Over the last several years, social media has become a hot topic of conversation, as well as debate. On one side of the fence, there are those who believe that websites such as FaceBook and MySpace allow people to connect in a fun, free environment. Others claim that these sites are harmful to self-esteem and real life social skills. Numerous studies have been conducted to determine what affect social media actual has on its users, yet no conclusive results have yet been found. Whether you love it or hate it, social media is a thing of the present that will only begin to progress as online interactive technology advances.
As social media and its use is a relatively new idea, it is important to establish a generally agreed upon definition of the term. For the sake of this paper, social media will be defined as online websites that allow users to contact other individuals for no monetary cost, with little to no confirmation or monitoring of personal information shared on the site. There are countless sites that can be considered 'social media' under this definition, so the focus in this work will be on the most well-known sites, such as the previously mentioned FaceBook and MySpace.
It is easy for one to see the benefits that can come from using a site that allows you to contact anyone in the world, as long as they are a member on the site (save for those with very strict privacy settings). A user can find and interact with old friends, far-away family members and even strangers with similar interests. There are millions of people on these websites who are available to be chatted, poked, invited, friended or engaged in a number of other functions. The possibilities are endless when it comes to using social media as a tool for connecting with other human beings, no matter where in the world they may be.
Many people use these websites as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family with whom it would otherwise seem much more difficult to stay connected...
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