In 2006, the number of users for social networking sites had been increased from 46.8 million to 68.8 million during the premature year (Pempek.et.al, 2009). The data shows that the increasing number of people is more likely to connect with each other in social networking sites, which may seem that the communication in social networking sites has became the indispensable part of some users’ daily life. This essay will demonstrate that social networking sites are beneficial to citizens in self-image, enhancing existing relationship and establishing new relationship.
In terms of self-image, social networking sites help users to establish personal identity to a large extent. Most social networking sites are member-based Internet communities which provide the function for users to show themselves through posting profile information. Pempek.et.al (2009) reports that profile information include the public or private online message and photos. Moreover, the information is related to their personality, such as hometowns, birthdays, interests and viewpoints. When users sent information on social networking sites, like MySpace, Friendsters, Facebook and LiveJournal, other users can view these information and give some feedback. During the period of observing and replaying other members’ profile information; they know others’ interesting, habits, views and what they look like. Pempek.et.al (2009) state that social network sites as a newer digital media has the ability for users to show themselves by posting photos. Compared with other traditional media, such as TV, magazines and newspapers, all of information are posted by members’ choose. Therefore, users control their profile information which is presented in public. It may help users to identify what they are by themselves. To large extend, this way is beneficial for users to set up their unique and own self-image. The social network sites offer valuable platforms where people can present themselves and establish the relationship with others.
The proliferation of communication in Social networking sites exerts positive impact on reinforcing existing relationship for family, friends and colleagues. Lee (2009) mentions that Internet overcomes the barriers of times and places while linking up people. For the survey of Pemek et al (2009) point out that most students prefer Facebook to connect with their friends who come from home, campus, especially some friends are not seen often. For instance, the application of offline and lurking are prevalent among users. This application can help users to select which kind of people to connect and know when their friends online (Gross, 2004) Contemporary, it may offer more time for users to communicating with who they known. Thus, social networking sites are beneficial for extending users’ existing relationship in some extend. On the other hand, Morahan-Martin&Schumacher(2003) report that time online is considered as a barrier for real life. When users spend most of their time on social networking sites, it is probable that their real life will be affected. The more time spending on the Internet may leads to less time on the real life. Social relationship is considered as an emotional present which requires people to give feedback and eye-contact directly at the same time. The face to face of communication is natural way to get in touch with people and understand each other, in order to enhance their relationship. However, social networking sites contribute to establish new relationship