Social networking is an online platform that facilitates on building social networks/relations among people who share similar interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (which is often an online profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging.
Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks. Social networking has drastically changed our social relationship, this change has influenced the modern world in many ways. The current social networking that brought new wave in our social relationship are; Facebook, MySpace, Tweeter, Hi5, Bebbo, Whatsapp, Skype, MSN, E-harmony etc. I shall now go on to explore the effects, positives and negatives of social networking on social relationship and to analyse the risk of loosing the adulation in social relationship.
Ever since the introduction of social networking to the public it has managed to make a number of positive changes in our lives and also improves many activities all over the world. It has given us great ways to protect and build our digital reputations. We now have the ease to research, initiate conversations take part in online debates and share news faster than previously possible. You no longer have to wait for the paper or the radio, all you have to do is access the intended website for instant news. Social networking has also become the vital part for the connection between business owners/companies and their valuable customers.
Major companies such as Apple, Starbucks, Microsoft etc have invested large sums of money to build sophisticated social networking sites and acquired human resources that rally customers around their products and services as proved by Hartley, D. (2010). Educational institutions have also used social networking to connect and stay in touch with their students. This could be to either send/receive work (assignments) from their students or for the purpose of long distance learning students who are not able to attend the lectures at the campus.
However this is not the only effect social networking has had on the social relations of the people. It has also caused harm in social relations. A number of youths in Britain have felt depressed because of what they have seen through social networking and some get bullied online. This escalates sometimes to promote violence and incite to kill each other. There was once a young girl named Sarah Ludeman who was stabbed to death at the age of 18 with a kitchen knife by romantic rival Racheal Wade following a vicious internet battle.
According to the Crime Against Children Centre(2012), 1 in 11 kids who use social networking have received sexual solicitation from sex offenders. Social networking has now become a place to take advantage to vulnerable people and a place to destroy youth morals. According to the 2013 research conducted by ‘Entrepreneur Organisation’, it reveals that millions of people a year using social networks become victims of identity theft costing them countless hours, financial risk and funds in recovering and repairing their identifications.
In conclusion, the creation of social networking has vastly improved our social relationships. We can now instantly get in touch with people without delay regardless of the distance between you. We have become highly dependable on the social network, although there are risks in using it, there are certain measures that can be taken to prevent/avoid becoming a victim. Such measures are avoid providing your personal details to strangers, downloading files without scanning them and accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots.