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Impact of Instagram on Social Networks

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 2222 words Published: 4th Oct 2017

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How Instagram makes us sociable


The world has really transformed in terms of technology. Technology is the only thing that changes at a very fast rate. Every day we wake up to a new innovation of technology and ideas. Technology through internet has managed to bring the world together in terms of communication. Despite the varying time zones in different parts of the world, Internet has paved way for Social networks that are turning be a vital field for advertising and creating awareness among people. The internet is a branch of technology where there is loads of traffic. Internet has now become a necessity and has managed to globalize the universe and make it as a small village where people interact freely despite the location and time of the specific region. It has as well given rise to several social networks that allow people to stay connected and in touch at any time of their convenience. Some of the well-known social networks include Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. These social platforms have allowed business people to advertise their companies as well as the products being marketed.

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This research paper will focus on how Instagram has managed to make people more sociable. The previous notion was that social networks are responsible of making people lonely and create an ambience of loneliness. It will shade more light on how Instagram brings people’s social life into one stage where each and every individual is required to register an account with so as to be given the unique credentials for logging in and interact with other subscribers. Businesses are now turning to social Medias to advertise and promote their sales. This is because of the ever increasing social traffic which is always present regardless of the time or the place of business. Instagram has remarkable improved social exposure and this research paper will conclude on its importance based on purely facts and figures.


The Research topic that this paper is going to investigate in detail is whether Instagram as a Social network has managed to make people more sociable rather than lonely. My stand on the above argument is that I personally believe and completely agree to the fact that Instagram has truly managed to make people more social as compared to before the beginning of social networks. In order to second my stand in opinion, we will use a demonstrative example trying to campaign for an election contestant who is vying for an elective sit. This will put us in a position able to compare the different forms of campaign and establish the one which managed to reach the most number of people. For my research, I will employ Instagram as one of the trending social networks to establish whether it is making people to be more social rather than lonely.

Before putting keen emphasize to the example above we can simply ask ourselves as to why businesses are also targeting the social population as a potential field for advertisement. This is just a way of proving that Instagram (one of the social networks) has made people more sociable and has improved communications. Loneliness on the other hand can be defined as being isolated from the other members of the population and still not in a position to keep in touch with them. A lonely person is one who cannot keep in touch and communicate with others at free will. How can Instagram promote loneliness from our definition of the word itself? Instagram has managed to allow people keep in touch hence my support for the Research topic.

Literature Review

Social network has been essential in changing the internet from a space widely known for broadcast of information or transmission to a place where users are involved in creating and generating their own personal content. This ranges from short films on You Tube to Facebook updates. This is then followed by the process of signposting their networks to the other contents created by other users (Beer, 2008: Thelwell, 2009). For literature purposes, there is a very clear attention on the extent to which social media has become transformative through the way that users keep in touch with one another. Evidences from several sources around that could be found with less difficulty show that campaigning and influencing is the most effectively done activity through people’s already existing social relationships (Alinsky, 1971; Freire, 1970). Despite the fact that all social media platforms play a major role in this, there is a general sense in which social networks have increasingly become powerful. The masses that can be reached within a given short period of time via social networks are overwhelming. One post with no duplicate of exactly the same information can be viewed and followed by thousands if not millions at a blink of a second.

Most of the already existing social networks were initially established on the basis of a more tailored proposition rather than merely creating an online space where people with common interest could interact freely. My space, for instance, is a social network which was initially started with the sole purpose of enabling aspiring music artistes to share and publicize their own piece of work with other likeminded people among the society. (Pace, 2006). Facebook started as a mere service for students in a U.S university which gradually broadened their service to other non U.S universities and this is even before making the platform accessible to everybody (Kirkpatrick, 2010). This is how social networks simply start and end up being a populated platform with millions of users all over the world.

Social network sites provide new audience for civic engagement and for political participation. This facilitates information sharing and brings together networks through actions such as utilizing email, networking practices and user generated content (Montgomery 2007;Vromen 2007;2008). Research studies in Saudi Arabia have shown that 38% of 17-19 year olds employ Social networks (Instagram) for both political and civic engagement (Smith et al. 2009). Political leaders are using Instagram to post images of peace that advocate for peaceful coexistence. The many followers the politician has in Instagram media platform will be able to see what their leader is promoting and even leave a comment if they wish to. Moreover, the followers can get the images from the Politician’s profile and put it as their own so as to spread the message. This is just a simple example of how Instagram has enabled leaders in Saudi Arabia to campaign within a short period of time.

