Social networking is the grouping of individuals into specific groups, like small rural communities or a neighborhood subdivision, if you will. Although social networking is possible in person, especially in the workplace, universities, and high schools, it is most popular online. This paper explores the pros and cons of social networking, different views and thoughts of knowledge society, applications and issues are relates to social networking. Social Networking is a nice form of entertainment, great for meeting people with similar interests, and can be a very effective business technique for entrepreneurs, writers, actors, musicians or artists. Most of us have hobbies, or things that we are keenly interested in such as books, television, video games or movies.
Social networks allow us to reach out to others that have the same interests. Social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have become nearly inescapable facets of modern life, particularly for kids. In the knowledge society, in addition to technical skills and access to information technologies, it is becoming increasingly important for people to have diversified and supportive social connections. Although resources and opportunities may be available, one may not necessarily be aware of their existence, or even have direct access to them. In those cases, knowing people from different backgrounds, grades of expertise, and social levels turns out to be essential. Key Words: Social Networking, Knowledge Society, Facebook, Twitter, Virtual Platform, pros and cons.
Social Networking has become very popular during the past few years, but it can still be very difficult to understand for someone new to social networking. The open-ended natures of social networks add to this. Once signed onto a social network, having answered a few basic profile questions, it is easy to sit back and wonder what you are supposed to do next. These days the social networking sites have become extremely popular among the youth as well as the professional people. Keeping in mind, the growing popularity of these sites and the effect it has and the benefits that it brings along, it can be easily predicted that its popularity is sure to grow much more. Some of the sites such as Friendster and MySpace are the two most popular sites that aim to build special niche for people who share common interests and passions. Whereas social networking sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn are more professionally related and help the business men promote their businesses. However, everything has a positive and negative side.
Similarly, the social networking sites are also made up of their set of pros and cons. Meaning Social networking is the grouping of individuals into specific groups, like small rural communities or a neighborhood subdivision, if you will. Although social networking is possible in person, especially in the workplace, universities, and high schools, it is most popular online. It is a virtual social world where you make friends, exchange photographs, strike business deals, play games, fall in love, split, fight, argue and quarrel without having met these people in flesh and blood. Is this good for friendships, business, love and long-lasting relationships? Or does it eat into direct contact by taking you away from your immediate family, real friends and work?
Does it get youngsters addicted to different forms of social networking? Benefits Social Networks join people with common interests under one roof and makes the communication much easier especially for those who have difficulties in interacting with people face to face. However you should always remember that once you enter the world of Social Networking it will become rather difficult for you to get out of it. So be so prudent in order not to be caught in the net of Social networking. 1. No one can deny that despite all those negative opinions about Social Networks they do have a strong impact on us and taking into consideration how fast their popularity is International Journal of Research in Management, Economics and Commerce growing, it is not difficult to predict that this influence will become even more perceivable in the nearest future. 2. So once we can do nothing but watch the development of Social Networks we had better look for and find the advantages they possess rather than point out their negative sides all the time (don’t be so skeptical, they do have positive sides).
3. In general the main vocation of a Social Network is to be a virtual platform where people can communicate and share information with their friends. 4. As you can see there is no danger in this mission, the vice versa. 5. Nevertheless, nowadays such kind of websites has gone far from their initial destination and that is the main reason why people are ambiguous about their usefulness. 6. In any case Social websites have fulfilled humans’ long – standing dream that is the opportunity for quick and reliable information. 7. In addition they enable people to create and strengthen relationships. PROS AND CONS OF SOCIAL NETWORKING Pros: The social networking websites are more like the virtual meeting places where people can just chill and hang out with friends. They can discuss on different topics, share information, and exchange files and pictures.
There are some people who use these sites as a platform to meet long lost friend and batch mates, whereas there are others for whom it becomes a bridge to meet their future love. You can either reconnect with your friends and family members or search a dating partner. Some people also use these websites to promote their blogs and services. The professional people uses this as a medium to raise their visibility, get noticed, tell about their company, service, and get more clients. By joining different communities, now people can easily know about the latest news related to that community. You can easily get the experts advice on any challenge you may face related to their topic of interest. And the best part of this is that the advice is free.
