Is social networking good for our society or not?
Very often we hear elderly say, “excess of anything is bad”; these days you look around and you see everyone engaged in one common online activity, social networking.
Now the question being raised in this article is if social networking is good or bad; this topic is responsible for heated discussions amongst youngsters, middle aged and people from all walks of life, some are against it and others favor it. What is social networking?
I am sure many of you would skip this part of the article but if there are people who haven’t heard of this term I would like to explain; social network is an online community where people from across the globe can interact and communicate with each other, it’s a forum that allows you to speak your heart out, become friends with people you would have never met in your life; these are just a few simple things that you can do on any social network.
The numbers of social network sites have accelerated from 2005 to 2011, each site has its own unique and distinct qualities and common examples of social networks would be Twitter, Face book, Hi5, MySpace etc.
Before we move on to the actual discussion I would like to share a few facts with my readers, did you know, by the end of 2009 people were spending 1 out of every 6 minutes of their internet time on social networks, President Obama had 2,379,102 supporters on Facebook as compared to 620,359 supporters of John McCain in 2008 presidential elections, Twitter had a vital role to play in Iranian protests following the Iranian presidential election in June 2009 and Russians spend more time on social networks than any other nationality of the world; the point I am trying to make is, before we discuss pros and cons of social networks we have to understand what a significant role they play in our lives in a personal, professional and public level, social networks have a contribution to make in every part of our life.
* Social networks are responsible for strengthening our relations with friends and family, with the modern busy lifestyle we have adapted, it is impossible to keep a track of your relative’s activities on phone, mail, email etc.
No one sends pictures to each other’s or post cards or even call every day but through social networks, you can see their pictures, keep a track of their life and easily become a part of it. Social networks also allow you to find old friends and get in touch with them.
* Social networks provide a global forum to express your thoughts without constraints, broadens your horizon for learning and provides you with a chance to expose your creativity.
* Many people around the globe make life changing decisions through social networks like finding a job, going on dates, looking for a new house, running businesses on social networks etc.
* The most important feature of social networks is that is a dominant tool of the modern world that can reform and influence the social structure.
* Social networks are expanding from general interest of people to specific needs like business, medical, fashion etc for the greater good of the society.
* Teenagers spend an average of 9 hours per week engaging on social network activities; if these 9 hours were spent on physical exercise per week teens would be more healthy and active. Most of the kids nowadays have eye site problems and the reason for this is addiction to internet and TV.
* By interacting with people online, children are losing confidence in talking to people face to face or developing proper eye contact relations.
* It is impossible to verify the identity of people joining social networks therefore there are increased chances that children will be exposed to sexual and financial predators, many people have become victims of scams on social networks.
Two years ago in 2009, MySpace had identified 90,000 sex offenders with profiles and FaceBook decided to not disclose their statistics and I am sure with time the number of sex offenders increased as did the popularity and users of social networks.
* Social networks have introduced cyber bullying a new type of bullying that is done online; this type of bullying is more dangerous and humiliating as it takes place on a public level. A study performed in 2009 declared that 17.3% of middle school students were subjected to cyber bullying and due to that they experienced symptoms of depression, low self esteem and a decline in school performance.
* Many users of social networks have suffered from problems like hacking and exploitation of personal information. People hack accounts and misuse pictures of other information to take revenge or insult people they don’t like.
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