The impact of Facebook on reality friendship—Research Report Essay Example

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The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report

Assignment Coversheet

Student ID number’s

Student name’s

Unit number

Name of lecturer/tutor

Assignment name

Final Group Research Report = 30%

You must keep a photocopy or electronic copy of your assignment.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgement vii

Time Management (Gantt Chart) viii

Executive Summary ix

Project Scope x

Project Budget 0

1.0 Introduction 1

1.1 Statement of the problem 1

1.2 Problem Significance 1

1.3 Objectives 1

1.4 Hypothesis and Assumptions 2

1.5 Limitations 2

2.0 Literature Review 2

2.1 Background Knowledge 4

3.0 Methodology and Research Design 4

3.1 Research Techniques 4

3.1.1 Quantitative technique 5

3.1.2 Qualitative technique 5

3.2 Data Collection 5

3.3 Sampling 6

3.4 Sample Size 6

3.5 Statistical Treatment 6

3.6 Calculating p-value 7

4.0 Findings 8

5.0 Discussion 15

6.0 Conclusion 17

7.0 Recommendations 17

References 19

Appendices 21

List of Tables

6Table 1: Research Project Timelines

0Table 2: Research Project Budget

11Table 3: Ages of Respondents

12Table 4: Gender of Respondents

12Table 5: Number of years with Facebook

13Table 6: Hours/day users are on Facebook

14Table 7: Number of Friends on Facebook

14Table 8: Changing status on Facebook

15Table 9: Convenient places to log into Facebook

16Table 10: Facebook and communication

17Table 11: Using Facebook to make more Friends

18Table 12: Facebook Functions and Daily Usage

19Table 13: Facebook and Face-to-face meeting

20Table 14: Access to other networking sites

List of Figures

6Figure 1: Mixed method triangulation strategy

11Figure 2: Ages of Respondents

12Figure 3: Gender of Respondents

13Figure 4: Length of use of Facebook

13Figure 5: Length of daily usage of Facebook site

14Figure 6: Number of Friends on Facebook

14Figure 7: Changing status on Facebook

15Figure 8: Convenient places to log into Facebook

16Figure 9: Facebook and communication

17Figure 10: Using Facebook to make more Friends

18Figure 11: Facebook Functions and Daily Usage

19Figure 12: Facebook and Face-to-face meeting

19Figure 13: Access to other networking sites

Acknowledgement

I would like to acknowledge and extend my heartfelt gratitude to the following persons who have made the completion of this research project possible:

I would like to thank our lecturers/tutor Mrs Diane Phillips, for her vital encouragement and support.

I also thank tutor, Lili, whom has brought the inspiration to us and other students during her class and manager for understanding and assistance.

We also appreciate the cooperation of all library and UC staffs in contribute to our research process.

Wesaid thank you to the other members of our team, for assisting in the collection of the research process and achieve in finishing the report together.

Finally, we would also thank you our parents for giving us a chance to go to school so that we can complete this wonderful report. Our friends also encourage us a lot to finish the report on time.

The purpose of this project is to increase our knowledge as well as to improve our teamwork skills.

Thank you again to all of the following people who have helped us.

Time Management (Gantt Chart)

Table 1: Research Project Timelines

Activities:

Do pre-research and Define research terms

Title page

Time management plan

Ethic procedure

Acknowledgements

List of Figures and Tables

Abstract/executive summary

Project scope

Project Budget

Introduction

Literature review/background knowledge

The Research Design – mixed methods project

Qualitative Methodologies

Conducting the research

Statistical Treatment

Major Findings or results

Analysis

Discuss the results

Summary and Conclusions

Recommendations

Reference

Appendix

Executive Summary

The aim of this research paper was to establish the impact of Facebook on reality friendship. This paper uses data collected from survey and focus group at the University of Canberra, under the faculty of Business Government and Law, to identify the impact of Facebook on reality friendship. The first sections of the report provide the research scope or project scope which includes the objectives, budget, time and organization of the group members. It also highlights on the limitations and the size of UC population. The second section establishes the statement of the problem, objectives and hypothesis and assumptions. The third section unravels secondary data which emanates from various research materials as journals, books and magazines. At least five of these materials were exploited. The fourth section was on methodology and research design which involved understanding the mixed approach method of both quantitative and qualitative. The study also involved issues like data collection, sampling and statistical treatment of the hypothesis. The fifth part explored the findings from the surveymonkey.com results. The findings were descriptive and represented in the form of tables and graphs. A brief explanation of the graphs and tables was also conducted. Lastly, the report offers discussion drawn from the findings and recommendations based on the objectives. The report concludes that Facebook positively impacts on reality friendship. It also establishes that Facebook has positive effects on its users.

