University de Jaén (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 4617-4626
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Nowadays, Internet plays an important role in our lives. People can purchase any kind of products, read pieces of news from any part of the world or keep in touch with their friends. Social networks in Internet such as Facebook, Twitter or Tuenti have become one of the most popular services as let people keep in touch with their friends, share opinions, pictures or even make new friendships. In our lives, the establishment of suitable social networks is critical for our personal development and the prevention of certain physical and mental illnesses (Cohen-Cole & Fletcher, 2008; Valente, Hoffman, Ritt-Olson, Lichtman & Johnson, 2004) or to improve our social quality of life and our academic performance (Morales, 1999; Requena, 1998). For instance, exchange students and others in their freshman years usually have problems in order to establish a suitable social network at the university with their partners. Not having enough friends among their partners could affect their academic performance, and in case of exchange students, a unique opportunity of knowing a different culture or practicing another language is missed. In this contribution, we present a website, RedSock, to get in contact students of the University of Jaén. In order to set up different students, several criteria were employed (Baron and Byrne, 1991; Festinger, 1957; Heider, 1958; Newcomb, 1953, 1961; Simpsons, Fletcher and Campbell, 2001). To use this website, students must follow these steps: (a) register on the website Redsock providing their username, password and socio-demographic information and then, they receive an email confirming that the registration was successful; (b) the first time they log in to Redsock, a question survey about attitudinal, personality, and self-acceptance variables is presented and the students must filled it up; (c) the affinity among the students is calculated, and couples of students are set up. Each member of the couple receives an email notifying them that Redsock has found a potential friend for them (i.e. a person with a high degree of affinity) and that they can meet each other using Redsock; (d) and finally, after two months of interaction, an e-mail is sent to ask them for their satisfaction with the assigned person and their intention of having a personal date. The implications and the results obtained are discussed.
Social networks, internet, students, exchange students, academic performance, affinity.