Social Networking - a Debate

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A famous man once said “How can you squander even one more day, not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less, when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” – No, he was not talking about the independence struggle; he was talking about social networking. Good Morning ladies and gentlemen, we are here today to discuss ‘Are social networking sites doing us any good?’ What baffles me is exactly why we need a discussion on the topic. I see the good all around me, don’t you? I see it in the increasing literacy rates, which according to the National Literacy Trust, are directly co-related to children’s engagement with social media. I see it in the cultural convergence that the entire world is experiencing today. But most of all, I see it in the smile on my mother’s face, when she is busy messaging her school friends on facebook, whom she has found after 27 long years. Did you know that during the Iranian presidential elections of 2009, when the government clamped down on information exchange; Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and You Tube served as the primary mediums of information for the conflicted nation? Twitter’s role alone was so vital that the US government itself got involved in scheduling its downtime. When the nation of Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, dramatic pictures swept the web, thanks to social media. Its impact? The charity text message campaign that ensued raised more than $10 million for Haiti victim relief. How many of us here were aware of this? Not many I presume, since we are still debating the ‘goodness’ of social media. ‘Social networks aren’t about websites, they’re about experiences’. Be it experiencing the joy of seeing the pictures of a newborn niece/nephew almost instantly, or the thrill of uncovering political secrets through Wikileaks/sting operations; this social revolution gives us both, and everything in between. Freedom of speech, diversity of interaction, niche and...
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