Investigating the impact of new social media on the social behaviour of young people
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The emergence of social media tools and the enthusiasm by which young people have embraced theses tools as one of their primary modes of interaction is well documented in many current studies. The over-arching focus of this study considers what impacts if any the influence of social media is having on the behaviour of young people. Drawing on findings and insights gained through the delivery of the HUWY project, this study of the attitudes and perceptions of young people was grounded in an in-depth and critical review of academic and practice based literature. Following from this and guided by it, the primary research consisted of a series of seven focus groups working with young people aged between fourteen and sixteen years of age. The study was conducted in a variety of urban and rural locations across Ireland. An approach incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data was used in order to analyse the results. Core themes of Internet Use, Behaviour and Online Risk where used throughout the study and were framed by including social identity theory. The findings indicate that the use of social media tools have both positive and negative impacts on the social behaviour of young people. There is a need for a deeper understanding of the impacts of social media usage on the behaviour of young people and a more nuanced and multi-faceted response by youth work professionals. The study concludes by identifying some of the challenges that face young people, parents and professionals with regard to the increasing popularity of on line tools and in doing so there is a need to foreground the voices of young people.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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