Project Scope

Project objective can be used for defining the project scope. Project scope involves determining and documenting a list of specific project objectives, budgets, time frame, milestones and populations.

  1. Project Objectives

To define how Face book affect really friendship, whether if positive or negative impact on really friendship.

Through the survey of some random people, it could be found out impact on them.

By collective and analysis of survey to prove our point of view that have a positive impact on real friendship using Facebook

Income: the wages of some part time jobs, bank interest.

Expense: transportation, printing, food for meeting, phone expense, equipment.

More detail is on the table of budges.

  1. Time and Group Members’ Organization

The report starting data and get it on our group at week 2, there is 11 weeks till the final report. Basically we have meeting at least once a week, make sure everyone can understand knowledge and the next part of work. Allocation of time:

  1. Limitations

We only can do face-to-face interview in Belconnen. The time is not allowed us go other state to do the face-to-face interview. We do research online, but not many information especially about Facebook affects users’ reality lives. Most of information about net social work affects users’ real lives. The information range is too big for our group.

  1. Populations

11,000 students comprise the population of University of Canberra. 12% of the student population are Chinese.

Budget

Table 2: Research Project Budget

Project Budget

Income 

 Student

 Government

TOTAL INCOME

Expenses

Group Meeting $

  Printing

 Transportation

Printing

Interview $

Printing

TOTAL EXPENSES

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Statement of the problem

As the rapid development of social networking, especially Facebook has become one of the most population social networking. Facebook is a network access platform that based information sharing and spread of users’ relationship. Through Facebook, allow users to easily release information anytime and anywhere. Facebook is stylish, more concise and interactive, the ways to make communication more quicker (Wolfradt & Doll, 2001). Facebook of communication only need instant information that is relevant to express their feelings and interests, thus Facebook has been widely welcomed for the people of their modern peace of life and habits.

Recently, Facebook has been more and more popular, according to the data display 500 million people now use Facebook, 250 million people log in each day and each user has average 130 friends that from this record can be seen how much popularize and impact on reality friendship in Facebook (Pham, 2010). People spend too much time on Facebook must be have influence on their reality friendship and lifestyle. Thus, research projects of people using Facebook advocate positive influence on their reality friendship is very necessary.

1.2 Problem Significance

Our tutor Lili Zhang, and group members are recommends this problem. Our group members all of Facebook users and understand how important the influence to reality friendship. From Facebook more and more popular and wieldy be accepted, the influence of reality friendship must be very important to all of Facebook users (Wheeldon, 2010). This report will examine the factors that use Facebook influence on reality friendship, discuss the relationship between Facebook users and the influences on reality friendship, as well as recommend the ways on how to deal with the problem of people using Facebook and advocate positive effects of the Facebook users.

1.3 Objectives

The purpose of the report is;

(1) To examine whether there is an intimate correlation between Facebook users and the influence on reality friendship and

(2) How to advocate positive effects to Facebook users.

This involves identifying the degrees of the people how often log in Facebook and what they are often doing, finding out the key factors relating to positive effects to them.

1.4 Hypothesis and Assumptions

This report assumes that Facebook affectsusers’ reality lives strongly, causing many of influences of users’ reality friendship. This report also assumes that the frequencyof people use Facebook, the duration of people log in Facebook and the doings of people on Facebook all affect people’s reality lives.

This report focuses on analysis the Facebook users’ reality lives especially their reality friendship, find out their reality friendships were affected in different ways (Wolfradt & Doll, 2001). Their frequencyof use Facebook, the duration of log in Facebook and the doings of Facebook to work out Facebook could negative/positive effect in users’ lives. Gives the suggestions that people use Facebookhow they can get positive effects.

This report analyses people who use Facebook. Research from different people by different gender, age group, countries of origin, and we point the hypotheses. Facebook affectsusers’ reality lives

1.5 Limitations

The limitation of the project that (1) our group members interviewed many of people from different countries, but some of interviewees because of some reasons they do not have Facebook yet. For example in their country the network is underdevelopment or cannot login Facebook by state – control. (2) The location got limitation. We only can do face-to-face interview in Belconnen. The time is not allowed us go other state to do the face-to-face interview. (3) We do research online, but not many information especially about Facebook affectsusers’ reality lives. Most of information about net social work affectsusers’ reality lives. The information range is too big for our group.