You don’t need to pay a single paisa for it. Experts are always ready to give their advice and share information with you. These are just some of the several positive things that have contributed to make social networking really popular among people and spread smiles. It has made world a small pace and everyone can stay connected. Cons: Social networking of course helps in a lot of ways but the users have to really careful to stay secure and safe. Security is one of the topmost concerns of social networking sites that you currently use. This is mainly because the social networking sites allow you to display your personal information such as name, location, and email address. There are some people who always in search of a fake identity. If they get all the information about you on internet, they may use your identity for different type of illegal activities, which may cause you problems in future. It is always advisable to don’t provide your entire identity information online. You may get many requests for adding as friends or joining different communities.
Always try to know as much as possible before adding anyone as friend or joining any community. Because they may use fake identity or may involve in some illegal activities, which may spoil your image. Social networking sites (SNSs) have their own pros and cons. 1. They serve to be a good medium to stay connected with friends and family, to meet new people, and make new friends. 2. Often, we see people using the platform to make important announcements, inform each other about new businesses and personal developments in one’s life. 3. It serves as an effective method for reaching out to people and get instant reactions. 4. Those who are shy and slow to warm up are seen to find this a safer zone to initiate conversations. 5. It is less threatening and gives the space to be out there, yet not lose your control. 6. This can be comforting for people who are otherwise fearful of having to make direct, head-on conversation with others. 7. Our society is not a homogeneous group. It comprises all kinds of people, from varying backgrounds and mindset. This can neither be controlled nor overlooked.
DIFFERENT VIEWS AND THOUGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING
Siddharth Iyer, who began logging on to Facebook when he was on the cusp of adolescence, is very positive about his experience on the site. He is logged in for an average of 15 to 16 hours a day and around 105 hours in a week! “I have made some good friends, also learnt some unknown things about my friends, have been able to showcase my musical, trekking and photography talents to a large audience due to social networking.” But he admits that it can be extremely addictive. “I used to read a lot more than I do now due to time spent on the Internet. It has happened that my social networking has eaten into my real relationships time.” Delhi-based psychiatrist Dr Sanjay Chugh says, “Any technological creation used in moderation, to a degree where it doesn’t affect other important aspects of one’s life, is acceptable.
This stands true even for social networking sites. Often, people, especially youngsters suffering from insomnia, are reported to be hooked on to these sites all through the night. This dependence, in turn, continues to maintain the insomnia, as the person may not be able to withdraw and focus on other lifestyle changes that need to be created in order to deal with the problem. Similarly, it is seen that those who are depressed and experience acute boredom, tend to find refuge in logging on to networking sites and eventually get hooked to it as the only medium for social engagement.” Dr Chugh says that problems arise mainly because most of these sites have an age criteria where one needs to be 18 or above to create an account and start accessing it. “But unfortunately, there is little attention paid to this and we see children as young as 10 using Facebook. In such cases, it is important that parental supervision is maintained, for often the site’s privacy settings may not be very secure by itself. Due to this, young children may get exposed to information, material that may not be age appropriate.
Children’s mental and emotional maturity level to understand certain kind of content must be kept in mind,” he says. Dr Sanjukta Dasgupta, dean, humanities, Calcutta University, says, “Social networking is more a fad in India. We are perhaps identifying the English-speaking youth population who regard themselves as the Che Guevaras of cyber space. After all, the virtual space is also about performing incognito. Perhaps it encourages the reclusive, introvert folks to engage socially without coming into face-to-face contact. The blogs are fascinating, for without realising it, young people are perhaps honing their composition skills. The essay writing as compulsory homework has been replaced by blogs, composition writing is voluntarily undertaken.
