How the Internet Impacts Teenagers’ Behavior


Though the internet has positive impacts on modern society, it has also caused various societal concerns about privacy, security, harassment of children, and teenager’s attitude toward the outside world. The Internet is a part of today’s culture and like other technology can help improve teenager’s behavior in a positive or negative way.

In this context, a new published study carried by researches from Oman has highlighted the evolving of technology in impacting the individual’s life and especially teenagers as they are vulnerable to change and spend increasingly long hours on-line using social media, chatting, studying, shopping and many other activities.

This research published in Journal of Internet Social Networking and Virtual Communities discussed the extent to which the Internet can affect the behavior of Omani teenagers.

The research highlights many hidden aspects in teenagers’ online usage concerning illegal downloading, inappropriate content and discussion with strangers, hacked, harassed and many other illegal activities that affect badly the behavior of teenagers in their education and their relationship with the outside world.

Researchers of the study provided many valued recommendation to solve this spreading phenomenon. They advise parents to monitor their children’s use of internet and make sure they access appropriate content and limit children’s time spent with computers, video games, and other media to perhaps no more than one to two hours a day. In addition to the extent of time, the types of activities children engage in while using computers can also affect their intellectual, social, and psychological well-being.

It is also recommended to emphasize alternative activities such as imaginative play and sports that improve children’s skills and also online games that children can play with their parents and friends. Such activities will make children spend more time together and serve the purpose of keeping children closer to their loved ones.

The research concludes that parents, teachers, other adults who work with teenagers and tanagers themselves need media literacy training to become safe and use computer in a safe way and for good purposes. Such training can help users understand the motives underlying various types of content on the Web. Researchers strongly suggests that media literacy training can result in young people becoming less vulnerable to the negative aspects of media exposure and more able to make good choices about how they spend their time on computers.


Impact of Social Media on Business and Company Image

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With the booming of the web especially after the emergence and spread of social media networks, people start to rely on these networks to make their everyday life choices including shopping and purchase decisions. For the great impact these online networks in shaping customers’ decisions and build their own views, it becomes crucial for organization to have a neat and significant presence on these networks and keep close to customers.

Whether in physical or virtual world, every organization aims at building a good reputation and reflects a positive image to their customers. Online, social media platforms offer great opportunities to spread the word of mouth about businesses worldwide. That’s why, social media networks become one of the important mediums on which brands are built.

A new study carried by researchers from Romania and Thailand has highlighted the impact of social media on a company’s image. This case study “was conducted to a 258 respondents, having the age between 18 and 41 years old.” To answer the question of how often consumers read or actively take part on discussions initiated in online social networks, the study finds that “2.44% never, 26.83% sometimes, 51.22% often and 19.51% always.”

Researchers investigated also if users on social networks pay “more attention to the online discussion related to the products/ services they are frequently using.” Then, 82.49% of the respondents answered the question positively and confirmed that they “are attentive to this kind of information.”

Social media networks then play an important role in shaping the company’s image and how it is perceived by customers. Researchers stated that the study result is giving insightful conclusion that “the company’s image is related to all three constructions:  the users’ social influence, the organizational promotion and the perceived image in OSN (online social networks).”

Many other studies have stressed on the importance of social media networks for businesses. This research for instance has dealt with the importance of virtual communities and how they can influence trust of online shoppers. As stated by the study, “virtual communities offer several advantages to e-tailers and opportunities for the interaction with members of virtual communities consumers”.

Another study also tackled the issue and stressed on the importance of social presence of businesses and how this presence affect customers’ trust. The study stated that “social presence is a determinant of trust in a retail website.”

In order to build a god relationship with customers and win their trust, the online business need to maintain a good social presence so as the customer feels of “being present with a real vendor. This feeling comes from the emotion during the interaction with the website” researchers stated.

Social media use continues to grow in a significant rate. So, companies need to take advantage of prospects offered by these networks to reach and connect with their audience and customers. Businesses have to take this in consideration and include social media in their marketing and overall business strategy.

As social media has become an important way to boost business growth and enhance presence in the market, companies should not ignore it and profit of these networks to reflect a good company image.


