Social networking sites are a salient source of enhanced connectivity amongst individuals from all fields. It has revolutionized communications since people can interact remotely from any part of the world. Sites like Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, are ideal for learners to share thoughts and concepts if used properly, for positive educational outcomes. These sites have also influenced the nature of lifestyles by making people share what is trendy around the world. Sites such as Instagram and twitter are used by marketers and bloggers to demonstrate latest fashions, trends in food, beauty and accessory industries. It demonstrates that social media has revolutionized the lives of people around the globe; however, there is a need for caution due to the negative consequences of using these sites.
The increased use of social sites impacts negatively on the social skills of users since they meet remotely rather than physically (Powell, Gray & Reese, 2013, 53). Some of these users may not interact in a healthy way offline. The intense reliance on the sites for sharing communication and learning materials affects the psychological wellbeing of these users (Coyle & Vaughn, 2008, 15).
Most university students spend a substantial amount of time interacting with their friends on sites such as Facebook (Aragon, AlDoubi, Kaminski, Anderson &Isaacs, 2014, 26). Most of them do not use these sites for educational purposes and portrays such sites as a distraction to their studies (Kokoc, 2013, 631).
Most of the users of social networking sites discuss common hobbies with an aim of deepening their personal networks. Some university students desist from using social networking sites like Facebook since they are perceived to be a waste of time and an avenue for loss of privacy (Zeynep, Hasan & Yuksel, 2013, 138). The use of these sites also poses severe legal risks for students (Henderson, Zwart, Lindsay & Phillips, 2010, 4).
There are also concerns that usage of these sites leads to overexposure of private business information that can be exploited by rivals (Weng, Ding, Melani, Iwan & Sutanto, 2012, 26). Usage of these sites also leads to psychological over-dependency that hinders proper cognitive growth (Turel & Serenko, 2012, 513).
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