Загрузил Камилла Бекишева

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THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL NETWORKS
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What is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ personal development in Kazakhstan?
Kamilla Bekisheva
12 H
Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Karaganda
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What is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ personal development in Kazakhstan?
Introduction
Last year I wrote a research essay about the influence of the social networks on students’ academic
achievement, which gave me some background information to do my research paper this year. I can say
that the essay gave a great deal of inspiration to examine the issue of the role of social networks among
adolescents and their progress in class.
More importantly, I became interested in the effect of the networks on adolescents personal
development and how their perception of the world, generally mind was affected. Furthermore, my
personal experience with my friends, who were faced with problem of dependence on social networks,
pushed me to search about it’s influence on their ‘impressionable’ minds. To be honest, my friends have
faced this problem of the influence of social networks in which they started to pretend to be someone
else whom they might have read about on the networks, but ignoring who they were themselves. For
instance, on some social networks (Instagram, Facebook and etc.) they see a person who is very beautiful
and "ideal" for them and they try to imitate him, while they lose own individuality.
Virtually, last year I saw a documentary movie about human’s personal development where was
mentioned that from year to year, person’s individuality, perception of the life and world and behavior
subjects to change and I have interested in this particular effect on adolescents, due to the fact that they
are easily exposed to any changes. Moreover, adolescents are among the first to have completely
surrounded by communication technologies, while it is the period of their rapid development, growth
and maturity (June Ahn, 2011, p.1). Therefore, it is possible to claim that adolescents’ personal
development can be changed after durable use of social networking sites (SNS) and I want to know how
exactly SNS effects on adolescents’ personal development.
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Generally, the main aim of my research is to analyze the effect of social networking sites on
adolescents’ personal and social development in Kazakhstan by comparing it with the United States of
America. I want to ask the adolescents of our region about this issue and what their opinion is, to get
more relevant information. Actually, the main issue of the research contradicts my value, which is
independence on any social networks and my believe is that we have to prevent complete dependence
of SNS and in future humanity can be “fully free” of influence of social networks. The outcomes of the
research can be useful for parents and relatives of adolescents who have faced with problem of
dependence from social networks.
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Rationale
The main purpose of my research is to find out more information about how social networking
sites can have an effect on adolescents’ personality and behavior in Kazakhstan. The basic research
question for my project work is:
• What is the impact of the social networks on adolescents’ personal development in Kazakhstan?
The basic question is also accompanied by particular sub-questions:
• What is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ health?
• What is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ individuality?
• What is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ behavior?
• What
is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ outlooks’ extension?
• What are the ways of preventing social networks’ influence on adolescents’ personal
development?
Answering these sub-questions was useful for collecting, analyzing and evaluating information about
the influence of SNS on adolescents’ character and individuality, as it could protect adolescents from
addiction.
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Background and Context
Nowadays people actively use any social networks for communicating with each other and it
becomes the most suitable method of supporting relationships. People with interacting of SNS can
easily share documents, photos and generally, impressions to person, that is live in another part of the
Earth.
At the beginning, the first social networking site started to work in 1978 with using Bulletin Board
System (BBS). BBS organized on personal computers, requiring that users dial a modem, host
computer’s exchange of information, over telephone lines with other users. It was the first system that
allowed users to log in and interact with each other, however it was rather slow, since only one user
could log in. Later Jim Ellis and Tom Truscott created bulletin board Usenet, which divided first copies
of internet browsers. Soon was invented chatting that was called Internet Relay Chat (IRC). After,
some people and companies started avail oneself their sites.
In addition, every day social network sites improved own popularity between people's all range of
ages. According to eMarket report, the number of social networks users increases from 2013 to 2014
by 18%. Nowadays approximately 3.2 billion of people use Internet, whereas 1.7 billion of people
have their accounts on social networks. Nevertheless, as it was said previously, adolescents also are
actively using SNS and communicate with each other mostly via SNS. National survey reports that in
2009 approximately 73% of all adolescents used social networking sites, which rose by 20% from
2006 (Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, & Zickuhr, 2010).
Moreover, the majority of adolescents use social networks constantly. In general, the most popular
social networking sites among all adolescents are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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Whereas, by 2012 statistics, more than 94% of adolescents had used Facebook and 26%, 11% and 7%
use Twitter, Instagram and YouTube respectively. In addition, by 2013 statistics around 71% USA’s
adolescents, whose age is 12-17, used Facebook and 52% used Instagram. It can be noticeably seem
then, that the significant among of American adolescents prefer use Instagram and Facebook more than
Twitter, YouTube and other SNS.
