There are several advantages and disadvantages to using social media in general. First, I’ll go over some of the advantages that I’ve noticed in it. It’s a quick convenient way to keep in contact with family and friends. Through instant messaging and various other tools given on the site you are able to chat with and share your life events with them. Another is that you can meet new people in an environment that is safer than some of the bar scenes and such. With it being a controlled environment you are able to look for people that have similar interests to see if you can mesh with to become friends. This makes it easier for people who are slightly socially awkward to be able meet people in a less socially intimate environment. Now for the flip side of the coin with the disadvantages. People aren’t able to learn how to be in group setting with other people in real life if all they use is social networking. This puts them at major disadvantages in things such as interviews and other things since they aren’t used to having the human factor involved in things. Another, is that your posts and such have to meet certain criteria and with some sites that criteria is in a constant state of fluctuation making it harder to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. There is also the fact that some of the security features on these sites don’t work really well and people are easily able to access your personal information. This leaves people not wanting to put more of their personal information on the site and leads to migration to newer sites that offer better protection. There are three major social media/networking sites that I am familiar with and use or have used and they are Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn. In the next few paragraphs I’ll go over what I have found out to be the pros and cons of these sites in my opinion. Let’s start this off with Facebook in all its glory and shortcomings. Facebook is great at keeping you in contact with friends and family. It also allows you to update your status mobile so that you can keep those you care about in the loop about what’s going on with you. With these being instant it helps to keep everyone up to date in case of emergency or some such life event going on. Some of the drawbacks to it is that sometimes information that you don’t want shared with everyone can wind up being that way due to the tagging system. Even though in security options you can chose who to share it with, if someone else tags someone who you’re not wanting to see it then it will still be visible to them. Businesses seem to be a little lack luster when it comes to what is allowed or shown on their Facebook pages. Also, Facebook seems to be very easy for people to hack as you constantly seeing streams of information on peoples news feeds on how they were hacked. Another con is Facebook on your mobile device. You used to be able to chat to your friends instantly through the app itself, but now you have to install the messenger app which, according to news sources, has tons of security flaws in it. Next is Google +, while not as popular as Facebook is still has a lot of great benefits. You still have the ability to add friends to your circles and decide what type of person they are in your life and thus be able to eliminate some of the clutter found on your news feed. You can also post statuses instantly and these apps pretty well come standard on most Android based phones. It also very easy to network with businesses since they are able to have a more complete page about themselves and what they provide. This helps by being able to promote themselves more effectively, I’ve also noticed that when you do a search in Google a lot of times some of the smaller businesses that have a Google + account will pop up in the search (at least in my area). The video streaming feature of chat is also much more stable than that of Facebook. Some of the drawbacks to Google + is the fact that a lot of people find it is too bland since it doesn’t offer games like Facebook does. There again to each their own, since I find it nice not to be constantly in boxed with requests to play games that I’ll never try. That is actually the only con I’ve noticed with Google +, since they seem to be pretty well rounded. LinkedIn is different in a lot of ways than most other social media sites as it is primarily focused on businesses. This means that small businesses can get their name out there and be able to be found easier for people looking for whatever that company has to offer, whether it be new partners, expanding a franchise, new employees or customers looking for the services offered. It also gives you all the major data you need about the company or business along with the profiles of individuals associated with it. It also helps people keep up to date with current information in their field of expertise. This helps for people that are in constant changing work environments such as technology. Now for the flipside of the coin for LinkedIn. One of the major negatives is the amount of time it takes to get your connections started and conversations rolling. This is an issue for a lot of people since they are used to things happening instantly with other sites. Another major negative to it is that a lot of users use it for a lot of junk spam. So be ready for it. As I said these are my opinions on these sites as I have used each of them and noticed the strengths and weaknesses as time has gone on.