Pros and Cons of Social Networking
Research Paper in Regards to Social Networking
Pros and Cons to Social Networking
A Research in Regards to Social Networking
In today’s society, most humans believe that it is essential to constantly connect and expand relationships because humans are longing for social interaction. With social networking being easily accessible it has become a fundamental piece to daily living. Its vast developments help aid connections between people based on values, shared interests, and common views regardless of global positioning. With that said, the networks make it easier for computer users to find and communicate with others that are in the same networking sites making the world an interwoven world. Social networking is an extremely entertaining activity to its users with billions of accounts around the world, however, sometimes it affects society in both negative and positive ways.
Social networking is essentially made up of thousands of virtual communities allowing users to connect with close and distant friends. According to Friends in High-Tech Places, Facebook users have on average 300 friends. Most of which are considered as weak ties such as college friends, old high school friends, acquaintances, and even strangers (Bond, 2014, p. 2). For example, on my Facebook profile I have over 500 friends. The majority of these “friends” I do not even know. Most of my Facebook “friends” consist of younger kids that looked up to me while in high school, classmates I graduated with, and even my siblings’ friends. However, my main purpose is not to connect with the friends I do on a day-to-day basis. Instead, I use Facebook to connect with my friends overseas, out of state family, and friends that have moved away. Without social media, those friendships would be tough to maintain and inevitably dissipate. Referencing back to Bond (2014), social networking makes the biggest impact on weak relationships. It allows the users to never let peripheral friends to fade away because users can sporadically message and like pictures or statuses recently posted. Which is also known as “social grooming,” or essentially letting a person know, “I am paying attention to you.” This term greatly affects weak relationships, and has many benefits, including being part of an expanding community and providing brand-new perspectives and ideas (Friends in High-Tech Places, p. 2). Overall, social networking allows users to stay connected with friends they are not able communicate with in a face-to-face manner. While social networking allows users to connect with one another, there are drawbacks, namely, cyber bullying. Before social networking was invented, there was mostly traditional bullying, which consisted of face-to-face contact and spreading rumors by mouth. Unfortunately, cyber bullying is a magnification of both types. A cyber bully can spread rumors to multiple people at once as well as hide behind their computer screen and send insulting message directly to someone. However, the widespread of technology invented a new form of bullying, known as cyber bullying. According to Bullying and Cyber bullying: History, Statistics, Law, Prevention and Analysis, the evolution of technology has lead to cyber bullying. It allows users to easily violate one another by joining various chat rooms. Furthermore, with cellphones being used on a daily bases for communication; it allows users to utilize them for potential cyber bullying purposes. Another problem society faces today is the sense of anonymous. Users can violate others privacy, yet allows them the opportunity to not reveal themselves (Donegan, 2012, p. 34). From personal experiences, ask.fm is a social networking site that allows users to interact with one another by asking various questions. Either individuals can reveal themselves or they are allowed to be anonymous while posting a question. This allows users to easily bully others without being caught. When using this social networking site, I witnessed and experienced cyber bullying myself. One night in particular three individuals attacked me. All of them were asking me why I still used the site if I only had thirteen followers, or they would tell me I was not pretty enough to be using ask.fm. I was not aware of who they were or what they intended to do to me (Gallegos, 2014). Additionally, Examination of Narcissistic Personality Traits' Predicting Level of Internet Addiction and Cyber Bullying through Path Analysis states when being bullied the traditional way, the victim knows the bully. However, cyber bullying is much different because most of the time the victim cannot visually witness the bully, which in return, allows the bully to express their feelings differently without repercussions (Ekşı , 2012, p. 1695). Cyber bullying allows perpetrators to express harsher content online due to because the lack of face-to-face contact. With that said, cyber bullying is a problem arising from the advances of technology. Social networking allows users to feel like they are part of a community by joining networking sites that they enjoy and also allowing them to connect with others for various purposes. First, computer users can access the Internet to help them find answers regarding a specific purpose. According to The Virtual Community, Rheingold (1995) explains that the WELL offers a site known as the Parenting Conference. The Parenting conference is a “community” in which parents and medical personal can express their experiences raising children. It is a place where parents can seek medical and moral support regarding their children. Rheingold (1995) continues by referencing an example illustrating the importance of the Parenting conference. First, a boy had a tick found upon his head causing his parents to immediately seek medical attention. Both