Privacy in Social Media Applications – An analysis of 10-15-year-old Saudi Adolescents

Privacy in Social Media Applications:

An analysis of 10-15-year-old Saudi Adolescents

Name

Institution

Privacy in Social Media Applications:

An analysis of 10-15-year-old Saudi Adolescents

Social media interactions have a positive effect on health, confidence, and happiness of users. However, cyber safety and protection of personal data are central to the safe use of social media. “Privacy in Social Media Application” research centers on the 10-15-year-old Saudi Adolescents. In Saudi Arabia, hardly any scholarly works reveal the extent of use of social media by the 10-15-year-old Saudi Adolescents. The lack of research in this area implies that parents and concerned officials have no ground upon which to foster privacy and data protection strategies among the Saudi adolescents. As such, the teens in this nation continue to indulge in rather precarious interactions on social media. The glaring knowledge gap in this area makes this research a matter of urgency to help provide recommendations that might foster data protection and cyber safety among the Saudi adolescents.

The cons of these platforms vary based on the age of the users and the level of use. Psychologists agree that the childhood stage of development is critical on the adulthood of a person. Therefore, an individual ought to indulge in activities that impact positively on their physical, socio-emotional and cognitive developments. However, the use of social media by the 10-15-year-old adolescents presents several cons that have the potential to influence negatively on their development. Some of the risks to these kids include cyberbullying, privacy issues, sexting, internet addiction, sleep deprivation, depression, etc. Numerous studies reveal the impact of social media on the young individuals across the globe although some nations hardly have information on the usage and impact of specific media platforms (Kaya & Bicen, 2016). For Saudi Arabia, the scholars have not produced any comprehensive data that shows the popularity of different social media sites by age group. The availability of the data implies that scholars have had limited contribution in addressing the privacy issues that arise in the use of social media among the 10-15-year-old Saudi adolescents.

There is a huge knowledge gap surrounding the usage of social media platforms among the 10-15-year-old Saudi adolescents. As pointed out, childhood is a crucial stage in the development of people due to its influence on the personality development. Furthermore, the advances in technology have simplified the processes of performing tasks with communication and transport among the hugely impacted sectors (Zurbriggen et al., 2016). Thanks to the oil riches in Saudi Arabia, studies estimate that this once nomadic nation enjoys 80% urbanization with over two-thirds of the population active users of the internet. Despite the high internet connectivity in the country, hardly any study exists that reveal the use of the social networking and messaging platforms by the Saudis. Only recently, a study by Facebook revealed the popularity of this platform in the country among individuals of different age brackets (Global Media Insight, 2016). Furthermore, little awareness exists on how individuals should respond to different situations that might arise in the course of using the social media. For instance, cyberbullying and breach of privacy are common in both social networking and massaging. In particular, adolescents across the world have little knowledge on how to deal with members of the online community that inquire on some personal information. All people have a right to life and do whatever they please provided it does not violate the laws.

Privacy is an essential element in the social media circles especial in the modern days where adolescents find themselves sharing certain information that should strictly remain private. For example, sexting is a common practice among adolescents especially in the West, and although little information exists on the Saudi youths, researchers argue that most youths engage in almost similar activities regardless of their origin (Handyside & Ringrose, 2017). The lack of data on the privacy of Saudi adolescents on the use of social media calls for further urgent studies in this area to help address some societal decadences. In this regard, studies in this field are extremely required as it is essential to raise public awareness and educate society on cyber safety, personal data protection, and their implications. Therefore, the motivation for this research stems from both, the need to give voice to students as well as to contribute to the literature on social media privacy. Therefore, I will fill the knowledge gap on the use of different social media platforms among the 10-15-year-old Saudi adolescents. Also, I will provide several recommendations to foster data protection and privacy among these individuals in the Saudi Arabia.

