Social computing is an area of computer science that is concerned with the intersection of social behavior and computational systems. It is based on creating or recreating social conventions and social contexts through the use of software and technology

Social computing is interactive and collaborative behavior between computer users. Personal computing is an individual user activity in that one user generally commands computing. In social computing, the Internet allows users to interact through many mediums, including:

  • Social media sites
  • Blogs
  • Microblogs
  • Multiplayer games
  • Wikis
  • Instant messaging
  • Open-source development

Social computing is basically the use of a computer for social purposes. Before the Internet, computers were largely used as tools for increasing productivity. The Internet introduced a social element where users could network, share interests, publish personal insights and use their computers for more than just doing a job faster.

Social computing can still benefit businesses synergistically if it is used for business purposes. Social computing can be used to market products and promote customer relations. Online marketing and viral marketing are two types of promotional advertising that have grown out of social computing.

Social computing is a branch of computer science that studies how people interact with computers and computational systems. Computing is inherently a social activity. Networks connect people for research, education, commerce, and entertainment. Today, a computer that is not connected to the internet appears to be broken—what can we do with it? Social Computing is concerned with how to make technology more person-centered.

Social Computing Examples

Social computing uses computers and software to create communities around shared interests. All of these examples and blogs, wikis, Twitter, RSS, instant messaging, multiplayer gaming, open-source development, and social networking and social bookmarking sites are all forms

What are characteristics of social computing?

It includes asynchronous tools such as e-mail, Internet forums, Blogs and Wikis. Social Computing also includes Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) environments, groupware, podcasting, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing tools, open source software, search engines, and user-generated content networks.


Social computing is a social phenomenon whose study includes both a method and an approach. It has two main research themes: sociological study and applied research. And these two research trends affect one another in many ways.


Computational social science is a field of study that emphasizes the application of computer technology to the study of society. Social networks analysis and computational social science are two examples of this study area.

First, social network analysis focuses on social fluidity, healthcare, key node mining for disease transmission, and community detection. The various methods of social network analysis are classified into three categories: agent-based modeling, theoretical physics method, and graph theory. Small-world research was pioneered by Milgram et al., with Watts et al. Barabasi, Décsy, et al. determined that the relationship between nodes followed a power-law distribution due to their research. In addition, there have been other important research findings, such as strong and weak ties, structural holes, and information cascades, among others.

Computational social science is also a hybrid discipline employing equation-based and computational modeling. The main emphasis of computational social science research is a sociological simulation and social system modeling via equation-based and computational modeling. As a key technology for computational social science, data mining uses machine learning techniques to find interesting and useful patterns in big data.


Application-oriented social computing is a specific type of application that uses its principles and technologies, such as communities, social networks, and sociology. The application-oriented social computing era was divided into three stages: group software, social software, and social media.

Groupware was first conceived in the 1970s, though it was initially employed in research institutions. The objective of groupware is to allow for cooperative activities via collaborative technology. Computer-based collaborative work and computer-supported cooperative learning are two prominent group software packages. In 2005, with the fast development of Web 2.0, social media was born.

Social media emphasizes user participation; users may generate, consume, and interact with one another over social networking sites. The wide use of ubiquitous gadgets such as mobile phones and smart devices has garnered much attention from academe and industry.


Communication methods that are innovative, creative, and mixed under social computing, social software, Web 2.0, or Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0) must revolutionize how companies conduct business.

Social computing has several business advantages:


Most businesses that break away from the norm discover something-an opportunity -that can be exploited to continue the current success.

A successful corporate innovation strategy builds on current assets and concepts innovatively. The use of social computing opens a new stage for innovation, allowing for the easier detection of patterns and ideas.


Productivity is generally enhanced due to more efficient access to accurate information. This shortens the time required for research and troubleshooting.

All scenarios, therefore, benefit from greater cooperation among members. As more questions are answered, the repeatability of answers improves. There is a baseline of knowledge to assist new employees in getting up to speed more quickly as they join the firm. Much of that information may be found in the social computing infrastructure as content.


Thanks to social media, employees can interact more readily with one another and the company as a whole. Shared connections also improve face-to-face conversations and feelings of belonging to the broader corporate community. Users interacting with one another around similar objectives establish new friendships, common interests are discovered, and cohesion improves as they interact.

Multiple tools have emerged to allow employees to express themselves and air their ideas. Social media, blogs, and wikis provide a space for the employee’s voices to be heard and their thoughts to be validated. They have the ability on many levels to influence company policy and decisions.


Many argue that companies must modernize their IT infrastructure to appeal to younger employees. These professionals expect a more interactive, mobile, and ubiquitous working environment than previous generations.