parents called the doctor and logged onto the Parenting conference in hopes to receive an answer. In less time, the parents received instant feedback from the WELL, rather than from the phone call to the doctor (Rheingold, 1995, p. 61). Furthermore, social networking allows users to receive emotional support during traumatizing events. Rheingold (1995) referenced a father that was having an emotional hardship with his dying daughter. The moment he logged onto the WELL, he was able to receive support from others from around the world. This in return offered him a sense of hope given by others from around the world (The Virtual Community, p.62). Social networking gives the opportunity to seek answers and moral support at any point in time. Although social networking sites allows individuals to connect with others with a common interest, others experience deception and a lack of privacy. Deception is when one makes someone else believe in something that is not true. A big problem today that social networking faces is online deception because it can be easily done. According to Tsikerdekis and Zeadally (2014), in order for an individual to detect deception, they first must understand the works of deception. Social networking makes deception easy. It is as simple as switching gender by only a name change (Online Deception in Social Media, p. 74). Continuing on, the lack of privacy is a major concern in regards to the use of social networking. According to Social Networking and You: The Loss of Privacy in the Digital Age, Facebook is a prime example of the lack of privacy. Facebook is worth billions of dollars, yet it is free to join. Their main money source is through data mining. Data mining is when a specific website analyzes and collects all activity on the site. Analyzing various posts about specific subjects can either alter it or it can go as far as following activities found on other websites. Once it is identified, all advertisements are then custom-fit to the computer that was being used (Barry, 2012). For example, in my personal experiences, I was looking for a new desk for my room. I went on various sites to try and find the best deal, and now two months after, I am still receiving advertisements for desks from various websites. Most users do not realize the lack of privacy while using social networking. Ultimately, social networking has its downfalls in regards to deception and lack of privacy. On the other hand, social networking can help anti-social people speak up and make a difference in the world. According to The Virtual Community, new technology is giving anti-socials and introverts an easier way of avoiding face-to-face contact, yet still be able to make an impact in virtual communities (Rheingold, 1995, p. 62). There are various shy people in the world that are longing for interactions with others. For instance, according to Social Networking Sites Help Draw Out Shy People, Josh Chiles is someone that longs for communication, but when put in an environment with unfamiliar people, he is silenced because his shyness takes over. On the other hand, when Chiles is on the computer, he is able to post various statuses, comment on other user’s profile, and make jokes towards others. The shyness disappears, allowing him to interact the way he would like to. Chiles says, “There is no doubt that Facebook has improved my life in building relationships with other people.” Continuing from Social Networking Sites Help Draw Out Shy People, studies have revealed shy people are taking advantage of Facebook because it allows them to feel closer to friends on social networking sites. Most shy individuals avoid human interaction because it is stress inducing causing them to sweat and stutter. Facebook encourages socially shy people to open up and disclose various personal details to those interested in hearing it. Some psychologists believe that social networking sites such as Facebook is promoting interaction (Washington Post, 2011). Social networking is the beginning point for reserved people to evolve overtime, and open up to people across from each other. Since social networking is easily accessed, humans are beginning to long for constant attention through social networking. It allows users to connect with others who share common views and interests. Luckily, since vast improvements have allowed the world to become an interwoven world, it allows users to meet others easily, regardless of where they are. Social networking is evolving rapidly and causing the world to become a smaller place. However, with the vast improvements social networking has made there are still drawbacks to the new way of communicating.
Barry, I. (2012, October). Social Networking and You: The Loss of Privacy in the Digital Age. The Elm. Retrieved from http://elm.washcoll.edu/index.php/2012/10/social-networking-and-you-the-loss-of-privacy-in-the-digital-age/ Bond, M. (2014). Friends in high-tech places. New Scientist, 222(2970), 40-43. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=13&sid=1fd45171-3f9d-441b-a89b-3450f1f409b2%40sessionmgr111&hid=101&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=96271188 Donegan, R. (2012). Bullying and Cyberbullying: History, Statistics, Law Prevention and Anaylsis. Bullying and Cyberbullying, 3(1), 33-42. https://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/academics/communications/research/vol3no1/04DoneganEJSpring12.pdf Ekşı, F. (2012). Examination of Narcissistic Personality Traits' Predicting Level of Internet Addiction and Cyber Bullying through Path Analysis. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 12(3), 1694-1706. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=11a760cc-539e-43fc-98b3- Gallegos, C. (2014). Personal Journal. 22 Oct.-11 Nov.
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