I am applying for a grant to support my research on the privacy in social media application among the 10-15-year-old Saudi Adolescents. Along with my particular discipline, the establishment of the research questions relies on theories from other disciplines hence the study takes an interdisciplinary perspective. The study aims to describe, interpret and explain the issues relating to privacy on social media of Saudi Arabian 10-15-year-olds. As mentioned, there is barely any information regarding the use of social media platforms among the Saudi population. In particular, the research will examine the impact of these with focus on the privacy issues among the Saudi adolescents (O’Keeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011). The country continues to rely on the statistics and information about the social media privacy issues from other parts of the world. However, it is a high time for the public and the concerned individuals to know the cyber safety and personal data protection trends among the adolescents. Such knowledge would play a central role in devising optimal means of eliminating the consequences that arise when personal information falls into the wrong hands. The research focuses on the privacy issues concerning the use of social media by the Saudi adolescents hence the design of the data collection methodology would focus on teens and parents (Madden et al., 2012). Several questions require accurate and correct responses to enable the formulation of correct conclusion from the research.

The qualitative combine designs method would be essential in the collection of data and their subsequent awareness, i.e., the method comes in handy when the study has to explore every element of the research topic. Also, interviews and questionnaires would be helpful in getting responses to some questions (Van Der Velden & El Emam, 2013). The correctness of the results depends highly on the identification of the samples, i.e., the selected sample ought to be a representative of the whole population (The Saudi Arabia population). Since I cannot interview every Saudi teen, the research would select a few adolescents across the nation to be a representative of the nation’s adolescent population. Therefore, I would have to transverse the nation to have interviews with teens from different regions of the country. The movement from one region to another, the payment to the teens selected to take part in the data collection, printing of the data collection instruments and payments to support staff require financial resources. The planning for the research entailed the division of the nation into four regions with each consuming at least a month of the research schedule time, i.e., the whole study ought to occur for a maximum of four months. Therefore, the grant funding would be essential in paying all the expenditures for the slated research period with my estimates quoting a range of $20000-$23000.

I expect this research to contribute immensely to debates on the need for cyber safety and personal data protection. Today, youths worldwide engage in social interactions that might have damaging consequences when the information falls into the wrong hands. For instance, sexting might result in psychological issues for the teens when their private issues receive a public limelight. The 10-15 adolescents fall within the adulthood stage of development, and such exposures would have a damaging influence on their socio-emotional and cognitive development. Also, cyber terrorists and hackers rely largely on the personal information from the members of the online community to perform their tasks. For instance, the unknowing teens might provide information of their parents’ bank details hence facilitating the theft activities by the cyber attackers. The information from the research will help in the formulation of recommendations that foster both cyber safety and personal data protection. As such, the research will occupy a central role in reducing the societal decadence and occurrences of cyber-attacks in the Saudi Arabia. Also, the information on the level of usage of the different social media platforms by the Saudi adolescents would enable the government and other stakeholders to adopt data-driven policies.

References

Pensa, R. G., & Di Blasi, G. (2017). A Privacy Self-Assessment Framework for Online Social Networks. Expert Systems with Applications.

Zurbriggen, E. L., Ben Hagai, E., & Leon, G. (2016). Negotiating privacy and intimacy on social media: Review and recommendations. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 2(3), 248.

Global Media Insight (2016). Saudi Arabia Facebook Users Statistics 2016. Retrieved from http://www.globalmediainsight.com/blog/ksa-facebook-users-infographics/ .

Kaya, T., & Bicen, H. (2016). The effects of social media on students’ behaviors; Facebook as a case study. Computers in Human Behavior, 59, 374-379.

Madden, M., Cortesi, S., Gasser, U., Lenhart, A., & Duggan, M. (2012). Parents, Teens, and Online Privacy. Pew Internet & American life project.

Handyside, S., & Ringrose, J. (2017). Snapchat memory and youth digital sexual cultures: mediated temporality, duration and effect. Journal of Gender Studies, 26(3), 347-360.

Van Der Velden, M., & El Emam, K. (2013). “Not all my friends need to know”: a qualitative study of teenage patients, privacy, and social media. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 20((Bedir Erişti 2016)1), 16-24.

Marwick, A. E., & Boyd, D. (2014). Networked privacy: How teenagers negotiate context in social media. New Media & Society, 16(7), 1051-1067.

O’Keeffe, G. S., & Clarke-Pearson, K. (2011). The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families. Pediatrics, 127(4), 800-804