Social Networking in Our Lives

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Social networking in our lives

The world today has shrunk and it is rightly referred to as a global village, with information, data and news flying across to different corners at the blink of an eye. All it requires is the click of a button and all the information you need is in front of you on your screen. The availability of information has also extended to our personal lives with the entrance of social networking platforms.  

 
Today, the availability of the social networking platforms like Facebook, Google+, Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. information about individuals is freely available to all. One can easily be in touch with thousands of individuals across different phases of their life. One is regularly updated with personal information, photographs, thoughts, opinions, and lots of other aspects of an individual’s life.  

The nature of social relationships is also undergoing a change. Earlier friends would have picked up the phone to reach out to a friend, today they might choose to ‘poke’ the friend on facebook or write on the friend’s wall. Though the number of people the individual is in touch with in the virtual world increases drastically, it is seen that the individual’s personal interaction with individuals reduces. The virtual contact creates a false sense of being in touch with others, though the personal one on one interaction with individuals which are vital to any form of relationship is reduced.  

About twenty years ago, the British anthropologist, Robin Dunbar, observed an association between the sizes of primate brains--specifically the size of the neocortex--and the number of social contacts. Chimps can process a smaller number of contacts than humans. Dunbar concluded that humans can handle regular contact with a number of friends somewhere between 100 and 200, and 150 became the standard Dunbar number for our species. So, though the social networks tend to give the perception of an increased friend circle, the individuals are actually in touch with much lesser.  There are also cases of enhanced loneliness amongst individuals since the only interaction with their friends might be through the virtual media.  

Positive Impact:

Nowadays social media plays an important role in teenagers life. The vast majority of teenagers in the United States are daily social media users. There are countless of social networking sites that have created broad connections among teens. For example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Skype, YouTube, and the like are used quite frequently. According to Shea Bennett, one out of every seven minutes spent online is on Facebook. But does social media have positive impact on teens? To me the answer is yes. For the vast majority of teens, the overall impact on social media has been positive (Rideout). Social media helps teens stay connected to each other even if they are a thousand miles away, and it keeps us up to date with what's going on around the world and so on. Social media has positive impact on teens in many ways. As an teenager it's also very important to understand what's going on around us rather than just knowing what's going with friends. According to the article "What Facebook and Twitter Mean for News." Nowadays teens receive digital news from social media sites rather than turning on news channel or reading newspaper. 70% of teens receive most of the news stories they read or watch via Facebook or Twitter. It's amazing how fast news spread on social networking sites. According to Amy Mitchell, "Facebook news users get more news from friends and family and see it as news they might well have gotten someplace else if Facebook did not exist. For Twitter users, though, the news links come from a more even mix of family and friends and news organizations. Most of these users also feel that without Twitter, they would have missed this kind of news". Thus, social media results in teens being more well-informed about national and global news than they would be...
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