Social networking is a term used for internet sites which helps people to interact freely, sharing and discussion about each other. These websites help users to communicate with their social circle by sharing pictures, videos, audio and personal words. Social media has emerged from the days of IRC and BBS chats to today with Facebook, LinkedIn and a lot more. Social media is still in the process on evolving. Other electronic media is left behind by social media as some social networking websites have user bases much bigger than the population of many countries. Social media websites have many forms as blogs, message boards and forums, wikis, social networks, social bookmarking, virtual worlds, news and tagging, podcast portals, digital storytelling, writing communities and scrapbooking; content, data, video and image sharing, and collective intelligence. There are many well-known social sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, Twitter, WordPress, Flickr, Blogger, Wikipedia, Live Journal, Wikidot, Wetpaint, Del.icio.us, Second Life, Digg, Lulu, Reddit and others.
Impact of social media
Participating in social media circle has become the most common activity for children and youngster of today's world. Some of them use social web extensively and become addicted to it. These websites offer our youth a portal for communication and entertainment. Social web networking has grown exponentially in past few years. It is very important that parents should be aware of the social media sites; the nature of social sites is not always healthy for children. Pediatricians should help families to understand social websites and encourage healthy use, urge parents for monitoring their children due to potential problems associated with social web usage as extensive use can include depression, cyber bullying, exposure of inappropriate content and pornography.
Benefits/Advantages of Social Media
Social media websites are a good way for connecting people to others peoples with similar goals and interests. Social websites give opportunity for students to connect or meet other students, faculty, staff and even alumni. These websites have made "meeting someone in person" as part of past, now Poking is used as new handshake. Peoples feel free to express their feelings on social websites. Social websites have help us in making and renewing friends. Connected with friends and classmates, meeting people is the major benefit of social websites. Social sites offers surveys, event listings and any kind of information that communicates with culture. Social websites is a great mode for being connected to friends, family and community. Many social networking websites offer marketing services to its customers. Whether a user creates a party for an event or pays $5 for 10,000 hits for an ad, Social websites are great way to market for a club, student organization, team, etc. Importantly, social websites offers users the opportunity to make a positive self-image. The profile option gives users a chance to make their image by writing their best personal qualities.
Concerns and Criticism/Disadvantages
Undoubtedly, social media has become part of mainstream media and its popularity is increased exponentially in last couple of years, it has been encountered with growing criticism and controversy. The leading criticisms appear to fall along a few lines; Security Agencies using social media to look into private life of citizens, Stackers may be the users of social media, child predators may use Social media, thus sites related to Social media raised security and privacy concerns. While electronic media does not raise any security or privacy concerns about an individual, and no one could access to any kind of personal information just from viewing electronic media.
Social Media and Security Agencies
It has become now easier and less costly for security agencies to take information about someone. It takes less time, no need to take data from other agencies, just go to social website account send particular person a request to add or hack his account and you have information of almost all type of daily activities, as users update their status more frequently on social websites. So now for security agencies, there is no need to spy on someone with the help of multiple agents. Social media have made security agencies to work with low beget. Facebook is under discussion for its links with CIA from last couple of last years. The situation could be more devastating if any mafia or gang uses social websites to gather information of their targets. On the other hand information displayed by electronic media is public and it has helped securities agencies in some cases, still it is not much beneficial for them as the social media.
Social Media Used by Stalkers
Many social media sites including Facebook have come under threat by making them much easier for stalkers to keep the record of their victims or rather to search new sufferers. Some of the users of social media don’t take advantage of privacy settings and expose their complete profiles in public. Making ones profile secured is often an advantage for professionals where they want to avoid connections with unnecessarily unknown people. Electronic media does not affect personal lives of children at such level.
Electronic media vs. Social media
This is the era of Networking, as everyone is connected with any source of Information, someone through electronic media and someone through social media. We are watching a dangerous conflict between electronic & social media. Electronic should accept that social media is in real representing true sentiments of public, electronic media is commercialized which is effecting the true nature of this media as it is not working as per public affairs. This divide between electronic and social media give peoples to choose from diverse options. Electronic media is been revolutionized but still it seems like as it is working for commercials and business only, and they show interest on some public issues and some issue are left behind. Youth shows more participation in social media as its existence came into their age. We should understand now that in near future social media will be dominating all type of media as peoples are more connected with social media than any other type of media.
Social websites helps us in many ways. It let us communicate to our love once even they are miles away. Social media have made or friend and social circle much broader. These advantages also brought some implications with them and the most highlighted issue is of user privacy. User profiles are used by hackers, they use such information for multiple purpose. User should be more educated by social websites to secure privacy of their users. Print and other electronic media is still a best way for entertainment, News and advertisement. Electronic media does not affect privacy of individuals, as it mostly focus on celebrities.
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