“I’ve seen your Facebook album! The party was really interesting!” ”Uhh I noticed you update your relationship status 😉 How is that guy like?” “Haven’t seen you tweeting these days, are you alright?” As the popularity of Social Networking sites grows in an overwhelming speed, these kinds of dialogues appear more often in our daily life. Conventions, norms and rules of communication have been tremendously changed.
These sites allow users to develop profiles of their backgrounds and interests, communicate with friends and strangers, and share thoughts, photos, Internet links, music, and more. Many users say the sites are good for our society, but others contend that the dangers of social media outweigh the benefits. Here are some lists of arguments of pros and cons with Social Networking sites.
- They allow those who are shy or have trouble making friends to socialize more easily. That’s also true for those with disabilities.
- They bring people with common interests together to connect and converse , offer exposure to new ideas from around the world.
- They allow for creative expression in a new medium. They provide free messaging, blogging, photo storage, games, event invitations, and many other services to anyone with access to a computer and the Internet.
- They allow people to reacquaint with old friends or those who live far away.
- They allow businesses and public entities to share information with customers and clients, and to market themselves inexpensively.
- They entice people to spend more time online and less time interacting face-to-face. The sites offer many time wasting activities that supplant more productive activities.
- They allow unscrupulous people to misrepresent themselves, take advantage of others or spread false news.
- Teens growing up with these sites may not be aware that the information they post is public and that photos and text can be retrieved even after deletion. Consequences from over-sharing personal information include vulnerability to sexual or financial predators and lost job opportunities from employers finding embarrassing photos or comments.
- Social networking sites have no way to verify that people are who they claim to be, leaving people vulnerable to solicitations from online predators who are able to mask their true identities. Thus cyberbullying is increased.
- They give hackers an opportunity to steal and misuse personal information, especially if users don’t correctly install privacy filters. And even with those safeguards, posted information is never fully secure.
As for myself, I used to use social networking sites to post photos shoot by myself and find people who have the same interests with me. Sometimes I also use it to make connections with friends from primary school, etc. I believe it’s not safe enough to reveal every part of one’s personal life so I never touched on life within my family. It’s good to have a easy way keeping contact with one’s friends who scattered around all over the world, but overuse of social networking sites will cost troubles. From my point of view, face to face communication is always the most important and effective way of understanding others.