THE POSITIVE PART
Social networking Web sites are helping businesses advertise, thus social networking Web sites are benefiting businesses – economically.
Social networking Web sites are helping education by allowing teachers and coaches to post club meeting times, school projects, and even homework on these sites.
Social networking Web sites are enabling advancements in science and medicine. Job hunting
Stay in touch with friends
THE NEGATIVE PART
The very nature of such sites encourages users to provide a certain amount of personal information. But when deciding how much information to reveal, people may not exercise the same amount of caution on a Website as they would when meeting someone in person. This happens because: the Internet provides a sense of anonymity;
the lack of physical interaction provides a false sense of security they tailor the information for their friends to read, forgetting that others may see it. Sharing too much information on social networking sites can be problematic in two ways: firstly, it can reveal something about you that you’d rather your current or future employer or school administrator not know, and second, it can put your personal safety at risk. Another potential downside of social networking sites is that they allow others to know a person’s contact information, interests, habits, and whereabouts. Consequences of sharing this information can range from the relatively harmless but annoying—such as an increase in spam—to the potentially deadly—such as stalking. Another great issue of concern with social networking web sites is that of child safety.
Research has shown that almost three out of every four teenagers who use social networking web sites are at risk due to their lack of using online safety. (Joly, Karine, 2007) A lot of the web sites do have an age requirement but it is easily bypassed by the lying about of one’s age. Even if they don’t lie about their age the average age requirement is around fifteen years old. Predators may target children, teens, and other unsuspecting persons online—sometimes posing to be someone else—and then slowly“groom” them, forming relationships with them and then eventually convincing them to meet in person
In Touch with The World
Family living abroad can be kept abreast of the latest happenings in your world as quickly as those living next door. Friends who you haven’t seen since school, and who have since moved away, are able to keep in touch. Social networking sites have made the world a smaller place.
As with most things in life there are positive and negative sides to social networking, both of which we have now explored. Ultimate belief is that when done in moderation, with checks and balances on how younger people in particular are using them, and with a firm grasp being kept on reality at all time, social networking sites are neither evil or a Godsend. They’re somewhere in between.
Social networking isn’t for everyone, but it’s now such a massive part of all our lives, whether we embrace or reject the notion, that it can no longer be ignored. Privacy Social networking sites encourage people to be more public about their personal lives. Because intimate details of our lives can be posted so easily, users are prone to bypass the filters they might normally employ when talking about their private lives. What’s more, the things they post remain available indefinitely. While at one moment a photo of friends doing shots at a party may seem harmless, the image may appear less attractive in the context of an employer doing a background check. While most sites allow their users to control who sees the things they’ve posted, such limitations are often forgotten, can be difficult to control or don’t work as well as advertised.
While many businesses use social networking sites to find and communicate with clients, the sites can also prove a great distraction to employees who may show more interest in what their friends are posting than in their work tasks. Wired.com posted two studies which demonstrated damage to productivity caused by social networking: Nucleus Research reported that Face book shaves 1.5% off office productivity while Morse claimed that British companies lost 2.2 billion a year to the social phenomenon. New technology products have become available that allow social networks to be blocked, but their effectiveness remains spotty.
A False Sense of Connection
According to Cornell University’s Steven Strogatz, social media sites can make it more difficult for us to distinguish between the meaningful relationships we foster in the real world, and the numerous casual relationships formed through social media. By focusing so much of our time and psychic energy on these less meaningful relationships, our most important connections, he fears, will weaken. social networking has become a major part of society. Even big businesses and celebrities are jumping on the social networking bandwagon.
Many people wake up each day and check social websites first thing in the morning instead of reaching for a newspaper. According to Mashable.com, as of June 2010, American Internet users spend more than 22 percent of their online time using a social networking site. Since people are spending such a large amount of time surfing social networks, it is important to point out some of the positive and negative effects that social networking can have on a society.
Helping Small Businesses
Social networking can help small businesses in a big way. Traditional mediums such as print magazine ads and radio commercials can cost thousands of dollars that some small businesses just don’t have in a down economy. Social networking allows small business owners to connect with prospects and clients for free, costing nothing but time and energy. Marketers at small companies can post coupons to Facebook groups or run promotions on Twitter. In addition to generating revenue this way, companies also can get positive and negative feedback directly from consumers.
A negative aspect of social networking is that it can be addictive. Spending too much time on social networking sites can cause people to lose focus on tasks at work or around the house. Social networking needs to be used in moderation. If someone is spending so much time on social networks that they are not sleeping enough hours per night or are ignoring friends and family that want to spend time with them in person, social networking can be a serious problem.
Sharing Too Much
Another drawback to social networking is that some users are simply sharing too much information. People can lose their jobs or a friendship over leaking information on social networks. Even if a user of a social site has her privacy settings on the highest level, their information can still be passed on by someone on their friends list. It doesn’t take much for an angry follower to copy and paste a status or download a picture if they are looking for revenge.