Source 1 Pop-up Window As you read both sources, reflect on your own views about social networking websites. Source 1—from the essay “Social Networking Sites and the Culture of Isolation,” written in 2010



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As you read both sources, reflect on your own views about social networking

websites.
Source 1—from the essay “Social Networking Sites and the Culture of

Isolation,” written in 2010
A social networking site is typically defined as a website that enables individuals

with common interests or social ties to form relationships or build networks with

other users of the same site through email, instant messaging, and other integrated

communication. The popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook,

MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter has surged in recent years. Many people from all

over the world have taken part in this social-technology trend. In 2009, people tripled

the time they spent on social networking sites compared with 2008. A 2009 study

by The Nielsen Company indicated social networks and blogging sites accounted

for 17% of total time spent on the Internet. Nonetheless, there is reason to be

concerned about the growing impact of social media use on our society and culture.


Social networking is an unfortunate term since the data actually indicates that

social networking sites weaken our social lives and keep us from authentic human

interaction by providing showy yet shallow communication alternatives. In an online

poll, Joe Thomas of the Yahoo! Contributor Network found “social networking has

led to a reduction in face time between friends, as users perceive themselves

to be socially connected despite the absence of personal encounters.” Thomas

concluded, “The news feed feature on Facebook and Twitter keeps users aware

of the recent activities of close friends and family, in many cases eliminating the

motivation for deeper interaction.” Indeed, a 2010 Stanford University study,

“How the Internet is Changing Daily Life,” shows a negative correlation[1] between

time spent on social networking sites and time in offline social activities.
The cultural shift from face-to-face human interaction to online social

communication has serious consequences for individuals and the quality of their

interpersonal relationships. A study found that nearly 70% of college students

have read posts from someone close to them that seemed like a cry for emotional

help, and while most students offered support in some way, fewer than half made

a personal visit. Furthermore, while 84% of students say they prefer to resolve

conflicts with friends in person, nearly 70% report that they have had arguments

exclusively via text messages (Katonda News Network ). As a result, responsible,

empathetic communication is a casualty of social media, as illustrated by the

increasing incidences of cyber bullying and cyber ranting.



[1] A relationship between two variables in which one variable increases as the

other decreases, and vice versa.



English III EOC Sample Test Items—Fall 2013 10


Source 2 Pop-up Window

As you read both sources, reflect on your own views about social networking

websites.
Source 2—an article from the magazine TechTalk, “Study Redeems Social

Networking,” written in 2011
Much has been made lately of the assertion that social networking sites (SNS)

discourage social interaction and deteriorate interpersonal relationships. However,

according to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the SNS

skeptics may be wrong. By exploring the links between use of SNS technologies

and the social traits of tolerance, social support, and civic engagement, the study

attempted to test the hypothesis that technology causes people to hole up in their

pajamas and lose their ability to interact effectively when communicating in person.
The study redeems the value of Facebook by indicating its users are more than

43% as likely as other Internet users to respond affirmatively to the question,

“I feel that most people can be trusted.” The study also found that Facebook users

are significantly more likely to attend a political rally and to state an intention to vote

than other Internet users. Additionally, Facebook users are more likely to volunteer

for local organizations or visit parks and cafés. Facebook users were also found to

receive more emotional support, companionship, and instrumental aid (help doing

something) than other Internet users. The study concluded that Facebook users

have an average of 9% more close personal confidants than other Internet users.
What’s more, as use of SNS has increased, the average number of Americans

with close personal confidants has also gone up, from 1.93 close personal confidants



in 2008 to 2.16 in 2011. This finding stands in direct opposition to the prevailing

wisdom that SNS lead to superficial and fewer deep relationships among users.


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