Is Social Networking Good for Society?

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Is Social Networking Good For Society?
Irma Barrios
Brandman University

Is Social Networking Good for Society?
With various ongoing debates about why social networking may be bad for society, I have found it to be a positive resource. Social networking comes in many forms. It comes in the form of facebook, twitter, and even professional forums such as Linkedin. In such a fast-paced world, I find social networking to be an invaluable way of sharing ideas and interests that allow me to remain engaged. Although some may debate that social networking takes away from face to face and/or quality interactions, I have found it to be an invaluable tool in building community and networks. In fact, I believe it has given us a more effective way of communicating and engaging with one another especially in our fast-paced society. If I am on a work assignment that requires me to keep abreast of current events, one of my favorite tools to use is twitter. I find it to be a quick news feed and I usually learn about news first from there before learning it from the mainstream media such as television or radio. On a professional level, I have found Linkedin to be highly valuable. It has given me the ability to connect with prospective clients or sponsors that otherwise may have never been possible. And of course facebook has been the staple for me as for many in helping us remain engaged and to keep abreast of graduations, weddings, births or other special events regarding our family and friends.

Social media continues to make strides to make communication more accessible and easier for all of us. Just this week Mark Zuckerberg, founder of facebook, has announced that it is now offering a Graph Search function in order for the user to have the ability to run queries from one’s network of friends. It allows users to run queries in order to find commonalities or other areas of interest within friend networks. Twitter has allowed many in suppressed countries to organize and make their voices heard to the point of overthrowing oppressive government leaders. Here at home many have opted to use facebook or twitter to raise awareness for their special causes and obtain signatures for legislation they are hoping to pass. On a more critical note, there have been cases where people have found an organ donor match or long lost loved one using social network sites. The deaf and mute have found a voice via their use of twitter and facebook and it has giving them a platform to be on par with the rest of the world. For the elderly, it has given them the ability to remain connected with loved ones. It has given them a way of remaining engaged and a way of overcoming obstacles of face to face interactions especially if they are experiencing physical limitations (Lu, 2011). For those who have been concerned about their online image, they can take control by taking advantage of the resource Linkedin. There you can list professional achievements, build a professional rolodex, and ask for recommendations for visibility on your online profile. Various career sites have mentioned that prospective employers place as much value on Linkedin recommendations as they do on traditional references. It is also thrilling to see that social networking has provided a platform for online learning. It is because of this invaluable resource that many, including myself, now have the opportunity of completing a formal education that otherwise may have been an impossible dream.

Yet with all of these positive aspects of social networking, there are many who oppose the idea of it and for their own personal reasons. Michael Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University, has written a book entitled Interpersonal Divide: The Search for Community in a Technological Age. According to his book, one of Bugeja’s main objections to online social networking is the business models. He argues that the main goal...
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