2.0 Literature Review

  1. Valkenburg and Peter (2009) note that there are complex set of outcomes involving internet communications as an enhancement to traditional social behaviour. According to social network theory, people tend to socialise more online as they socialise more in the traditional sense. More recent studies also indicate the social networking through Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp has created positive wellbeing and social connectedness. Ofcom (2008) also agreed that networking sites are commonly used to seek out old friends, keep up with peers, meet new people, seek attention, and/or keep in touch with current friends. Online social networking has been suggested as having benefits for the shy or introverted, those finding face-to-face contact difficult. However, inappropriate uses of personal information and cyber bullying have been identified as problems. To crown it, greater research has gone to the impact of social media, especially Facebook on children and adolescents.

  2. Kraut et al. (2007) and Nie et al. (2011) argue that use of online social networking sites has increased levels of communication between family members and friends. The way people meet through social media has determined the ways in which they interact. Without any face-to-face interaction, some avid users of social networking sites have seen their friendships sustained. For example, in the past, this has happened to people they had never met through having pen pals. These people go ahead to develop life-long friendships. In conclusion, people’s capacity for sustaining and making friendships has increased through online social networking and more regular communication with friends and other family members.

  3. Beer (2008) concedes that various researches have began to establish more understanding of the benefits, negative consequences and challenges if the different ways people use to interact with each other. An emerging perspective is a focus and media attention on the dangers of online social networking, especially to young people. There are calls for increased accountability and regulation of social networking from the providers of these sites as a result of fears of online influence to teenagers and students. Early studies projected internet communication as negatively impacting on individuals. Current supporters claim that social media like Facebook has increased levels of loneliness and reduced face-to-face interactions. Despite the negative perceptions regarding the possible effects of social networking sites on friendships, some studies indicate that peers deem it appropriate for them to use Facebook, and for members of the opposite sex to socialize and develop platonic relationships.

  4. Venugopal & Petlee (2010) and Wright (2007) showed that the use of blogs or weblogs in formal education scenarios facilitate practical learning atmosphere. In formal education contexts, students found that such tools allowed them to share knowledge. In addition, studies of adolescents using social networking sites in educational institutions showed their profiles as having a wealth of candid, public, and intimately available information on a broad range of social concerns. According to their studies, Facebook profile or Twitter page are often found to be an obsession of university students. Role experimentation and identity exploration as perceived by some researchers matched the development stages outlined by Erik Erikson. The theory by Erikson suggests that a period of psychosocial crisis will be experienced by adolescents between the ages of 13-18 years which marks role confusion versus identity. While undergoing this development stage, adolescents become conscious about sexual identity, peer relationships and other social interactions. Williams and Mertne (2008) also proposed that the over-dependence on social media is likely to affect the student’s attendance at school and quality of peer interactions. Computers and the Internet are heavily used by young adults and adolescent, hence, social media remains the latest online communication tool. It has allowed the users to develop a private or public profile to where they can interact with those in their networks.

  5. Renganayar (2010) asserts that human communications with one another is largely influenced by Web 2.0 technology which has also impacted on how they carry themselves in their interactions. The connection between individuals on social media has created communication channels with people who not have had the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting. Commonly known as ‘status’, the voluntary messaging function on Facebook allows real-time instant messaging anywhere and anytime worldwide. One-to-many communication pattern in many occasions is observable where users click the ‘invite’ button to get friends into multiple mentions or a conversation loop. The cornerstone of social network is relationships among interacting units established as a set of methods and theories to evaluate social structures and relations. Social media networks are based on friendship or connections recognized through electronic invitations exchange. They may infer a person’s importance because the links easily become observable to interacting parties.

2.1 Background Knowledge

Impact of Facebook as a transformational social media tool will increase levels of interactions and cement relationships the world over. There have been huge subscription to Facebook especially in 2012 and 2013 which infers the popularity of the site and a possibility that people have found a cheap and real-time tool to communicate and share ideas (Kraut et al. 2008). Impact of Facebook is positive and huge in terms of real time relationships.

Our group used the qualitative and quantitative methodology and mixed methods to find data. Our group member did the survey for the UC Chinese students to collect the data for investigation. Then, we used qualitative and quantitative method to find the how the real friendship impact about the Facebook for UC Chinese students (Cresswell, 2003).

3.0 Methodology and Research Design

The aim of the research is to establish the impact of Facebook on reality friendship. Our group employed quantitative and qualitative methods in the form of online survey. Qualitative studies are used by researchers to check credibility such as peer reviews and thick description. Quantitative studies involve scores and other measurements used. Research design gave the specifics about procedures and methods to collect and analyse the information required. The mixed method approach was used in the study.

