We live in an era where social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the like are literally taking over the media and how humans interact with each other.
Social networking is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, as well as connect with new people for personal or business purposes. In fact, a lot of businesses rely heavily on social networking for promotional use and marketing of their services and products.
However, a lot of people tend to share extremely personal aspects of their lives on social networking sites, which can eventually damage relationships as demonstrated by the many cases heard in the news about people who have lost their lives because someone got jealous over who they are supposedly in a relationship with.
While social networking is a great asset when used in the right context, it can have a downside when it is not. The biggest issue is the invasion of privacy for social media users, even when they have the option of changing their settings to “private”. Hackers can steal information and pictures from people’s pages and create fake pages using the person’s photos. In other words, anything that is put out there on the Internet can no longer be considered private. Therefore, it is crucial that social media users are cautious about the information they choose to share over the Internet.
“Social media can help with networking and keeping in touch with friends, and also meeting new ones. The harm comes in when we misuse them for why they were created. Especially since jobs look at future employees Facebook and/or Twitter pages, so people have to watch what they say,” said J’Sacorie Washington, journalism major at Clark Atlanta University.
These days, social networking allows children to bully and humiliate one another, and everyone has access to see it. It is not just limited to the school that the victim may attend, but ANYBODY can view the comments, rumors, and pictures that were posted of that person. This type of virtual bullying is much more damaging than the good old days where bullies use to steal your lunch money and stuff you in a locker. A nasty comment or a rumor that was spread around the school will eventually wear off, but when it is posted on the Internet, it can serve as an instant reminder that will follows the parties involved for the rest of their lives.
Social media should be used for its’ intended purpose- to network and connect with people on a positive, professional, and/or business level. However, when it falls into the wrong hands, it can have detrimental consequences.