Are Social Networking Sites Good For Our Society?
Social networks are more destructive then they are constructive. One the ways in which social media is destructive is that it distracts from issues that are more important. Studies show that students who use social media have lower grades than those who refrain from it. In addition, known is the fact that most people, who are addicted to social media, will stop doing almost anything to reply to messages on social media or text messages. It is said that social media change the mind structure and make them more prone to Attention Deficit Disorder. Although one can argue that young people learn from the social media, it is also equally debatable that the social media is not the only way to learn, and as long as it has its disadvantages, its best to look for other means of learning.
Social media leads to wastage of time. Time used to chat in the social media is time that could be used for fro more important activities. Extensive research done in the wake of the social media shows social media takes up more time than watching television or going shopping, both of which are considered a waste of time. The same study shows that, people who are very active in the social networks jump at the opportunity to explore something new on the sites and even when they resume their original activities, they are not fully focused on it for a period. Different studies show that social networks have boosted business activity by being able to interact with groups that are rarely found offline. This positive note is only one sided, since only the people conducting the business profit. The targeted audience may be hooked on the products being offered and consequently get addicted to the social networks.
Social networks causes spoil business relationships for employees who frequent them. Since social media uses informal means of communication, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are more likely to be found in the work done. Not only employees are affected, celebrities who use social networks to communicate with their fans suffer its adverse effects. In the 2012 Olympics, some prominent athletes were banned from competing due to posting racial slurs on the sites. Although some may argue that people use social media to improve relationships and make new friends, there are other safer ways to make friends.
Another shortcoming of the social media is that social networking might harm employee productivity. Research carried out show that most people access the networking sites while at work. With the number of people joining the sites on an increase, companies waste many hours cumulatively to the social media. On the other hand, social media has boosted the economy and increased job opportunities by the thousands. This is a small consolation compared to the work force that is wasted on the social media.
Social media also enhances criminal activities. Nowadays gangs recruit new members on social media. The ability of people to share files on sites like face book violate copy write laws. This may result in the loss of income for the artists. In addition, sexual predators have found new ways for looking for their targets on these sites. Only few positive notes come on this front. For one, artists can reach a large audience without paying for corporate contracts. In addition, new artists can get recognition easier on social media.
Social networks have an adverse effect on learning. Some students who access the networks are known to share examinations and answers on these web pages and hence the students who have not taken the test yet are privy to this information. On a more positive note, social media allow students and researchers wider access to learning material. In addition, it makes the process of learning easier and research fields are broadened. Nevertheless, this is rarely the case, most people surf the social media for reasons other than learning. The process of learning is therefore diluted by the social media.
Social media affects physical interaction. Studies done on social media show that people who spend a lot of time in the social media tend to spend less time with their family and friends. This leads to social isolation and degrading of health due to lack of physical activity. Although some studies show that social networking might have positive results on people that are very shy, there are less harmful ways to get help for that. Those that are not socially adept could get counseling services, which is a more effective way of dealing with the problems they face.
Social media provide channels for dispersal of phony information. The ease of access for these sites and freedom of expression allow people to share whatever information they want. This information may not be viable. Information about health issues or religion might mislead the people viewing the information. In some countries, offering such advice without a license is seen as criminal activity. Some of the information found in the networks is legitimate and safe to take into consideration, the challenge is figuring out what is credible and what is not. There are proper channels, which one can follow to get information they need.
“Are Social Networking Sites Good For Our Society?” ProCon.org. n.d Friday June 28, 2013.
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