With this the social network expression, they indicate groups of
people connected to each other by any kind of bond that they relate to
forming a community.
Today it is most commonly used to indicate the tool used to create
and maintain virtual networks and online communities, which is more
commonly referred to as Social Network Sites (SNS). A social networking
service consists of an IT structure that manages web-based networks on the
The structure is identified by a social network reference website.
Boyd-Ellison scholars define Social Network Sites as web services that
allow the creation of a public or semi-public profile within a bound
system; the articulation of a list of contacts; the ability to scroll
through the list of friends of your contacts. By doing this, these
services allow you to manage and consolidate online pre-existing
friendships or extend your network of contacts.
Birth and types of Social Networks
The concept that through individual electronically connected
computers could be a "large social interaction and the creation of
networks was hypothesized in the late seventies. In this direction, many
initiatives were developed that, before the birth of the World Wide Web
(1992), enabled networked users to interact through computer-mediated
In the 1990s, with the development of the Internet, the first online
community websites were created (Geocities in 1994, Tripod in 1995). The
concept of these sites was to group people interested in common topics and
allow them to interact through chat or personal homepage that favored the
publication of content created by the users themselves: this mechanism
raises the phenomenon of blogging that is still at a stage of strong
Some communities had a different approach, as they decided to
emphasize the existing ties between former classmates (Classmates in
1995); from a similar approach, Facebook will also emerge (2004). At the
end of the nineties, another model of social networks developed to share
consumer opinions (Epinions in 1999).
In the following years, there was the next wave of social networking
that would make them emerge among the most popular and visited web sites,
coming in some cases to be bought by much larger companies. First, there
was Friendster, born in 2002, today used mainly in Asia, which Google
sought to capture in 2003.
It was later the birth of MySpace in 2003, which in 2005 had a
number of pages visited higher than Google's and that same year was
purchased by Robert Murdoch's News Corporation. 2004 saw the emergence of
Facebook, born in the Harvard University environment and then rapidly
growing in size to become the most successful social networking site in
In the social networking world, the most recent success phenomenon
is Twitter, born in 2006 but established between 2008 and 2009, which
became, after Facebook and MySpace, the third most visited social
It is estimated that today there are over 200 social networking
A social network consists of any group of people connected to each
other by different social ties, ranging from casual knowledge, to work
relationships, to family ties. Social networks are often used as a basis
for intercultural studies in sociology and anthropology.
Research conducted in the context of different disciplinary
approaches highlighted how social networks operate at multiple levels
(from families to national communities) and play a crucial role in
determining how problems are solved and organization management systems,
as well as the possibilities of individual individuals to achieve their
The spread of the web and the social networking term has created
some ambiguities of meaning in recent years. The social network is, in
fact, historically, in the first place, a physical network.
The social media version of the Internet is one of the most advanced
forms of network communication, and is also an attempt to violate the "150
The network of social relationships each of us weaves everyday, more
or less randomly, in the various areas of our lives, can be
"materialized", organized into a "searchable map", and enriched with new
The evolution of the Net represents a cultural revolution that
proposes a new way of communicating, socializing and creating that enables
creativity, information sharing and, above all, collaboration between
users. It has moved from a company where the main media were mass-driven,
unidirectional, to a society where the information exchange takes place
between users, many to many, thanks to participatory web logic; it has
passed from an era where the brand was the protagonist, to an era where
the single subject is the protagonist. So-called web communities or social
networking on the web are one of the most advanced forms of Internet
communication. The network of social relationships that each of us tends
every day, in a more or less random way, in the various areas of our
lives, can thus enrich new contacts.
Social media has now become an integral part of modern society and
there are even social networks that have a major user base in the
population of many countries. There are virtual niche sites for every kind
of specialty and interest; there are sites that allow you to share photos,
videos, status updates, and others that let you know new people and find
old friends. It seems that there is a social solution for every need. The
most popular social networks in the world are:
Facebook is the most popular Social
Network site. Facebook was founded on February 4,
2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, at the time nineteen-year-old student
at Harvard University.
The name of the site refers to the yearbooks (called "Facebook")
with the photos of each single member that some colleges publish at the
beginning of the academic year and distribute new students and staff to
the faculty as a means to to know the people of the campus.
The initial aim of Facebook was to
keep contacts between university students and high school students all
over the world, but over time it has expanded and today it has become a
social network that embraces all Internet users.
According to the data provided by the site itself, the number of
active users has reached and exceeded 2 billion worldwide in june 2017.
According to the data provided by Facebook and collected in the Users can
be part of one or more "networks", such as high school, workplace, or
Once you've signed in and created your own profile, which can
contain photos and lists of personal interests, you can search through
your name or email address to your friends and acquaintances on
On Facebook you can:
Share contents, You can publish
photos, videos, links to other sites in the profile.
Comunicate whit your friends,
With your contacts (defined as "friends"), you can exchange private or
public messages (in bulletin boards) and log in to send and receive
real-time messages. Viewing detailed profile data is restricted to
users of your own network or "friends" confirmed.
Mini Feed, The "mini-feed" shows your actions and
friends in a public timeline not much different from Twitter. The
difference is that with Twitter updates you decide directly what will
be shared, while with the Facebook newsfeed every action is monitored
and transmitted tall the contacts in your list of friends.
Play, Numerous applications have been developed
that have allowed the rapid spread of simple online interactive video
games, such as Pet Society, Farmille and Mafia Wars etc. As with other
Social Network, Facebook's risks are largely related to the
dissemination of information.
The Dark Sides of Social Network
They are termed "Social Network Addiction" and "Friendship Addiction" and are a kind of addiction,
update and control of their web page and friendship (also called
friendship), or better looking for new virtual friendships to be able to
record on their own profile.
Unfortunately such addictions have worrying symptoms:
Addiction: that is, the need to
connect or update the personal content of your page more and more to
each new connection to achieve the same feeling of fulfillment.
Abstinence: that is the experimentation of intense
psycho-physical discomfort if you do not get involved a certain period
Craving: that is, the growing
presence of fixed thoughts and strong impulses toward and when to
Dependence on Social Networks seems to be due to the strong sense of
security, personality and of sociality (in a society less and less marked
by social contacts) that these sites are able to provide.
In fact, these personal and interpersonal psycho-emotional dynamics
are based on something virtual, thus giving you fictitious security and
self-esteem, soon reached by dangerous symptoms dependence, social
isolation, and consequent disadvantage of the main vital spheres as work,
family, social, affective, etc.
Further deleterious consequences are the formation of personal
judgments based on the number of aggregated friends on their page: they
work by "masking" personal anxieties, worries and their sense of
disenchantment and loneliness.
In this way the new demands of friendship are almost a filling, or
strengthening of your ego.
The attitudes of use and abuse of these websites are triggered by
psychological and psychological mechanisms neurologics of pleasure,
affectivity and self-esteem: at the cerebral stage are released more the
amount of psycho-activating substances and the mental level create
mechanisms and patterns of reward which lead to continuous and increasing
reuse. When the connection is not possible then, then there are serious
symptoms such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks; to this they are
added resulting in school or work-related delays, gradual isolation,
distortion of affective relationships, and social.
Concluding among all the negative and positive aspects that have
brought social networks into our world we can say that they have
inexorably changed our lifestyle by spending many hours of daily updating
our profile, sharing content exchanging like. We just have to adjust and
see what the future will hold us.