3.1 Research Techniques

The research involves a survey of UC Chinese students and how they respond to friendships developed or reinforced through Facebook. The survey has a questionnaire of 12 questions. The quantitative and qualitative methods have their primary source of data as questionnaires and interview schedules respectively (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2006). The secondary data is as demonstrated during exploration of the literature. Various sources of literature and supportive material obtained were within the last ten years when the influence of social media especially Facebook began to be felt.

Qualitative methods will follow a pattern that is inductive while quantitative methods use hypothesis which are deductive. The two methods are linked by theory and data collected. The research is derived from Grounded theory which reiterates that throughout the research process, data is systematically gathered and analysed. Theories of social communication stand in the reciprocal relationship between data collection from Facebook users and analysis of the resulting data (Cresswell, 2003). The theory therefore emerges from the data.

The survey questionnaire are structured which allows the interviewee to move with the pace Facebook respondents. The focus groups (not available in this study) enable certain feelings and decision making processes to be made. The focus groups can be a group of 5-7 respondents. The series of 4 groups was necessary for validity. These groups are segmented based on the meaningful difference of status. Focus groups are able to content insight and why of why students thought in a particular way about Facebook. Participants were able to interact and share ideas and new ways of thinking about social media. They were UC students with values and beliefs and experience in common Chinese students. This facilitated disclosure (Mooney, 2009). The questionnaires are self-administered and guide the students on how to respond to the questions. The survey provided quantitative measurements which are based on the representative sample. Each respondent got similar questions online (Cresswell, 2003). More complex questions can be asked in the computer-based program. The students did not need to impress the interviewer or showing the willingness to divulge more information witnessed in the face-to-face contact.

The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 1

Figure 1: Mixed method triangulation strategy

The paradigm is both post-positivist and constructivist.

3.1.1 Quantitative technique

Survey for UC Chinese students was carried out to unravel the impact of Facebook on the reality of their friendships (Cresswell, 2003). Questionnaires were issued to these students online (computer-based program). An experiment will also be used by controlling one group using Facebook (group1) and those not using Facebook (group 2). A comparison was made regarding the two groups.

3.1.2 Qualitative technique

The case study was done at the University of Canberra to Chinese students. There are a significant number of Chinese in the university which is of greater interest in the social media study. They also have unique cultural beliefs, values and norms which will define the direction of the study. Action research will help in establishing the impact of Facebook on the reality friendships (Cresswell, 2003).

3.2 Data Collection

Preliminary coding of data was done in the notebooks (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2006). Coding process then followed. Codes were then sorted to reflect the sub-themes of social media and those of reality friendships. Survey questionnaires were issued online so that students at any location can respond to the questions within the specified period. The survey monkey provided the needed questions for the online respondents.

3.3 Sampling

A sample of the entire population needed to be obtained. Both methods employed different type of sampling.

Quantitative

Systematic sampling: UC Chinese list was obtained then a systematic manner of taking even numbers was done. Their contacts and e-mail addresses were then sought and communicated to within the data collection period. They responded to the survey monkey online and provided feedback.

Qualitative

Purposeful and chain sampling: The interviews targeted Chinese students in campus. Where the first students were contacted, they were told to lead the interviewer to other students. After a sizeable number of 40 were established, they were requested to the UC auditorium for focus group discussion.

3.4 Sample Size

The sample size was obtained using the proportion method. This establishes that the proportion of Chinese students at the University of Canberra is 12% of the 11,000 UC students. The sample size for this proportion is given that p=0.05 for the research on Facebook impacting on reality friendships, the study sought to establish the values. This affects the accuracy, level of confidence and current estimates of the proportion. The margin of error ME is 1.96 times that of standard error (Cresswell, 2003) below;

The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 2

The margin of error (ME) is then provided by;

The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 3

The Z-score is 1.96 for 95% level of confidence while n is to be found, ρ is the correct value of ṕ

ME=0.05, ρ=0.08, z=1.96

n= (0.12×0.88×1.96×1.96)/ (0.05×0.05) =162.26

The sample size for the study was 163 students. Only 30 students participated in the survey.

3.5 Statistical Treatment

Facebook users may need to establish if changes in averages are statistically significant. In this study, the focus group and interviews suppose monitoring of daily Facebook Impressions and may be interested to know if the current friendships’ results and the historical results are different, perhaps due to increased social media campaigns. Hypothesis Testing or significance testing will be effective for such analysis.

