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Is Social Networking Bad for Society?

How much time does an average contemporary individual spend using various social media? A modern person starts their day checking social networks for news and messages, during the day this person logs in and out multiple times to review various pages, finally in the end of the day the person spends hours chatting through the internet viewing and sharing content. What are the possible outcomes of such heavy use of the social media? Social media have penetrated and impacted every aspect of the society of nowadays. Their influences can be observed by people of all ages, professions and backgrounds. Social media are viewed as extremely useful means for the promotion and enforcement of education, great source of opportunities for the business makers and artists, and also as platforms bringing people together.

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At the same time, social media may facilitate cheating among students, violations of property rights for the artists and business owners, and increase social isolation and loneliness among the users. This paper explores positive and negative impacts of social media based on a number of academic surveys and researches studying the risks and benefits of social media in the spheres of education, business and social interactions. Without a doubt, social networks carry a number of advantages for various individuals, at the same time, Pew Internet, Ace Group and many independent researchers argue that the number of disadvantages of social media outweighs the benefits. The compromise between the two sides can be reached, for that the risks of social media need to be mitigated and the benefits – enhanced.

Opposing Opinion

Education

The supporters of the positive impact of social networks view such websites as the means boosting the modern education and enabling thousands of people to engage in academic research following the authors through various social networks, accessing their works, blogs, and engaging into academic discussion online (Dunn, 2013). Besides, when it comes to the contemporary education, social networks are getting more and more integrated into the educational process. The modern educators employ social media in order to enrich education, provide diverse activities and vary the kids of tasks. Moreover, a number of educational facilities create their own websites which often contain elements of social networking and provide communication between peers and educators. This approach makes education an on-going, diverse and interesting process, and most importantly, provides better access to information and opportunities for the learners.

Business

Basically, any interactive website is considered a social network. This includes such platforms as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, various chat rooms and virtual worlds or online games. A recent survey shows that Facebook alone has over 901 million accounts that belong to active users, and Twitter’s new record of the number of tweets per second estimates over 25 thousand tweets (Brandt, D’Amato, Brody & Goetz, 2012). The number of pictures posted on various networks accounts for hundreds of millions of pictures every day. This creates incredibly powerful potential for advertising and business development successfully used by famous actors and musicians who manage to attract and retain millions of fans via social networks. This serves as a significant moving force for their businesses, reputation and popularity.

Isolation

The main purpose of social networks is to enable communication between people from all around the world. Every day the internet and interactive websites namely bring together hundreds of millions of users with different backgrounds. With the help of social networks lonely individuals obtain a way to socialize and confide in someone, search for people with similar interests or ideas, develop and maintain friendships and even find loving relationships and partnership (Hampton, Sessions, Her & Rainie, 2009). This aspect of social networks is extremely valuable and important in the modern society.

Supported Opinion

Education

Apart from all the benefits mentioned above, social networks carry a number of risks and obstacles for education, business development and social interactions. This is the point of view I support. To argue with the idea that social networks mainly serve as an educational enhancement, Ahn, Bivona and DiScala (2011) note that one of the main effects social networking created for the students is distraction, besides, it facilitates online bullying and enforces social division and conflicts in the classroom. Moreover, social networks and their accessibility provide wide opportunities for cheating through posted online answers for tests. Today, a number of schools block social networks in order to make them inaccessible for the students during the classes, to improve the level of participation in academic activities.

Business

When it comes to the influences of social media on business making process, the main risks are trademark and copyright infringement, secret information disclosure, violations of publicity rights, and false advertising (Brandt, D’Amato, Brody & Goetz, 2012). Along with promotional and advertising benefits, social networks carry reputational risks because due to the incredibly fast reach of the networks negative content is able to change the reputation of a business or an individual from positive to negative within days (Merrill, Latham, Santalesa & Navetta, 2011). Moreover, social networks often engage into copyright violations posting private content which basically is recognized as piracy.

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Isolation

Finally, the use of social networks and frequent online communication reduces the participation in real life interactions of the users due to the fact that over time virtual socialization starts to substitute for the actual one (Hampton, Sessions, Her & Rainie, 2009). This is a dangerous pattern because it causes social isolation as over time online communication along with phone communication becomes the only social interactions of the contemporary individuals. Social isolation leads to boredom, loneliness and depression affecting people’s heath and causing alcohol and substance abuse.

Common Ground

Importance

The two arguing points of view agree that regardless of the character of their major impacts social media play a vital role in every sphere of life of the contemporary society and carry multiple features and functions that define the modern humanity. Moreover, the impacts created by the social media changed the way people interact completely.

Complexity

Besides, both of the perspectives agree that social media is neither 100 per cent positive phenomenon, nor 100 per cent negative. The two viewpoints do not deny each other’s existence and validity due to the fact that such complex aspect of the contemporary life as social networks and media contains multiple dimensions and qualities and by nature cannot be characterized based within a linear mode of positive versus negative.

Conclusion

In conclusion, social media have won the world’s favor and attention during just one decade. They currently enhance higher and K-12 education, but create the risks of online bullying, distraction and cheating among the students. Besides, they provide limitless business development opportunities, but also facilitate copyright and trademark infringement and threats for reputation. Finally, they allow people from all around the world to find each other and communicate, but also facilitates social isolation caused by the replacement of real communication with virtual one. The question whether social networks should be considered an angel or a demon of the modern society has no right answer, but the supporters of both views agree that the negative impacts should be mitigated and the positive ones – enhanced in order to bring more benefits for the society.

Reference List

Ahn, J., Bivona, L. K., & DiScala, J. (2011). Social Media Access in K-12 Schools: Intractable Policy Controversies in an Evolving World. ASIST, 9(13), 1-10. Web.

Brandt, L., D’Amato, N., Brody, P., & Goetz, M. (2012). Social Media and Intellectual Property Law. Boston: Ropes & Gray. Web.

Dunn, L. A. (2013). Teaching in higher education: Can social media enhance the learning experience? Web.

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Hampton, K. N., Sessions, L. F., Her, E. J., & Rainie, L. (2009). How the internet and mobile phones impact Americans’ social networks. Social Isolation and New Technology, 1-17. Web.

Merrill, T., Latham,K., Santalesa, R. & Navetta, D. (2011). Social Media: The Business Benefits May Be Enormous, But Can the Risks -Reputational, Legal, Operational – Be Mitigated? Zurich, Switzerland: ACE Group. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 21). Is Social Networking Bad for Society? Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/is-social-networking-bad-for-society/

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1. StudyCorgi. "Is Social Networking Bad for Society?" December 21, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/is-social-networking-bad-for-society/.


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StudyCorgi. "Is Social Networking Bad for Society?" December 21, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/is-social-networking-bad-for-society/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Is Social Networking Bad for Society?" December 21, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/is-social-networking-bad-for-society/.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Is Social Networking Bad for Society'. 21 December.

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