Are social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn good for society? Justify your position.
Communication is what people do everyday; it is how people interact with each other, how they are able to form relationships, and how they are able to understand. However the way people communicate in the twenty first century as a result of social networking sites has changed rapidly. Social networking sites have revolutionised the way people communicate (Karklins & Dalton, 2012). They have grown uncontrollably, with 98% of people aged 18-24 on social networking sites and an estimated 1.1billion users on Facebook alone, and it is currently the easiest way of staying in contact with friends and family (Social Networking Statistics, 2012). The first social networking site was SixDegrees.com and came out in 1997 (Boyd & Ellison, 2007), but because of the rapid development in technology these sites are now widely accessible with 250million people accessing Facebook using smart phones (Social Networking Statistics, 2012). The Internet is mainly used as a source of education, and in today’s youth mostly as a way of communication. Users of social networking sites are able to create personal profiles regardless of whether they are true or false, and are able to communicate with people around the world. Being able to create an online life can be dangerous; it can make people forget the priorities and the issues of real life making them withdrawn and showing signs of addictive behavior, “This form of technology has the power to change the way we relate to our self and to others. It can change the way we think, what we believe, the nature of our sexuality and even our sense of identity” (Turkle, 1996 cited in Karklins & Dalton, 2012 p. 205). However there is limited education, or awareness in place explaining the risks involved in social networking sites, leaving limited protection to the users of these sites. There are many benefits of social networking sites; unfortunately the dangers out way the benefits and it appears the negative effects social networking-sites have on society are much greater then the positive effects. The main negative effects social networking sites have on society are cyber bullying, children being exposed to inappropriate online content and unwanted adult interactions.
However there are also many positive aspects of social networking sites and the positive effects they have on society. Firstly, social networking sites have made it easier for people to stay in contact with friends and family and keeping in-touch is now easier and more affordable. Users of social networking sites are able to create their own personal profiles to inform friends and family where they are currently studying, where they are working, and where they have been (Boyde & Ellison, 2007). Another benefit of social networking sites is social awareness. People are able to use social networking sites as a source of news and information, and are also able to create their own sites raising awareness to issues such as poverty, political rights and illness. Being able to create a page dedicated to certain issues can provide a sense of support and can make people more sympathetic and understanding of these issues (Dishman, 2012). The effects social networking sites have on society can be beneficial, but the risks and dangers of social networking sites are much greater and are happening more often then the positive outcomes. The first main negative effect social networking sites have on society is cyber bullying. Physical or mental, bullying is an issue people face all around the world. It can be destroying to ones mental health making them withdrawn, and can lead to depression (Litwiller & Brausch, 2013). Unfortunately due to social networking sites a new form of bullying called “Cyber bulling” has emerged throughout these sites. There are an estimated 1.1billion people solely on Facebook, which means the opportunities...
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