English as a global language.
No matter where you go in the world, you have a very good chance of finding someone who speaks English. English is quickly becoming the global language, and it dominates the world in many ways.
English language is now the first language of about 400 million people, the native language of 12 nations and the official or semiofficial language of 33 more nations.
English is so widespread nowadays because it has become the standard language for all kinds of international communication: 80% of all information in the world’s computers is in English; nearly 50% of all the companies in Europe communicate with each other in English; 75% of all international letters and telexes are in English.
Learning English helps in talking to people, in reading and writing, in understanding TV and films from other countries, and opens up much a wider range of sources of information.
I think that English is going to become even more important in the nearest future, dominating world trade, computers and media, while other languages will become localized or just die out.
The rapid growth of social networking that has been observed over the last two to three years is indicative of its entry into mainstream culture and its integration into the daily lives of many people.
In parallel with this, there has also been considerable media coverage of the growth of social networking, its potential positive outcomes and concerns about the way that some people are engaging with it. Social networking sites offer people new and varied ways to communicate via the internet, whether through their PC or their mobile phone. They allow people to create their own online page or profile easily and to construct and display an online network of contacts, often called ‘friends’. Users of these sites can communicate via their profile both with their ‘friends’ and with people outside their list of contacts. This can be on a one-to-one basis (much like an email), or in a more public way such as a comment posted for all to see.
Like other communications tools, social networking sites have certain rules, conventions and
Privacy settings which users have to navigate to make themselves understood and avoid any difficulties.
Social networking sites are most popular with teenagers and young adults
Latest research shows that just over one fifth of adult internet users aged 16+ and almost half of children aged 8-17 who use the internet have set up their own profile on a social networking site.
For adults, the likelihood of setting up a profile is highest among 16-24 year olds and decreases with age.
Social networkers fall into distinct groups.
Social networkers differ in their attitudes to social networking sites and in their behavior while using them. Latest research indicates that site users tend to fall into five distinct groups based on their behaviours and attitudes. These are as follows:
• Alpha Socialisers – (a minority) people who used sites in intense short bursts to flirt, meet new people, and be entertained.
• Attention Seekers – (some) people who craved attention and comments from others,
often by posting photos and customising their profiles.
• Followers – (many) people who joined sites to keep up with what their peers were
• Faithfuls – (many) people who typically used social networking sites to rekindle old
friendships, often from school or university.
• Functionals – (a minority) people who tended to be single-minded in using sites for a particular purpose.
Non-users of social networking sites also fall into distinct groups
Non-users also appear to fall into distinct groups; these groups are based on their reasons for not using social networking sites:
• Concerned about safety – people concerned about safety online, in particular making personal details available online.
• Technically inexperienced – people who lack confidence in using the internet and computers.
• Intellectual rejecters – people who have no interest in social networking sites and see them as a waste of time.
MySpace was launched in 2003. MySpace remains the perennial favorite in the USA. It does so by tempting the key young adult demographic with music, music videos, and a feature-filled environment. It looked and felt better than major competitor Friendster right from the start, and it conducted a campaign of sorts in the early days to show alienated Friendster users just what they were missing.
Essentially a micro-blogging «What are you doing at the moment?» site where users keep contacts informed of everyday events through bite-size morsels they post from their computer or handheld device, the service got off to a very good start when launched in 2006. Its continued popularity notwithstanding, Twitter has nevertheless come under some criticism for taking the «staying in touch» thing too far. Do we really need to know when someone we’ve never even met chooses Burger King over McDonald’s or decides he’s going to read a newspaper? Are we really that interested in the excruciating minutiae of everyone’s day?
Facebook that now leads the global social networking pack. Founded, like many social networking sites, by university students who initially peddled their product to other university students, Facebook launched in 2004 as a Harvard-only exercise and remained a campus-oriented site for two full years before finally opening to the general public in 2006. Yet even by that time, Facebook was seriously big business, with tens of millions of dollars already invested.
The secret of Facebook’s success (it now currently boasts in excess of 150 million users) is a subject of some debate. Some point to its ease of use, others to its multitude of easily-accessed features, and still others to a far simpler factor – its memorable, descriptive name. Regardless, there’s agreement on one thing – Facebook promotes both honesty and openness. It seems people really enjoy being themselves, and throwing that openness out there for all to see.
The Future of Social Networks
But what is the future of social networking? Is it a temporary phenomenon that will crumble under the test of time, or is the concept rife with unlimited potential? The answer likely stands somewhere in-between. The economic downturn certainly won’t help any new sites get off the ground, and eventually some of us may get a bit jaded about the whole thing. Are we really networking in a social sense, or are we just hiding behind our keyboards and building lists of virtual friends rather than getting out there in the real world?
Let us see…..