‘Hi5’: Among Social Network Sites

On: October 5, 2008
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About Cornelia Scripca
Currently a New Media Master student at Universiteit van Amsterdam. Graduated Film Faculty at the National University of Theater and Film in Bucharest, department of Audiovisual Communication.


Every person on this planet needs a friend. But it seems that some people are more interested in social network sites than others. In South Korea for example the percent of adults that visit these ‘friend sites’ is overwhelming. Web surfers from the United States of America and the United Kingdom have started visiting more and more the SNS like Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, etc. but the phenomenon that embraces these countries cannot compete to the extended phenomenon from South Korea, Brazil, China and Mexico.

In South Korea the most popular site is called Cyworld. It is one of the oldest SNS. It has 18 million users, which is one third of South Korea’s total population. The interesting thing about SNS is the effect they have on offline entertainment, which competes for the consumer’s available free time. SNS user problems are not not having enough friends, but having too many.

The fast development of all SNS and cyberfriends lead to new social rules, conventions and weird possible situations. In real life, a friendship refusal happens in a face to face confrontation. Often a quarrel over some disagreement. But an online friendship request refusal is simply made without any explanation. Often also due to neglect of SNS profiles.

The specialist Bill Tancer analyzed the information from 10 million Internet users to take one conclusion: “We are the sites we access.” The total amount of words people type on the Internet have pictured an image of the way society and people’s behavior changes. According to Tancer, since the SNS have appeared, the interest for pornographic websites has dropped dramatically.

On the Internet, information revolves so fast, that users are the ones that generate subjects. The role of press has become merely to check and verify facts.


Nowadays almost all young people have subscribed to at least one SNS. In a short time everybody will join the huge social network society.

Hi5 is a very popular social network site in Europe. It has a huge community of over 40 million members. It allows users to find very easily their friends and to tag them in photos. But of course the most popular SNS from all times in Europe is Facebook.

The SNS are an invasion of privacy. But, in the end, there is always the individual decision of how much private life the members display on these sites, how much they want to divulge. In general, a lot of artists tend to upload their work. But the worse thing about these sites is that persons become transparent in front of everybody. For instance if a company decides to check the private life of its employees it’s possible they could find compromising situations of them. And there is no law against it.

On the other hand Hi5 as well as other SNS allow users to ‘self-advertise’. In fact we do that everyday in the real world. We self-advertise ourselves by the clothes we wear, by the brands we buy. We sell our image. And through SNS it’s easier to create more images of yourself and sell them. But there is a neglected dark part of SNS: identity theft and scams.

Anyway the SNS are helpful for making friends, for keeping everyone in touch, for meeting new people and even soul mates. But people should be aware that SNS take a lot of time. It’s not too good to get lost.

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