The advancements of technology have provided great opportunities, but has also brought a shift from the way we live. Social networking sites are the recent buzz on the internet. The debate on whether social networks are causing more harm than good to the society continues to be a debatable issue, which still has no clear answer. Nevertheless, what is evident is that their availability and usage continues to rise with every day. Similarly to other developments brought by technology, social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and My Space have their pluses and minuses. Any technology, despite its shortcomings, should improve the lives of people. Can we say the same about social networks? It is true that communication has improved, and so is contact with friends, and we should never forget some that people have found love through these sites. As for the corporate world this is a great avenue for advertising.
There is a lot of information that can be shared through these avenues within a short time, especially breaking news. For example, the news on the death of a celebrity spreads like wild fire courtesy in the social networks. However, sometimes the sharing of information becomes dangerous through abuse and potential abuses of these sites. For example, there has been reported suicide cases linked to use of social networking sites. A recent case of a suicide of a teenage girl who was maliciously attacked through words by her friends’ mother is just one of the examples of how sharing of information through these social networks can be misused or mismanaged and lead to suicide.
By posting information/comments on Facebook, creating profiles, posting videos, all this is a great way of people honing their identities and promoting development, especially among the young people. Findings have shown that this practice is helpful in developing the skills that are important in 21st century. In this way, we can point out and say that social sites have been creating positive attitude towards adoption and usage of technologies. Nevertheless, are not people misusing these avenues? Are they all that we think? People are addicted to these sites leading to wastage of time that was meant for other constructive activities. In recent times, people have lost the true meaning of addition and are taking it casually, especially when it comes to spending time in front of a computer, tweeting or “facebooking”. People are spending more and more time on the internet and are even getting into trouble because of it. According to a research by Nucleus Research in Boston, users of social networks are spending up to two hours on the site, yet they should be working. The result of this behavior is a loss of 1.5 percent of total office productivity. Some have even withdrawn from personal contact and destroyed the healthy attachment that comes with face-to-face contact, social meetings and gatherings.
There is no clear cut-line that shows whether social networks are harmful or if they are good to the society. Notably, social technologies can never have absolute positive or negative effects. That is why it is very hard to answer such a question. To move forward we should limit their harmfulness and so that we reap benefits. There are challenges that need to be worked on so that we can enhance the benefits. To improve on their usage and limit their harm, we will need to construct strong privacy connections for users and increase safety issues, increase commercialization of this space, and in this way we will work around the risks posed by social sites.