For the young generation who do not think through their participation in either civic or issue-based functions as “political” in the institution or traditional sense, Social networks are used to connect the individuals who have similar interests about their own projects (Collin, 2010). Young people are coming up with new participatory communities which are by and for their peers. (Harris 2008:489; Boyd 2007:13-14). In addition, services and organizations are increasingly observing social networking practices as the succeeding step towards youth participation in community and government decision making (Collin 2010).

Despite the fact that there are still queries as to the extent to which social networks function as virtual public spheres, fostering deliberation and enabling direct participation (Vromen.2008). However, the network for communicating information and numerous point of view “Public sphere” permits the recognition of creative digital expression through the social networks as civic engagement (Burgess, et. al,2006).There is a vast body of academic work on social networks and technology at large which take into consideration the creative, performativity and participatory dimensions of the current digital practices.

The general usage of social media can simply be described as the collective media creation and sharing on a legitimately large scale. This includes social network services as well as other participatory activities like news blogs. The rapid up take of both social media and social network services by the young people indicate a very important shift in young generation’s use if internet mainly for information and entertainment as one way of communication. The young generation is made of “producers” who actively produce as well as consume media (Bruns 2008). The participatory media ambience enables the young to take part in creative content production. This also empowers them with brand new means of creating as well as sustaining connections among themselves. As a result, Social network platforms have resulted into new discussions on how to conceptualize and advocate for what has come to be termed as cyber citizenship (Bennett, 1998, 2003: Coleman, 2005).

Research Methodology

As mentioned earlier on in this research paper, I will use a politician social network campaign program via Instagram to establish the power of the social platform in terms of moving masses within a short period of time. I will visit colleges and higher institutions of learning and promote students to register accounts with Instagram. This on the other hand will simplify my work because I expect only few students if any who will not be having accounts with Instagram. I will then advise all the students to follow the Politian’s account so that they can be able to be informed about the Politian updates in his process of campaigning.

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I will collect my data for analysis by counting the number of likes and dislikes for each and every update the politician makes. The number of likes will give me a rough idea before the actual data analysis whether the social platform is in support with the campaign trend or not. Reading through the comments left behind by the followers will help me to conclude the factual side of support or critic from the public. The advantage of this methodology is that it comes at no extra cost to the students since opening an Instagram account is predominantly free and there is free access to internet services in campuses. I will collect all the data throughout the campaign period and code it statistically and appropriately while observing all the statistical hypotheses.

In collaboration with the election contestant, I will pose some questions that call for discussions among the respondents (students on Instagram). This will create a thread of comments and opinions from the online traffic generated. I will then read through each individual comment and take it as the opinion from the respective person. Depending on the number of opinions and comments that I will get, I will decide on picking a representative sample of the entire online Instagram traffic. This sample will be free from biasness and will be selected using a statistical formula called “Fishers et. al”. I will base on factors such as age, gender and level of education to ensure that I come up with a good representative sample of the entire school Instagram accounts. . (Raatma, L. 2010)

I will employ systematic random sampling technique to allocate my sample. This will be because of some factors that I find necessary to be observed. These factors will ensure that the selected sample is a true representation of the population at large and inferences drawn from it will be descriptive and informative about the population. I will ensure accuracy of the data by designing self-explanatory research questions that can be easily answered by the online Instagram users. (Raatma, L. 2010)

I will analyze the data using one of the statistical software’s namely S.P.S.S. (Statistical Package for Social Scientists). I will compare the levels of campaign awareness from different Medias of communication with the sample data I will get. These other Medias of communications can be via bill boards advertising, television news and radio. To get information on previous voting exercises, I will go through secondary data and reports that are available in file. I will analyze the data through diagrams such as pie charts, bar graphs and line graphs.


Andrews, L. B. (2012). I know who you are and I saw what you did: social networks and the death of privacy. New York: Free Press.

Barnes, J. A. (1972). Social networks. Reading, Mass.: [Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.].

Barnett, G. A. (2011). Encyclopedia of social networks. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.

Buskens, V. W. (2002). Social networks and trust. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Gottlieb, B. H. (1981). Social networks and social support. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Kilduff, M., & Tsai, W. (2003). Social networks and organizations. London: SAGE.

Lin, N. (2001). Social capital a theory of social structure and action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Maguire, L. (1983). Understanding social networks. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.

Raatma, L. (2010). Social networks. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Cherry Lake Pub..


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