However, this global issue also observed in our country. Actually, the most attractive social
networking sites among Kazakhstani adolescents are WhatsApp, Instagram, VK and YouTube, where
40% of them use WhatsApp. As it was said previously, about 15% of Kazakhstani youth use social
networks, therefore they can be also affected by SNS. Approximately 2.6 million of Kazakhstani
adolescents, whose age range is from 12 to 19, use online social networking sites. In comparison with
United States of America, the percentage of Kazakhstani adolescents that use SNS gradually is less.
The link between adolescents and social networking sites influence their behavior, health and
individuality. However, adolescences’ time is the most significant period for personal development in a
human life. Actually, during this period of time, adolescence form their behavior, personality and
health.
Actually, most of adolescents spend their time on communication in social networks. According to
Lenhart et al. (2005), adolescents’ current generation grows submerged in social network, which
contributes cooperation and user-generated content among users (n.p). Nevertheless, adolescents
communicate with no limitations in social networking sites, which can hurt their self-esteem.
According to Berkman, adolescents can abuse relationships with other person and offend with bullion
words that can also affect to their behavior (2010). To put it more simply, adolescents abuse each other
in SNS and their perception about relationships changes with their demeanor in public. Moreover,
prolonged use of social networks can increase the risk of psychological disorders and negatively effect
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on adolescents’ self-conception (Campbell & O’Dea, 2011, n.p.). According to previous perspectives,
it can be clearly seen that prolonged communication by using SNS can have an effect in negative way,
actually, sometimes decreases adolescents’ self-appraisal, that can have an effect their further behavior.
Sometimes social networks can change behavior of any person, namely, by the reason of that the
majority of people use constantly social networks like a place where they can express their views and
impressions, and then they become adopted to the virtual world more rather than to the real. Clearly,
adolescents lose their intercourse with their friends in society and their perceptions of real life change.
As it was mentioned previously, social networks can influence on adolescents’ individuality and
unfortunately, adolescents are easily affected by social networking sites. Adolescent express their
feelings and emotions via writing some posts, sharing photos and videos, chatting with another person,
in general, using SNS. Nevertheless, these types of expression oneself can have an effect on his
personality. In virtue of it, parents and school educators are worried for adolescents. Also, according to
Erik Erikson’s Stages of Development, adolescents can face with psychological diseases and “identity
crisis”. To put it simply, adolescents find the “ideal” person in their consciousness in SNS and they try
to imitate them, therefore they lose their individual perception and own distinction. Furthermore,
adolescents incorporate behavior and habits of other person into their own attitudes as a means of
forming an identify which is acceptable and attractive in their context (Arnett, 2009, p424-425).
Therefore, adolescents take character and beliefs from other person, due to the fact that they try to
emulate to him and their personal development starts to change.
In addition, as it was mentioned before social networks effects on adolescents personal
development and it can effect particularly positively. Owing to adolescents use SNS, they expand their
friendship; form other areas of their life, like hobbies, school (Ito, 2008, n.p.). Adolescents receive
enough information from SNS, which expand their outlook and change perception of the life, world to
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the positive side. Although, according to Kathleen Clarke-Pearson et al., one of the common benefit of
social networks is that they allow every person to accomplish certain tasks and get more information.
Therefore, it can be said that SNS has own benefits and can give a huge number of opportunities to the
any adolescents.
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Method
The research paper included particular different methods, which are: primary and secondary. These
methods of research provided narrow and complete results and needed information, where information
from secondary sources confirmed the information from primary sources. In addition, each method
supplemented another. Using both of methods ensured quality research and expansion of reliability of
final results.
First of all, secondary research method was literature review. Actually, basic information that leaded
to the research topic was congregated from Internet and books. Indeed, the information about the
impact of social networks on adolescents’ personal development, which gathered from Internet sources
and literatures were not enough for research. Therefore, I took interview as primary research method
that gave me more information in the field of my topic and possibility to analyze perspectives from
adolescents that have faced this problem.
Actually, while searching needed information on a research topic’s issue, I faced with some
problems such as outdating of sources, which gave no credibility of information, and deficiency of
information. Thus, I was compelled to search all feasible, relevant and credible information, statistics
and articles about the impact of social networking sites on adolescents’ behavior, health and
individuality and took an interview from “victim” adolescents, for preventing problems.
As a primary method, I chose semi- structured interview, by the reason of suggestive questions and
gathering more information. It was necessary taking exactly interview, due to the fact that
questionnaire, observation and other types of methods were inappropriate for my research project
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paper, because other types of methods spent a significant time. Generally, it was essential getting more
detailed and open-ended answers, such as an opinion, rather than demographical or quantitative
answers (data, statistics ad etc.). Also some people do not answer certain question in survey. Interview
focused on two adolescents from 12 grade of Nazarbayev Intellectual School Karaganda city that have
been faced with problem of dependence of social networking sites. For the conversation, questions
were prepared in the field of research topic. However, in respect that it’s semi- structured interview,
the conversation took approximately 15-20 minutes and there could be unexpected questions.
