If you were born after 1990, you probably could not imagine a world before the advent of the Internet. Since the 1990’s the Internet has become an increasingly integral part of everyday life. The Internet has changed the way we view media, the way we shop, and the way we connect with other people. With more than a billion users to date, Facebook is among the top social networking sites in existence today. Initially invented as a platform for Harvard students to interact with one another, Facebook has become the number one website for individuals of every background to connect with other people worldwide. And with every innovation exists positive and negative aspects.
Pros of Social Networking
- Connectivity to the MAX: With social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it has never been easier to connect to other people around the globe. With social media, all you need is a name, number, and email address, and you can begin to connect with relatives who are out of state, old high school classmates, friends who live in different countries, etc.
- Instant Communication: No more waiting around for postcards or sitting by the phone hoping to get a call; with social networking sites, communication is instant. You can send people messages at any time, anywhere.
- A New Way to do Business: Social media is increasingly becoming a central platform for connecting business owners and job seekers. LinkedIn is a business and employment social networking site that allows users to create personal profiles dedicated to their resumes and skill set and connect to others with employment opportunities.
Cons of Social Networking
- Privacy: Many social networking sites struggle to contain their users’ privacy. Facebook specifically has been dealing with privacy scandals over the last few years, overselling its users’ data to data analytics sites that then used the data without users’ consent.
- Online Harassment: Harassment on social media is a big concern. Social media can give users relative anonymity, and some users have opted to abuse this to torment others without the fear of being caught. And since many social networking sites lack a comprehensive policy to combat online bullying, many individuals, especially young people, are still subjected to online abuse.
- Rest Interrupted: As social media has become more integral to our lives, it has also become a distraction. People are online several hours a day, and many people are losing sleep over it. In addition, social media usage late at night can interrupt regular sleeping patterns, causing individuals to feel restless at night and more tired during the day.