It has generated countless writers and readers, and this is very good.” But she adds that exposure to audiovisual and social media throughout their adolescence makes them skeptical, disillusioned and even cynical by the time they reach adulthood. It is a strange and very significant phenomenon. Inspired adolescents drugged into consuming media stories and images become so indifferent by the time they reach adulthood. In a recent debate on the pros and cons of social networking by youngsters, Anuj Tiwari (name changed), a student, said, “Social networking on the Internet is important in this day and age because the Net is the place to be for everything. People head to the Internet to shop, to sell things, to learn things, to meet others and to find what they’re looking for. And the Internet is full of Web 2.0 social networking sites and tools that make it very easy to connect with others. You want to involve yourself heavily in social networking via the web because the reach you’ll have is literally global – you have the potential of coming into contact with millions of others. You can make friends and make business contacts. These will impact your future success with an online business.”
He cites the positive side of social media networking. In 2001, Ajay Mamuktala from Mumbai was able to raise around 20 lakh from a campaign he ran on Twitter for cancer patients. In 2005, John Bunnel, a US-based sheriff was able to mobilise 5000 youngsters for a basic life-support training campaign only through his Facebook campaigns. In 2008, President Barack Obama reached out to millions of people on a very personal level with the help of Twitter. And the latest are the Facebook and other online campaigns in support of Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption. This is what social networking can do for people. Sanjay Jain (name changed), however, does not agree. “It is especially the younger ones who are more prone to being addicted to SNSs. They have taken to it like they were earlier gripped by comic books or video games or smoking or some other teenage fad. Teenage and early adulthood is the time when we’re growing out of the secure cocoons of our homes, and begin to come into contact with the outside world.
At this stage, when our young minds should be engaged in dealing with the realities of life and relationships, they are dipping their body and souls into a virtual reality. You can never be sure of the real person behind the profile that he/she has put up. Some do not even live double lives — they just have one identity: online. This also poses the threat of an addicted, avid social networker becoming an actual social outcast. We have heard of youngsters committing suicide over rumours spread over some networks about their identities.” A new study published in April 2010 from the International Centre for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of Maryland concludes that most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable to be without their media links to the world.
“I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening,” said one person in the study. “I feel like most people these days are in a similar situation, for between having a Blackberry, a laptop, a television and an iPod, people have become unable to shed their media skin.” The new ICMPA study, “24 Hours: Unplugged,” asked 200 students at the College Park campus to give up all media for 24 hours. After their 24 hours of abstinence, the students were then asked to blog on private class websites about their experiences: to report their successes and admit to any failures. The 200 students wrote more than 1, 10,000 words: in aggregate, about the same number of words as a 400-page novel. However, the American Psychiatric Association does not recognise so-called Internet addiction as a disorder.
EMERGING TRENDS IN SOCIAL NETWORKING
As the increase in popularity of social networking is on a constant rise, new uses for the technology are constantly being observed. At the forefront of emerging trends in social networking sites is the concept of “real-time web” and “location based.” Real time allows users to contribute content, which is then broadcasted as it is being uploaded – the concept is analogous to live radio and television broadcasts. Twitter set the trend for “real time” services, where users can broadcast to the world what they are doing, or what is on their minds within a 140 character limit. Face book followed suit with their “Live Feed” where users’ activities are streamed as soon as it happens. While Twitter focuses on words, Clixtr another real time service, focuses on group photo sharing where users can update their photo streams with photos while at an event. Facebook, however, remains easily the greatest photo sharing site – Facebook application and photo aggregator Pixable estimates that Facebook will have 100 billion photos by Summer 2011. Companies have begun to merge business technologies and solutions, such as cloud computing, with social networking concepts.