Customer Trust and Power of Virtual Communities


Organizations care for their customers and look forward to build a good relationship and win their trust. Businesses that succeed to win this challenge keep the existing customers for life, and these customers will in turn influence others.  This is the rule whether in real or virtual businesses.

Today, virtual communities especially on social media networks play a big role in shaping customer trust and spread the word about any business. So, online businesses that worry about their reputation and invest in building trust take the power of virtual communities in consideration, mainly on social media.

A recently published study has dealt with this issue and how the virtual communities influence trust of online shoppers.  The study is led by researchers from Faculty of Economics and Management of Tunis, Tunisia and published in Journal of Internet Social Networking & Virtual Communities.

Because of their impact on purchase decisions and customer trust, virtual communities have risen to become one of the marketing tools used by companies to spread the word of mouth about their products and services.

The above-mentioned study stated that “sellers can use the power of virtual communities to gain consumer trust.” In order to reach this objective and generate results “online retailers should improve the perceived utility of the virtual community; the administrators of a virtual community or commonly known as “community managers” should maximize the wealth of information in the virtual community based on consumer needs and characteristics of the products and services of e-tailers” as expressed in the study.

According to the same research, “virtual communities offer several advantages to e-tailers and opportunities for the interaction with members of virtual communities consumers in this regard…using high technology security, convenience and sociability, a virtual community can meet the requirements of consumers and may increase their trust.”

Researchers stated that “trust is more difficult to build and more critical for online businesses. Consumers are much more cautious about the transmission of personal information on an electronic network. Online transactions are more impersonal, anonymous and automated than offline transactions. This automation of business relationships is also accompanied by advanced design means hacking, data and potential for abuse.”

This impact of virtual communities especially in social media is also highlighted by another study that insisted on social presence as a factor that affect customer’s trust. Researchers explained that “trust in a virtual environment is characterized by uncertainty, vulnerability and dependence.”

Winning trust of online shoppers is hard due to lack of human contact like in physical business. So, social media can replace this contact to spread the word among communities and keep in touch with customers and interact with their questions and needs.

No matter what marketing and advertising efforts organizations can invest, but nothing would succeed if they don’t win customers trust. More and more, purchase decisions are based on feedback spread between communities rather than advertisement.

Businesses, physical or virtual, who aim at generating good results, can no longer ignore customer trust. The latter could be reached through multiple factors, mainly being so close to customers and listen to what they need.

Yet, winning customer’s trust can’t be built on low quality products or services. So, while trying to win customers trust, make sure that your offers are worth it.


Secrets that Motivate User to “share’’ on Social Media

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Social media has become an inevitable element in the life of individuals and organizations. It plays an important role in the shaping of users’ opinions including their decisions to buy and make shopping. That’s why it has become a main core of marketing strategies of companies that want to keep visibility within their customers and community and build a strong relationship.

The power of social media lays in the fast way the information and content is spread and the instant way the user gets and shares content with his circles and communities. So, the effectiveness of social media comes from the facilitation of spread of information, but what are the main factors that push a user to share certain content and recommend it to his friends.

A new study conducted by researchers from the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management of Sfax, Tunisia and published in a Journal of Marketing Research & Case Studies has gone deeply through the subject and tried to find a number of answers to the customers’ attitudes that lay behind the sharing process.

The study finds that the sharing has a lot to do with the user’s psychology and “The experience on the social networks is considered as hedonist experience associating positive feelings which can influence positively the attitude to the recommendation.”  The study stressed that “the recommendation is strongly influenced by the intrinsic motivation and the self-esteem”.

Based on the study, different psychological messages could be grasped from the sharing process. “The user can assert himself as an active member of the community; he can assert also his membership of his reference group.” The researchers also stated that “Internet users who share information on the social networks want to act as opinion leaders; they possess a certain expertise in a specific domain gained by their involvement.” The study added that “the consumers trying to obtain the recognition from others and to make good impression are more inclined to share information on the social networks.”

So when a company understands users well, it can work to develop a significant presence online and build a strong relationship with them. On this level, the study discussed the importance of what it calls “’the opinion leaders’ who are characterized by high self esteem, a strong involvement and a favorable attitude to the recommendation.” The study stated that these consumers “can help companies to increase their visibility on these networks”