alike. Researchers have been able to indicate that they could be used successfully, for businesses, trade, as well as commerce, education and lots more. Also, significant among these numerous usage is that among young people- students and that is relationship. According to Bruns (2008), young people are consuming, producing, sharing and remixing media. This has led to the claim that today’s younger people are producers’ they actively produce and consume media. Based on the assumption therefore, that young people actively use the social media, this study tends therefore, to specifically examine how the students of Delta State University, Abraka build relationships through the facebook social media
1.3 Research Objectives
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Significance of the Study
Every research is conducted in order for it to be significant both in the academic institutions and in the society, and as such, this study is not an exception.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is based on the use of the social media in building relationship by the students of DELSU, Abraka, with a particular reference to the facebook.
1.7 Definition of Terms
The following terms have been defined as used in the study for proper understanding of the topic under examination.
Social Media: Thisa networked communication platform in which participants have uniquely identifiable profiles that consist of user-supported content and system provided.
Build: To develop or take something to a greater or higher level.
Relationship: Friendship contact, and communication between people.
Facebook: A facebook is a social media platform where people associate with people they have met or have never met before.
Students: A group of persons in a university to acquire knowledge.