The research question was converted into alternative and null hypotheses which formed the first step of hypothesis testing:

  • A claim of ‘no difference’ is the null hypothesis (H0)

  • The alternative hypothesis (H1) is the opposing hypothesis. This is a claim of ‘a difference in the population.’ It is the hypothesis this study will hope to prove.

For this case, supposing the average Facebook Impressions in the University of Canberra alone is 600 per day before the test. The study believes that the UC population could have higher average Facebook impressions owing to the online test. This means:

(H0): = 600

(H1): > 600

is calculated by comparing the expected population mean to the observed sample mean (in this case, the value is 600).test statistic Subsequently, the

the test statistic. Evidence against the null hypothesis is provided by small p-values, since, when the null hypothesis is true it may show that the observed data are unlikely.p-value Whether the result is significant or not is told by converting to a

The conventions the study uses are:

  • Observed difference ‘not significant’ if the p-value > .10

  • Observed difference ‘marginally significant’ when p-value ≤ .10

  • Observed difference ‘significant’ when p-value ≤ .05

  • Observed difference ‘highly significant’ when p-value ≤ .01

The direction of the hypothesis influences the p-values (right, left or two tailed)

  • Left-Tailed: The result is significant where p-value is <=0.05 meaning that the expected test week records FEWER Facebook impressions than usual.

  • Two-Tailed: If p-value is lower than 0. 025 or higher than 0.975. The result is significant. If there is no certainty whether the test week would have FEWER or MORE Facebook impressions than usual.

  • Right-Tailed: The result is significant only if the significance level p-value >= 0.95, which is the same as (1 — p-value) <=0.05. The expected test week had MORE Facebook impressions than usual.

3.6 Calculating p-value

A table of t-distribution values is uploaded as the first step (cumulative left tail student distribution), which was found in the statistical tables. The table reflects;

  • X: The test statistic value from the sample.

  • df: Degrees of Freedom, df=n-1; where n is number of Facebook records in the sample.

  • p-value: P(x<X).

4.0 Findings

    1. Respondents’ Ages

    The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 4

    Figure 2: Ages of Respondents

    From the graph and the table, it can be deduced that most of the respondents were between the ages of 18 and 25. This also happens to be the age of popular social networking site users. This age bracket accounted for 96% of the respondents.

    Table 3: Ages of Respondents

    Percentage

    Between 18 and 25

    Between 26 and 35

    0

    0

    Prefer no answer

    0

      The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 5

      Figure 3: Gender of Respondents

      From the graph above and the table below, it is evident that female respondents constituted more on the sample than their male counterparts. They were 67% of the respondents. This infers that the views collected reflect slightly higher on the female perspective and preferences.

      Table 4: Gender of Respondents

      Percentage

        1. Experience with Facebook

        From the table and the graph above, it can be observed that most respondents have interacted with Facebook for less than 3 years. They accounted for more than 45% of the respondents.

        Table 5: Number of years with Facebook

        No. of Years

        Percentage

        Less than 3 years

        Between 3 and 4 years

        Between 4 and 5 years

        Over 5 years

        The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 6

        Figure 4: Length of use of Facebook

          1. Daily Usage of Facebook

          The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 7

          Figure 5: Length of daily usage of Facebook site

          Regarding daily usage of Facebook, there were more respondents (63%) admitting that they use Facebook for less than an hour. Few could use the site for more than three hours.

          Table 6: Hours/day users are on Facebook

          Hours on Facebook per day

          Percentage

          Less than 1 hour

          Between 1 and 2 hours

          Between 2 and 3 hours

          More than 3 hours

            1. No. of Friends on Facebook

            The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 8

            Figure 6: Number of Friends on Facebook

            The table and the graph above shows that more respondents (40%) had number of Facebook friends between 10 and 50 and so were those having more than 150 friends (37%). This indicates that more respondents could be creating more friends on daily or weekly basis.

            Table 7: Number of Friends on Facebook

            No. of Friends on Facebook

            Percentage

            Less than 10

            Between 10 and 50

            Between 50 and 100

            Between 100 and 150

            150 and more

              1. Frequency of Changing status on Facebook

              The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 9

              Figure 7: Changing status on Facebook

              Many respondents (43%) as shown in the table and graph above do not change their Facebook ‘status’. It is also evident from the table that some (26%) can change their ‘status’ after one month.

              Table 8: Changing status on Facebook

              Frequency of Changing ‘status’ on Facebook

              Percentage

              I don’t change my status

              1-2 times a day

              3 or more times a day

              1-2 times a week

              1-2 times a month

                1. Common places convenient to use Facebook

                The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 10

                Figure 8: Convenient places to log into Facebook

                The table and the graph above show that many of the respondents would prefer chatting and checking on their Facebook pages while at home (85%). Few can do that at home (7%).

