In the assignment, I highlighted that the society benefits from technology. I identified the advent of the internet as a game changer in the world in terms of personal lifestyles and social networks. One key advantage of the internet revolution involves social networking. The concept of social networking has developed after the development and embracement of the internet by individuals. Similar to other technological advancement, the internet and social networks in particular have both positive and negative consequences in the society. Therefore, I sought to establish and present that social networking with the internet has changes different aspects of daily life within societies.
In order to discover the patterns and relationships in social media, I looked into the meaning of the word together with what it entailed. Social networking implies the expansion of an individual’s social and business liaisons through the establishment of connections with different people. Consequently, the impact of the internet in the aspect of broadening ones connections is that an individual can expand these connections strategically. The internet covers the entire world therefore with connections in different parts of the world an individual can maximize on social networking. The pattern and relationship is that social networks existed before the development of the internet. However, with the internet an individual’s social network can cover a wider area.
I identified positive elements of social networking such as the ability to expand ones business and social contacts. For an individual, expansion in terms of gaining more contacts represents growth and this accounts for the benefits of social networking. Other positive elements include helping people to keep in touch and maintain a bond even when they are apart in terms of distance. Initiating any relationship whether friendship or business, is a good thing in an individual’s life, however maintaining the relationship is a challenge whenever the distance between individuals widens. Social networking enables one to maintain the bond through frequent communication with friends or associates. In addition, social media has developed a new avenue for communication and socialization with other individuals, which makes it possible to share different ideas with friends.
For businesses, social networking has created a forum where individuals can market their products to a wider audience. Before its invention, billboards, newspaper columns, and commercial advertisement served as the key tools in marketing and advertisement. Social media provides wider coverage for advertisements than these traditional tools due to the increased number of viewers. Furthermore, this technique has fewer implementation costs because creating a social media account is free.
In a democracy and public administration, I noted that social media has provided a forum for individuals to air their views regarding different issues. Social networking also facilitates the development of collaborations, which people use to push for common objectives.
Besides, social media has some negative element, which includes cyber bullying, and identity theft. These negative elements arise from the lenient process involved in creating a social network account. Other negative aspects include reduction in the productivity levels among the youth. Most young people have changes their hobbies and spend their time on social media communicating with friends. Furthermore, social media has reduced the privacy of individuals due to cyber stalking where individuals follow up one another individual is movements and actions regularly. I identified the significance of social network as a tool which enables individuals manage their relations with others and to expand their contacts.
I was able to provide evidence to support the positions adopted by citing relevant sources. From the reviewed resources, its came out clearly that cyber bullying has risen over the years due to access to social media website by individuals who aim at causing harm through threats and insults to other users. Clearly, this kind of bullying leads to isolation and low self-esteem among the victims. At most times, such incidents occur unnoticed by other individuals because the bullying is not physical as compared to traditional bullying. Hacking of people’s social media accounts and impersonation of such individuals also exists as a challenge to social networks. In situations where individuals share their passwords or fail to sign out of their accounts, other people can use their accounts to perform malicious acts.
I continue to uphold that social networking is a major benefit that individuals receive from using the internet. Opponents claim that issues of cyber bullying, stalking and identity theft using fake profiles limit the advantages of social media. However, I believe that with adequate knowledge on how to use the social networking websites and verification of real account holders these issues can reduce significantly. In addition, intervention by regulatory bodies can assist in the formulation of legislations that govern people’s activities on social media. Therefore, from where I stand, social networking presents more advantages to its users and the society than the disadvantages.
My work articulates clearly the need for information by identifying that social media users need information on various issues to maximize on the advantages and check on its disadvantages. According to Ryan (2011), the internet has both advantages and negative consequences. Social media being a component in the internet inherits the same nature of baring benefits and harms.
It is apparent that individuals need to understand the meaning and use of social media before signing up. Agosto & Abbas (2011), acknowledge that social networking presents both business and social incentives to the users. From this perspective, before enrolling for social media services and creating a profile and individual needs to identify their intended use. Having identified this, an individual will show an understanding for the required information. Thence, an individual will only provide the required information while signing up. Understanding the use and type of information that one may fill in enable an individual to secure themselves from the harms of using social networks.
Furthermore, I was able successfully evaluate, organize and integrate the information gathered from my study. As stated by Ryan (2011), in the social aspect, information technology through social media has made it possible for individuals to maintain relationships with friends and relatives who live far from themselves. Notwithstanding, in terms of ethics, it has contributed to the bullying, stalking and creation of fake accounts which is not ethical. Social politically, social networking has provided an avenue for users to raise issues and share ideas regarding the political administration. Through such forums, individuals can create stronger watchdogs, which push governments to perform better.
In fostering lifelong learning, information literacy enables learners to gain knowledge through critical evaluation of different sources. Individuals gain vital knowledge through this process. Furthermore, individuals can analyze different information from different sources. Having a number of sources facilitates comparison and establishment of accurate information. Individuals also need to make decisions using the information they gather from different sources. Finally, one can communicate and educate others after gaining the information from different sources.
Agosto, D. E., & Abbas, J. (2011). Teens, libraries, and social networking: What librarians need to know. Santa Barbara, Calif: Libraries Unlimited.
Ryan, P. K. (2011). Social networking. New York: Rosen Central.