Respondents felt convenient and relaxed, owing to suitable atmosphere open and fair conversation
took place which gives me qualitative and objective information.
The gathered information was analyzed and implemented to the research questions. The results
were represented in results section.
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Results
From the literature review I have found some perspectives on the impact of social networking sites
on adolescents’ personal development. In secondary sources the perspectives of USA’s people were
also considered. Moreover, secondary sources gave me significant and needed information for my
research. As I mentioned before in the Method section, as primary source I provided semi-structured
interview with two students of Nazarbayev Intellectual School Karagandy city, whose age is around
17, about their opinion on the impact of SNS on the adolescents’ personal development. Actually,
semi-structured interview helped me to collect necessary information on main issue of my research
project.
Literally, both respondents refers to the adolescence period and can be affected by SNS. However,
they have really different attitudes about main issue. I took interview from students one by one and
introduced them my research topic, after that asked certain questions.
The results of my semi-structured interview are following:
Firstly, both respondents use social networks and spend approximately 4-5 hours per day on it.
At the beginning, the social networks could effect neutrally and it can be proved and argued by
respondents’ claims.
Table 1: The attitudes of respondents about the impact of Social Networking Sites on adolescents’
development of certain areas of the personality
The influence of SNS on
adolescents’
Personality/Individuality
Health
Behavior
Respondent 1
Respondent 2
Negatively
Negatively
Neutral
Negatively
Negatively
Negatively
THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL NETWORKS
Outlooks’ extension
Positively
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Neutral
First of all, it is possible to say that both respondents thought that SNS influences on adolescents’
personal development mostly in negative ways rather than in positive. In the Table 1 it can be seen that
the respondent 2 thought that SNS effects on the adolescents’ most of the personal’s spheres
negatively, whereas on the contrary respondent 1 thought neutrally. The couple of respondents said that
social networks effect their personality and health only in negative ways. Although, respondent 1
mentioned that social networks has some advantages and could effect positively, namely, in SNS,
adolescents could watch some tutorial videos which could increase their skills and knowledge.
However, Respondent 2 said that sometimes in SNS, there could be some information that is
inappropriate for their ages and could change the perception of the world to the negative way.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the majority of adolescents’ personal’s spheres can be effected by
SNS negatively.
Secondly, both of respondents faced with some health diseases that caused by prolonged use of
social networks. Clearly, by the reason of prolonged use of SNS, both respondents had bad eye sight
and curved spine. Although, “On this TV show there was a girl, who wanted to become very skinny
because she had seen significant number of “skinny girls” pictures and thought that is very beautiful
and amusing, hence she started to become like these girls. In the end, she became skinny, but after she
had illness such as anorexia”- Respondent 1 said. Consequently, it is possible to say that SNS can
effect on our (adolescent) mind and health negatively.
Furthermore, I asked about one statement according to Arnett, that sometimes adolescent takes
attitude, beliefs and behavior of other person into his own.
Figure 1. The opinion of respondents on the issue of the given statement.
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To what extent do you agree with following statement:
"Owing to use social networks, adolescents incorporate
behavior and habits of other person into their own".
Respondent 1
Respondent 2
According to the Figure 1, it can be seen that both of respondents agree with statement, whereas
respondent 1 agreed on 75% and respondent 2 agreed on 40%. Actually, respondent 2 said that,
generally, person takes only parasite words from other person without incorporating any other habits.
Apparently, we can say that the majority of adolescents take some phrases, habites and other things
from any person in their own attitudes.
Moreover, respondents offered some solutions of dependence by SNS, which are:
 Respondent 1 offered this way, which is parents’ control, to prevent dependence, because he
thought that the majority of children obey the parent and parents know what is better for their child.
Therefore, if parents have said that child should rarely use his cellphone and social network, child
listen them.
 Respondent 2 offered that adolescents and actually all people should use social networks only 30
minutes in 5 hours, by this way adolescents become more independent from SNS.
 Respondent 2 said that after using SNS people should do some exercises for eyes and body to
prevent certain health diseases.
 Lastly, respondent 2 mentioned that eating fruits and vegetables can improve the condition of
health and gave vitamins.
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Concluding this, it can be seen that the majority of adolescents are affected by prolonged use of
social networks the most in a negative way, such as their individuality and health. Nevertheless, there
are some benefits of using SNS, which are gathering new information and expanding the mind.
However, there are certain ways of preventing dependence from using social networks.
Conclusion
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In terms of each of the research paper questions, it is possible to make the following conclusions.
• What is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ health?
The majority of people in the research think that using social networks can lead to the serious
illnesses, such as curved spine and sight deterioration. Actually, after prolonged use of social networks,
adolescents start to forget about their health and themselves, in general. However, the representatives
of Americans' perspectives mention absolutely different opinion. American people think that using
social networking sites in a long period of time can lead to the psychological disorders,
rather that physical. Overall, it is possible to claim that social networks affects on adolescents' health.