                Table 9: Convenient places to log into Facebook

                Common convenient places to use Facebook

                Percentage

                  1. Facebook increases communication with reality friends

                  The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 11

                  Figure 9: Facebook and communication

                  More than 57% of the respondents agreed that Facebook increases or improves communication with reality friends. Few (3%) disagreed with this idea. This means that many people appreciate that Facebook is a convenient tool to create and maintain communication with friends.

                  Table 10: Facebook and communication

                  Facebook increases communication with reality friends

                  Percentage

                  Strongly Agree

                  Uncertain/Neutral

                  Disagree

                  Strongly Disagree

                  0

                    1. Using Facebook makes more Friends

                    The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 12

                    Figure 10: Using Facebook to make more Friends

                    In support of question number 8, the table and the graph above indicates that many respondents (57%) agreed that one could make more friends by using Facebook. A very small percentage of the respondents (3%) were opposed to this view.

                    Table 11: Using Facebook to make more Friends

                    One makes more friends by using Facebook

                    Percentage

                    Strongly Agree

                    Uncertain/Neutral

                    Disagree

                    Strongly Disagree

                    0

                      1. Facebook Functions and Daily Usage

                      The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 14The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 13

                      Figure 11: Facebook Functions and Daily Usage

                      From the graph and the table above, it shows that many respondents preferred using Facebook to chat, play, post status or photos and look through posts of their ‘Friends’. The length of time taken to look through ‘Friends’ posts were overall higher (over 90 minutes) compared to time committed for chatting, posting ‘status’ and playing. A larger percentage took less than 30 minutes when involved in chatting, posting ‘status’ and playing. A higher percentage of respondents (12%) took more than 30 minutes to view posts placed by their ‘Friends’.

                      Table 12: Facebook Functions and Daily Usage

                      Never Use

                      Less than 30 minutes

                      Between 30-60 minutes

                      Between 60-90 minutes

                      Between 90-120 minutes

                      Over 120 minutes

                      Chatting

                      13.79% (4)

                      65.52% (19)

                      17.24% (5)

                      3.45% (1)

                      0.00% (0)

                      0.00% (0)

                      51.72% (15)

                      37.93% (11)

                      3.45% (1)

                      6.90% (2)

                      0.00% (0)

                      0.00% (0)

                      Post the status/photos

                      24.14% (7)

                      55.17% (16)

                      17.24% (5)

                      3.45% (1)

                      0.00% (0)

                      0.00% (0)

                      Look through ‘Friends’ Post

                      3.45% (1)

                      37.93% (11)

                      41.38% (12)

                      10.34% (3)

                      3.45% (1)

                      3.45% (1)

                        1. Preference of ‘Facebooking’ than Face-to-face meeting

                        The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 15

                        Figure 12: Facebook and Face-to-face meeting

                        From the table above, most of the respondents (45%) were not certain whether they could just communicate with their friends on Facebook or prefer face-to-face communication. The percentage of those supporting this opinion (11%) tilted to this view.

                        Table 13: Facebook and Face-to-face meeting

                        Prefer to ‘Facebook’ than face-to-face meeting

                        Percentage

                        Uncertain/Neutral

                          1. Access to other social networking sites

                          The impact of Facebook on reality friendship---Research Report 16

                          Figure 13: Access to other networking sites

                          The last question asked about respondent access to other social networking sites. From the graph, it shows that most of the respondents preferred Weibo (58%) which is a Chinese social tool. Some few other respondents preferred Twitter (21%). This also shows that besides Facebook some other respondents have no other sites (17%) to visit.

                          Table 14: Access to other networking sites

                          Access to other social networking sites

                          Percentage

                          Weibo. (Chinese social tool)

                          MSN Space

                          5.0 Discussion

                          From the findings, it can be learned that social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Weibo and MySpaceare popular to students and people of ages between 18 and 25 years. This is the age that many in this group would like to expand their friendships, learn of other ethnic (cultural) groups, get to know tastes and preferences and compare their own. Female students formed the greater part of the survey but the results were insignificant in terms of their views differing with those of men. It can be established that many of this youthful members have only used Facebook in the last three years. They are likely to be acquainted with the role and significance of this site in creating and sustaining friendships (Gillin, 2009). They also use Facebook for less than an hour on daily basis. This indicates that the frequency of interaction is on daily basis. However, it can be established that it takes a while for Facebook users to change their ‘status’. Since many respondents are still new to Facebook (having less than 3 years experience) with the site, it is possible that they could be having few friends.

