Pros and Cons of Social Networking

February 25, 2015 | 0

Social networking sites are currently one of the best modes of communication; its best purpose is to bring together families and long lost friends. The internet is full of several social networking websites that offer a platform for people from different sections of the society and different parts of the world, to come together, interact, and share thoughts and ideas. All of this this can be achieved at a fraction of the cost that prevailed in the eighties. Social networking websites can also be used by companies to promote their brands, or by small business to gain new clients.

However, it may be noted that the youth and teenagers are the most frequent users of a majority of such social networking sites. They use it, in carefree manner, without knowing the many perils associated with it, or the plethora of advantages that it can offer.

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Some of the pros and cons of social networking are discussed below.

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Pros of social networking

  • Social networking can be used to maintain easy and simple communication between people. You can get back in touch with long lost friends and then stay connected with them. Social media also helps you keep abreast of the goings-on in your friends’ lives. Increased visibility on social networking sites means that acquaintances and old friends can easily track you down and interact with you. It is indeed a great way to renew forgotten friendships!
    • In addition to connecting with friends and distant families, people can also come into contact and get to interact with people residing in foreign countries. This may give us the opportunity to get a better understanding of the way people live in other nations, their culture, traditions, etc.
    • People who are away on their own, for studies, work, or otherwise, may find online friends to be a great support system. It can also help overcome any feelings of loneliness that may creep up.
    • In very rare cases, great friendships can blossom over social networking websites. Online friends may eventually end up becoming your friends for life.
    • Chatting, sharing pictures and thoughts, and other ingrained forms of communication in social networking websites can also help decrease the distance between people.
    • Users can customize their profiles, classify their family and friends, and create groups for easy chatting with the help of a variety of settings on social networking websites, including privacy settings. Social networking thus facilitates easy talking, sharing, chatting, and an almost continuous and instant connection with family and friends.
    • Social networking websites offer a cheaper and easier mode of communication as compared to mobile phones, landline phones, etc.
    • Social networking sites can also be used for professional networking. People can find a better job, or can help some other friend who is unhappy at his/her current workplace, or can help friends get additional work. For example, if one friend is looking for an interior designer, then you can recommend a designer who is on your friend list. Thus you end up helping both your friends.
      • Professionals can also use social networking websites to find potential clients, or to promote their businesses, or a new business idea.
      • Musicians, artists, etc. can promote their work over these sites. Fans can not only get the latest, updated information about the lives of their favorite stars, but can also get the opportunity to interact with the celebrities via such social networking websites.
      • There are many social networking websites that allow users to invite numerous friends to an event organized by them, or to one that they plan to attend. The sending of invites is also a whole lot easier as friends can be categorized as per their geographical location. Thus, you can get the opportunity to physically meet and interact with your friends, with just a simple click of the mouse.
      • The sites also allow easy categorization of different photos, videos, etc., thereby creating a pictorial depiction of your life’s timeline over the web.
      • Social networking websites can also be of great help in trying situations. A tweet or a video about something illegal can be accessed by many, garner huge public support, and make the government act on it in a swift manner.

Cons of social networking

  • People need to create a profile to get access to social networking websites. Such profiles need the user to provide certain personal details, interests, etc. This information can be misused or abused by others, who may be known or unknown to you. Public display of contact information and other details can especially be harmful for youngsters, as they usually do not have the skills or the knowledge to protect themselves.
  • There is no guarantee/evidence which validate that the beliefs and ideologies of people that you meet on social networking are the same as projected by them. The character of such friends cannot be easily determined even via video/audio/text chatting.
  • Some people will willingly abuse the privacy and space of others. For example, they may create fake profiles of you and invite your friends to that specific profile and then malign your name with ‘indecent’ photos, statuses, forwards, comments, etc. The same can be done by those who successfully hack your social networking account.
  • Social networking websites usually do not result in lasting friendships. Most users are just looking for someone to chat to. So the friendship is often a temporary phenomenon. Also, often the motive of strangers who send friendship requests over social networking sites is a lot cruder and menacing than normal friendship request.
  • Even though a lot of social networking websites offer privacy settings via which users can block vital information from strangers and even friends, many users are usually not aware about such a facility, or how to use it. This leaves them in a very vulnerable position.
  • Hacking, Identity theft, stalking, online scams, and other ill-effects of social networking can result in a lot of undue stress and psychological problems.
  • Most users of social networking use the sites for passing time and not for any constructive purpose. Most of them are often hooked to it; lack of access to the sites can cause distress in such addicted users. Addiction to social networking can lead to varied side effects, including decline in academics, work, etc.
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