• What is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ individuality?
The majority of people in my research paper think that prolonged use of SNS affects adolescents'
personality and individuality only in a negative way. People, whose perspectives I had for research
think that using SNS can change persons' individuality and conception of the world. However, the
respondents of my interview think in the other way. Respondents think that using SNS on the contrary
increases knowledge and change personality only in positive ways. Hence, the social networking sites
have neutral impact on adolescents' individuality.
• What is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ behavior?
The respondents of my semi-structured interview think that using SNS develops and
modernizes their behavior. To put it more simply, using social networks gives more skills that can be
useful to develop behavior. Nevertheless, they also agree with experts who observed use
of SNS among adolescents and proved that it can lead to some changes in their behavior, precisely
change their perception of life negatively. Considering these perspectives, we can say that the use of
SNS can have an affect on adolescents’ behavior mostly negatively, rather than positively.
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• What is the impact of social networks on adolescents’ outlooks’ extension?
First of all, as I mentioned before, through SNS adolescents bring and gather new useful
information, actually, expand their outlook. Both of scientists and respondents think that social
networking sites influence on our mind only positively. For instance, while we, adolescents, use SNS,
we bring new information into our mind that increases our "repository" of our skills. Consequently, it
is possible to say that sometimes using social networks can be useful for adolescents.
• What are the ways of preventing social networks’ influence on adolescents’ personal
development?
According to the results of semi-structured interview the ways of preventing the dependence of
social networks on adolescents’ personal development are:

Limitation in time. Actually, using social networks around 30 minutes in 5 hours can
decrease dependence from it.

Eating more fruits and vegetables. Surely, fruits and vegetables have a huge amount of
useful vitamins which improve person’s health.

Do some exercises for eyes and spine. Clearly, after using any social networks
recommended do some exercises to improve eye sight and eliminate problems with curved spine.
Following these ways adolescents will be able to avoid full dependence on SNS.
As a result of this research it is possible to conclude that using social networking sites by
adolescents can affect their personal development neutrally. Namely, adolescents’ individuality,
behavior, health and gathering new information changes, by the reason of that they use SNS a great
while. It can be clearly seen that some solutions to prevent such problem, like dependence from SNS.
Moreover, parents and teachers should control using a long of any technological devices.
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Evaluation
The research was commonly successful and the main questions of research were answered.
The background information from secondary sources was helpful and based on credible sources
with reliability and justified knowledge claims where research was supported by official sites, such as
Pew Research Center, which provides some information on social problems, social opinions, and
demographic trends shaping the US and the whole world and commonly considered as valid and
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veracious. Actually, most of the credible sources based upon official statistics and shown in correct
vision. However, the weaknesses were that the majority of sources has vested interest in the research,
which supports their own objectives and perspectives or supports information only for their own
purposes. Also, some of the sources were outdated, therefore some information was not credible and
was not changed.
In spite of this, the information of semi-structured interview was helpful to prove the perspective
claims of secondary sources, and particularly right conclusion could be made from the interview,
where the main findings related to the population sampled- adolescents from NIS Karaganda city that
study in 12th grade. The results can be analyzed and summarized with some confidence to students,
namely adolescents from NIS. Actually, using unstructured interview was very helpful, due to the fact
that it gave me relevant and qualitative information for my research. The respondents talked openly
and freely during all interview which gave me relevant and fair conversation. However, the sample
size for the semi-structured interview was quiet small and drawn mainly from two students from NIS
Karaganda cities' 12th grade, who are adolescents. Therefore, it can be possible to say that it was not
necessary to referee about main issue of the research by two adolescents, hence information was not
fully reliable. If time was obtainable, more interviews could be conducted to improve the results.
Overall, information of secondary sources was validable and useful for research project, including
opinion from "victim" adolescents.
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Further research
In order to improve my project work and extend further research it is decisive to change and
make some corrections. At the beginning, to achieve all my future aims, I could search more
information about influence of social networking sites (SNS) on adolescents' personal
development in secondary sources and find more statistics from federal sources. Although, I
could find more information and take questionnaire about the impact of SNS on
people's personal development from humans' with different ages in the countries such as USA,
China and Canada, which I did not take into my research paper.
Furthermore, for more credible information, I could take online survey and ask more adolescents
and keep equal number of people with different ages. Although, I could increase the amount of
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questions for semi-structured interview, to get more information. Next in future I could ask
doctors and psychologists about their opinion on the impact of SNS on adolescents'
personal development to know professional point of view.
After this research, I learned more about social networks' impact on adolescents, generally on
their personal development and my perspectives particularly changed. Actually, before I thought
that SNS has only negative effect on us, now I know that SNS has neutral effect, where benefits
are getting new information, supporting relationships and modernize.
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