                          Fortunately, a sizeable number shows that it is possible to get on inviting friends on daily basis. Many students as observed from the UC respondents have shown that Facebook browsing is convenient when done at home than in any other place. Home, to majority of the people is quiet and comfortable. This indicates that users can access other sites as well while at home. There was a general agreement that Facebook is more effective and convenient in creating and sustaining reality friends. It also forms the basis of communication and allows people to make more friends than they could ever imagine. What one does is to ‘send friend request’ and wait for confirmation from the potential friend. The recipient makes a choice to confirm/accept or reject the ‘friend request’. Rejection means that the user is not ready or comfortable to have interactions with the said individual. Confirmation would infer acceptance to become friends and learn from each other and their network of friends on hourly or daily basis. The time given to the usage of Facebook is evident enough to show that functions like playing, chatting, posting ‘status’ or photos and viewing posts from other friends is maximized (Grohol, 2009). It was learned that people could take less time to play or chat on Facebook which are elements of communication and entertainment that to post or view the posts of their friends.

                          Making posts of own opinion or photos to be viewed by friends is one real test of Facebook. Members who are interested in some photos or opinions become ardent followers and respondents. The level of friendships go a notch higher given their ability to always read text or opinions, watch video clips or view photos and respond. Their responses have been show ‘likes’ or make ‘comments’. As mutual friends, the work of Facebook has created more bonds and networks. The moment is real time when platonic relationships are made on Facebook (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). It is also here than old flames can be re-ignited. Facebook has been a platform to express once opinion and anticipate reaction from members. This shows that using Facebook presents increased capability to create more friends from all over the globe. Some of these friends are those who share a common understanding of a specific idea or discourse and they end up becoming real and long time friends.

                          The way people meet through Facebook has determined the ways in which they interact. Without any face-to-face interaction, some avid users of social networking sites have seen their friendships sustained. For example, in the past, this has happened to people they had never met through having pen pals. These people go ahead to develop life-long friendships even in business (Crosby et al. 2000).

                          Creating and retaining friends is demonstrated by the fact that many users spend more than 2 hours on daily basis to post photos or comments. The hours spend is also allocated to viewing the posts and photos or videos of other friends. This indicates that Facebook has shifted more from being a communication or entertainment tool for chatting and playing to a serious friendship channel. Many family members, friends, acquaintances and total strangers have a place in the network of interactions (Chen et al. 2011). Many who have been strangers and never met face-to-face have come to appreciate that they can exchange ideas and opinions without necessarily meeting. Facebook therefore is one medium that has replaced face-to-face communication and allowed friendship to develop and blossom through the network.

                          People have been able to appreciate and assist friends they have never seen firsthand. The reality of such friendships has been supported by the fact that it is cheaper to log in and participate. There is no moderator but an open forum to support or object a certain opinion, value or belief. Friendship is about developing acquaintances on the social sphere that have the capacity to provide emotional and social support. Facebook has positive effect on friendship because opinions are considered depending on the perception of the users. The responses of negative views or comments are made and acts like a debate. The preference of Facebook to face-to-face meeting means that reality friendships have been created without necessarily developing the need to meet (Cross et al. 2009). From the findings, it was obtained that many respondents were uncertain over Facebook substituting face-to-face meeting. A slight majority accepted this possibility. Face-to-face meeting has been a traditional form of creating and meeting friends and acquaintances. As more reality friends are being developed each day from all over the world, Facebook is a formidable medium to perform this task. From the findings it shows that users will take less time (less than 30 minutes) to posts their own status and/or photos but more time (more than 30 minutes) to look through posts of their ‘friends’. This aspect of social networking has increased in usage compared to 5 years earlier. This means that Facebook has positively impacted on reality friendship. The effects to Facebook users have also been positive given that the platform is open and can be viewed by all (Andzulis et al. 2012). Any negative or degrading comment is blocked by the social site providers. This means that the site is regulated and controlled enabling healthy conversations and friendships to blossom.

