"Facebook Love" on Online Social Networking Platforms: An Analysis of the Linguistic Expression and Portrayal of Love in a Selected Nigerian Hip-Hop Track

By Onanuga, Paul Ayodele | International Journal of Linguistics, March 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

"Facebook Love" on Online Social Networking Platforms: An Analysis of the Linguistic Expression and Portrayal of Love in a Selected Nigerian Hip-Hop Track


Onanuga, Paul Ayodele, International Journal of Linguistics


Abstract

This research work discussed the expression of love relationships in new media, particularly in a social networking platform; Facebook. Its objectives were achieved through the juxtaposition of this idea in line with further exploration as expressed in a Nigerian song titled Facebook Love, a seminal hip-hop song which expressed goings-on on the social networking site, Facebook. It noted that love relationships took two dimensions which are positive and negative. The study found that love relationships across new media platforms are easy to start up, interactive with chat and instant messaging facilities, and provide a wider array of networking possibilities. In contrast to these however, the kind of love proclaimed there is riddled with deceit, lies, addiction, and infatuation among some other things that people tend to avoid in face-to-face communication.

Keywords: Linguistics, Social networking platforms, Computer-Mediated Discourse, Love relationship

1. Introduction

A social network service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people. They thus seek to link together people who share interests and/or activities. A social network service essentially consists of a representation of each user (most often through a self-created profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services like picture-sharing among others. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks.

The main types of social networking services are those which contain category places (such as former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages) and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook and Twitter widely used worldwide; MySpace and LinkedIn being the most widely used in North America; Nexopia (mostly in Canada); Bebo, Hi5, Hyves (mostly in The Netherlands), StudiVZ (mostly in Germany), iWiW (mostly in Hungary), Tuenti (mostly in Spain), Nasza-Klasa (mostly in Poland), Decayenne, Tagged, XING, Badoo and Skyrock in parts of Europe; Orkut and Hi5 in South America, India and Central America; and Friendster, Mixi, Multiply, Orkut, Wretch, renren and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands and Twitter, Orkut and Facebook in India (www.wikipedia.com). In short, these networking platforms are also assuming the form of protecting national identity.

In continuation, web based social network services make it possible to connect people who share interests and activities across political, economic, and geographic borders. Through e-mail and instant messaging, online communities are created where a gift economy and reciprocal altruism are encouraged through cooperation. Information is particularly suited to gift economy, as information is a non-rival good and can be gifted at practically no cost. Facebook and other social networking service providers are increasingly becoming the object of scholarly research. Scholars in many fields have begun to investigate the impact of social networking sites, investigating how such sites may play into issues of identity, privacy, social capital, youth culture, and education. A popular use for this new technology is social networking between businesses. Companies have found that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great ways to build their brand image. According to Jody Nimetz, author of Marketing Jive, there are five major uses for businesses and social media: to create brand awareness, as an online reputation management tool, for recruiting, to learn about new technologies and competitors, and as a lead tool to intercept potential prospects. These companies are able to drive traffic to their own online sites while encouraging their consumers and clients to have discussions on how to improve or change products or services. …

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