It’s not simply about younger workers, either. Although that demographic has more time to experiment and develop facilities faster, people of all ages have used various social computing gadgets and applications.


Publicly visible social computing is becoming increasingly popular among businesses to project brands. However, if this isn’t done carefully, it might be detrimental. An obvious blog authored by the PR department would irritate individuals. The forced “community” events will appear manufactured or opportunistic.

Social computing can help businesses get closer to their consumers and promote their brands. Social computing may improve customer relation management (CRM) because it allows a firm to respond quickly to client concerns by monitoring public opinion about its brand. Many major businesses have also begun using crowdsourcing for research. Enterprise 2.0 is the term businesses use to describe social computing applications in use.

10 Disadvantages of Social Computing

1. Lacks Emotional Connection

“A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends and I got into a fight and she told me all of her feelings as to why she ignored me for two weeks. Assuming it would have been really hard to say it to my face, she sent me a text message. The negative side was I didn’t know if she truly felt sorry because I didn’t hear it from her. The quality of a conversation using social media is awful because you cannot sense the emotion or enthusiasm from the other person. It makes you wonder if they actually mean what they say.”

2. Gives People a License to be Hurtful

“I do think it has gotten to an extreme point where you can say things you can’t say or get away with in person.”

“I’m disappointed whenever I hear about social media being used as a way to hurt people. I wonder if this happens when the writers forget that there are real people behind the screen.”

3. Decreases Face-to-Face Communication Skills

“Computer reliance could hurt a person’s ability to have a face to face conversation by making it awkward and unusual to hear something and respond with a thoughtful message through the spoken word because of one’s dependence on a keyboard to convey a message.”

4. Conveys Inauthentic Expression of Feelings

“Social media conversations today are filled with “haha”, “LOL”, and other exclamations that are meant to represent laughter. This shorthand has become second nature and is often used when the sender is not even smiling, much less laughing, in real life. On the occasion that our “roflcopter” is actually put to use at a funny moment, we are replacing actual laughter with, in this case, a simple ten-letter acronym. According to Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford, the actual physical act of laughter, and not the abstract idea of something being funny, is what makes laughing feel so good. If we are so willing to replace the act that, honestly, we all love, with an artificial, typed representation that doesn’t even bring the same joy, what else would we be, potentially subconsciously, willing to exchange?”

5. Diminishes Understanding and Thoughtfulness

“Since the inception of social networking, the quality of conversations has dropped. I believe that people are spending so much time online that they don’t always understand the feeling, emotion and/or character of the person they are talking to. When you talk to someone through a message or even a voice, you can’t always fully understand them.”

“Social networking has ruined the thoughtfulness in basically saying hello in person. For instance, you could say hello to your friend in Germany with Facebook, chat in seconds; but what if there was no way to communicate via social networking? Well you would have to write them a letter and that is something very thoughtful.”

6. Causes Face-to-Face Interactions to Feel Disconnected

“When I see my friends on their phones and I am around them, I feel disconnected even though we are only two feet apart….. Unfortunately, sometimes friends use their phones so much that it is difficult to have an actual conversation with them. Sometimes friends can get so socially attached to something such as a blog or gaming console that they lose touch with friends, creating small gaps and holes in close friendships/relationships.”

7. Facilitates Laziness

“The new socially active era causes laziness because instead of running to your friends you can message them. Or instead of walking upstairs to notify the family of dinner, I can blog it. Social networking makes life so convenient that it creates laziness. In my opinion staying fit is important, but it is difficult to go beyond the newly developed status quo.”

“It’s really easy to spend hours doing nothing….It’s a fantastic way to waste time.”

8. Creates a Skewed Self-Image

“We tell ourselves lies about ourselves and develop something we are not. We post pictures of us looking perfect and share the good news. We never post pictures of ourselves when our dog dies, when someone we love leaves, and when we lose a job. We never share the bad news that always clouds our lives. We all develop this perfect image of ourselves and some of us actually try to rely on this imaginative thought we have of ourselves instead of staying true to who we are.”

9. Reduces Family Closeness

“Texting, Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail alienate us from our families more than we actually think it does…. When my family is spending family time together and watching a movie, in reality my brother and I are on our phones rather than actually watching the movie with our parents.”

10. Causes Distractions

“When I have my phone out, it makes me feel like nothing else is going on around me. I use social media as a way to feel popular, important, and also just to fit in. My friends and I always compare ourselves to each other, wondering who has more Facebook friends or Twitter followers. But what really ends up happening is I begin to talk less and end up relying on text for a conversation. Ever since I got a smartphone I have been distracted from everything. I watch television less, do homework less, and even spend less time with my friends and family.”

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