                          6.0 Conclusion

                          The aim of the report was to establish the impact of Facebook on reality friendship. The study on Chinese students in the University of Canberra has obtained that Facebook positively impacts on reality friendship. It has also demonstrated that Facebook has positive effects on its users because it has always been used to communicate, entertain, provide opinions and follow on the posts of friends (Bassford & Ivins, 2010). The study has obtained that students within the ages of 18 and 25 years are popular users of this site. The pillar of social network is relationships among interacting units established as a set of methods and theories to evaluate social structures and relations. Facebook networks are based on friendship or connections recognized through electronic invitations exchange. They may infer a person’s importance because the links easily become observable to interacting parties (Beer, 2008). Facebook presents increased capability to create more friends from all over the globe. Some of these friends are those who share a common understanding of a specific idea or discourse and they end up becoming real and long time friends. Majority of the people find the home environment quiet and comfortable. This indicates that users can access other sites as well while at home and that Facebook is more effective and convenient in creating and sustaining reality friends. It also forms the basis of communication and allows people to make more friends than they could ever imagine (McGrath & Van Vugt, 2009). To crown it, the capacity of people to make and sustain friendships has increased through online social networking and more regular communication with friends and other family members.

                          7.0 Recommendations

                            1. Facebook as a social network site provider should continue developing more programs that promote healthy and sustainable relationships among young people since this is a globalized avenue to meet new friends. This should also include real time communication via an interactive video channel such as Skype. This will not only boost the rating of friendship but allow for more features like voice and temperaments to be read.

                            2. There is need for increased use of Facebook to play and chatting to augment friendship because this avenue will enable greater positive effects to users. Friendship in Facebook should be healthy and sustainable else people will resort to using them for chatting and playing games.

                            3. People especially an increasing proportion of young people should be encouraged to sign up on Facebook as one way of escaping boredom, loneliness and emotional stability. Friendship being developed through Facebook has seen increased opportunities for face-to-face meetings.

                            4. People should increase the time of making their posts compared to looking up to the posts made by others. By doing so, they will be able to receive views and comments likely to solve some of their queries or settle their concerns. As people share more they will increase their capacities to receive variety of responses which are helpful.

                            5. More Chinese male students should be encouraged to engage Facebook as a credible social site which enables them interact with other students and develop friends from around the world. However, cyber criminals target strangers. Caution need to be taken.

                            6. Facebook should be perceived as a platform to create and nurture reality friendship because it has provides for a constructive way of spending leisure time while at home. No more personal information should be placed in the profile.

                            7. Facebook is addictive and should not be a favorite while at work or class situation. Instances of unreasonable demands from certain friends also abound. Impersonation and blackmail have often lead to a general sulk and discontent on Facebook which should be discouraged as they kill the trappings of reality friendship facilitated by Facebook (Lenhart & Madden, 2007).

                            8. Reality communication and feedback should be the key ingredient that drives friendship. People should find this avenue convenient and attractive when compared to using the traditional channels of communication.

                            References

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                            Appendices

                            Survey Question:The impact of Facebook on reality friendship.

                            1. What is your age group?

                            1. Between 18-25.

                            2. Between 26-35.

                            3. Prefer no answer.

                            2. What is your gender?

                            1. Prefer no answer.

                            3.How long have you use Facebook?

                            1. Less than 3 year.

                            2. Between 3-4 years.

                            3. Between 4-5 years.

                            4. Over 5 years.

                            4. How many hours do you use Facebook per day?

                            1. Less than 1 hour.

                            2. Between 1-2 hours.

                            3. Between 2-3 hours.

                            4. More than 3 hours.

                            5.How many “friends” do you have on Facebook? (means everyone who you follow)

                            1. Less that 10.

                            2. 100-150.

                            3. 150 and more.

                            6. How often do you change your “status” on Facebook? (ie — John Doe is …)

                            1. I don’t change my status.

                            2. 1-2 times a day.

                            3. 3 or more times a day.

                            4. 1-2 times a week.

                            5. 1-2 times a month.

                            7. Where do you use Facebook usually?

                            1. In the UC.

                            2. At the work.

                            3. Others. ___________

                            8. How do you think using Facebook will increase your communicatewithreality friends?

                            1. Strongly agree.

                            2. Uncertain/neutral.

                            3. Disagree.

                            4. Strongly disagree.

                            9. How do you think using Facebook will make many friends?

                            1. Strongly agree.

                            2. Uncertain/neutral.

                            3. Disagree.

                            4. Strongly disagree.

                            10. The following table shows some functions of Facebook, How long did you use it per day?

                            Never use

                            Less than 30 minutes

                            Between 30-60minutes

                            Between 60-90 minutes

                            Between 90-120 minutes

                            Over 120 minutes

                            Chatting

                            Playing games

                            Post the status/or photos

                            Look through friends’ post

                            11.Do you “Facebook” people more than you face-to-face them?

                              1. Uncertain/neutral.

                            12.Do you have any other social networking accounts?

                              1. Weibo. (Chinese social tool)

                              2. MySpace.

                              3. MSN Space.

                              4. Twitter.