Social Networking: Positive and Negative Outcomes
Nowadays it is impossible to imagine that people can do without the Internet. It helps people share information, it helps people do business, it helps them to study, etc. Of course, the Internet helps individuals communicate irrespective of distances. People have become closer.
However, more and more researchers argue that the Internet and especially social networks, alienate people (Shah et al. 208). This can seem quite doubtful, but it is so. Social networking creates digital ties, but real-world communication channels cease to exist, which can have numerous negative outcomes in the future as people can lose the ability to create new ties.
Admittedly, social networks help people to stay in touch. Thus, numerous social ties can be preserved. However, nowadays, many people become too fixed on digital communication. They try to remain connected, but they fail to see that this type of connection is illusive.
Opponents of social networks dependence claim that people should not bother about “the long-forgotten acquaintances that the world’s largest social network sometimes resurrects” (Associated Press n.p.). Many also state that people spend far too much time using these networks. Admittedly, laptops, smartphones, and various gadgets have made online communication accessible. For instance, it is estimated that 2009 people spent 11% of time spent on the Internet at social networks sites (Sauerbier 300).
Such data suggest that people spend less time communicating in the real world. Social networks offer numerous opportunities to communicate with different people from all over the world. However, this communication leaves no room for communication with friends.
Such social occasions like going to the cinema, going shopping, having parties are becoming less popular. However, it is necessary to remember that these occasions and such kinds of social interactions are what people need being social creatures. Different kinds of gatherings can be regarded as one of the humans’ basic needs.
Importantly, young people now can easily find acquaintances online. Online communication can be developed quite easily (Sauerbier, 298). However, young people do not have time to acquire skills to develop real-life relationships. Young people often feel uneasy when they need to communicate with people in real life settings.
However, these skills are crucial as they help people find their place in society (find a job, develop proper relationships with colleagues, create a family, etc.). Now many young people simply cannot start a conversation as they only know how to communicate with their online friends.
On balance, it is necessary to note that technology has brought many changes. As far as communication between individuals is concerned, these changes have different effects. On the one hand, people become closer as they can communicate irrespective of distances. On the other hand, online communication leaves no time for real-life communication.
Young people fail to acquire the necessary skills which help to find a place in society. Now people become alienated as they often substitute face-to-face communication with digital interactions. Though there are chances that people will understand that the real world cannot be substituted.
Associated Press. “No, Thanks: Facebook Resisters Say Their Lives Already Fulfilled Without Social Network.” Washington Post. Aug. 2009.
Sauerbier, Rachel A. “Social Networking.” Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals. Ed. August E. Grant and Jennifer H. Meadows. Burlington, MA: Taylor & Francis, 2009. 292-305. Print.
Shah, Dhavan V., Hernando Rojas and Jaeho Cho. “Media and Civic Participation: On Understanding and Misunderstanding Communication Effects.” Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research. Ed. Jennings Bryant and Mary Beth Oliver. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2009. 207-228. Print.
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