Social Networks: For or Against? Introduction Over the years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of social networking sites such as: MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and many more. “Starting out as an easy way of communication, social networks have accelerated their pace towards transforming our lives. ” (Livingstone, S. 2008) Social networks are an effective and cost free way to allow people who are registered to share: interests, beliefs, real-life experiences and general social interaction with others; whether or not they already have a pre-established relationship offline. Pempek et al. 2009) Many people will debate that social network sites are risky, whereas others would argue that when used sensibly they are no more harmful than any other communication methods. This debate is likely to stand for years to come as social networking sites are very much in demand and are already extremely well established into people’s everyday lives. ComScore data mine. (2012) shows that nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online is now spent on social networking sites; the most popular sites being Facebook and Twitter.
They now reach 82 percent of the world’s online population, representing 1. 2 billion users around the world. So with all this going on how do you ever really know what or who you dealing with when it comes to social networking sites; below are listed some of the arguments that you may encounter when deciding whether or not social networks are indeed unsafe. Pro’s for social Networking Builds and promotes businesses: Reports show that social networking sites have in the past helped business; they can be used as a tool to promote special skills and services.
There are so many smart professionals who are making a good use of these networking sites to raise their visibility, get noticed, tell about their company, service, and get more clients through marketing their products. (Kaur, H. 2011) Back On Track Solutions (2011) quoted, “If you’re like me and are one of those small business owners who never gave Social Media a real thought, think again. It has now been over six months since I really got into the Social Media mix for my business.
As hindsight would have it, I can’t believe that I didn’t get involved in it sooner. Not only has my networking base increased, but small business owners are finding out about my business and contacting me for assistance so their business can weather the storm of the current economic climate. If Social Media has been able to assist my business in this manner, just think of what it can do for yours! ” Provides effective communication methods:
Social network sites have certainly proved in the past to be an effective and convenient way to reconnect with friends and family who you may have lost contact with; they also allow people to create new relationships with people who share similar interests and hobbies and can increase communication and strengthen existing relationships. (ProCon. org. 2012) Cons for social networks People who are against social networks would argue that they are the reason, for where privacy issues and negative content not being monitored have resulted in awful circumstances.
Unfortunately bullying doesn’t just happen in the playground or in a workplace anymore it now happens on-line in the form of cyber bullies. Amanda Todd, from Vancouver, Canada, was found hanged in her home on October 10, just weeks after she uploaded a video to YouTube detailing her horrific treatment at the hands of cyber bullies. When she was just 12, a man in an internet chat room convinced her to flash her breasts, and a year later, he plastered a picture of the incident across Facebook. Lydia warren and Meghan Keneally, Mail online 16th October 2012) Social networks are a place where paedophiles can groom children by setting up a ‘’fake’’ profile pretending to be who they want to be in need of communicating and arranging to meet with children. A postman who used social networking sites to groom up to 1,000 children – some of whom he sexually abused – was jailed for eight-and-a-half years yesterday.
Michael Williams, 28, used different profiles to target children he met on his post round, while doing school runs as taxi driver, and as the secretary of a football club. (Daily mail reporter, Mail online 25th September 2010) Social networking sites can often give out private information such as e-mail accounts any phone numbers you use when accessing your chosen social networking site on your mobile phone, it also seems now people can ‘’check in’’ in doing this they are giving their location and this location can be seen on a map.
Vikki McDonald was left physically and mentally scarred after her ex Daniel Ingram tracked her down using Facebook so he could viciously attack her. Her blood ran cold as she remembered the Facebook “check-in” tag posted days earlier by friends visiting her new flat. The feature allows users to drop a pin on a map to show their friends where they are. And Vikki realised her Facebook-obsessed ex, 21-year-old Daniel Ingram, must have seen the alert. Facebook had nearly cost the 19-year-old her life. (Dulcie Pearce, The sun, 15th September) Conclusion
People looking at the pros and cons could conclude that if people use social networks responsibly there will be no threat and adults of children who use these sites should act responsibly when they are using social networks and monitor them; social networking sites should take responsibility for privacy issues and protect peoples’ privacy more and maybe have a ‘’cyber nanny’’ programme in place to detect on any anti-social behaviour ie, bullying, maybe then social networks would be less harmful and more good.