Instead of connecting individuals based on social interest, companies are developing interactive communities that connect individuals based off shared business needs or experiences. Many provide specialized networking tools and applications that can be accessed via their websites, such as LinkedIn Others companies, such as Monster.com, have been steadily developing a more “socialized” feel to their career center sites to harness some of the power of social networking sites. These more business related sites have their own nomenclature for the most part but the most common naming conventions are “Vocational Networking Sites” or “Vocational Media Networks”, with the former more closely tied to individual networking relationships based on social networking principles. One popular use for this new technology is social networking between businesses. Companies have found that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great ways to build their brand image. According to Jody Nimetz, author of Marketing Jive, there are five major uses for businesses and social media: to create brand awareness, as an online reputation management tool, for recruiting, to learn about new technologies and competitors, and as a lead generation tool to intercept potential prospects.
Social networks and science One other use that is being discussed is the use of social networks in the science communities. Julia Porter Liebeskind et al. have published a study on how new biotechnology firms are using social networking sites to share exchanges in scientific knowledge. They state in their study that by sharing information and knowledge with one another, they are able to “increase both their learning and their flexibility in ways that would not be possible within a self-contained hierarchical organization.” Social networking is allowing scientific groups to expand their knowledge base and share ideas, and without these new means of communicating their theories might become “isolated and irrelevant”. Social networks and education Social networks are also being used by teachers and students as a communication tool. Because many students are already using a wide-range of social networking sites, teachers have begun to familiarize themselves with this trend and are now using it to their advantage.
Teachers and professors are doing everything from creating chat-room forums and groups to extend classroom discussion to posting assignments, tests and quizzes, to assisting with homework outside of the classroom setting. Social networks are also being used to foster teacher-parent communication. These sites make it possible and more convenient for parents to ask questions and voice concerns without having to meet face-to-face. The advent of social networking platforms may also be impacting the way(s) in which learners engage with technology in general. For a number of years, Prensky’s (2001) dichotomy of Digital Nativesand Digital Immigrants has been considered a relatively accurate representation of the ease with which people of different ages particularly those born before and after 1980–use technology.
Prensky’s theory has largely been disproved not least on account of the burgeoning popularity of social networking sites and other metaphors such as White and Le Cornu’s Visitors and Residents (2011) are gaining greater currency. The use of online social networks by libraries is also an increasingly prevalent and growing tool that is being used to communicate with more potential library users, as well as extending the services provided by individual libraries. Social networks and grassroots organizing.
Social networks are being used by activists as a means of low-cost grassroots organizing. Extensive use of an array of social networking sites enabled organizers of the 2009 National Equality March to mobilize an estimated 200,000 participants to march on Washington with a cost savings of up to 85% per participant over previous methods. The August 2011 riots in the United Kingdom were similarly considered to have escalated and been fuelled by this type of grassroots organization. Social networks and employment A final rise in social network use is being driven by college students using the services to network with professionals for internship and job opportunities. Many studies have been done on the effectiveness of networking online in a college setting, and one notable one is by Phipps Arabie and Yoram Wind published in Advances in Social Network Analysis.
Social network hosting service A social network hosting service is a web hosting service that specifically hosts the user creation of web-based social networking services, alongside related applications. Such services are also known as vertical social networks due to the creation of SNSes which cater to specific user interests and niches; like larger, interest-agnostic SNSes, such niche networking services may also possess the ability to create increasingly niche groups of users. An example for this would be Ning. Business model Few social networks currently charge money for membership. In part, this may be because social networking is a relatively new service, and the value of using them has not been firmly established in customers’ minds. Companies such as MySpace and Facebook sell online advertising on their site. Their business model is based upon large membership count, and charging for membership would be counterproductive.
Some believe that the deeper information that the sites have on each user will allow much better targeted advertising than any other site can currently provide. Social networks operate under an autonomous business model, in which a social network’s members serve dual roles as both the suppliers and the consumers of content. This is in contrast to a traditional business model, where the suppliers and consumers are distinct agents. Revenue is typically gained in the autonomous business model via advertisements, but subscription-based revenue is possible when membership and content levels are sufficiently high.
Privacy: Privacy concerns with social networking services have been raised growing concerns amongst users on the dangers of giving out too much personal information and the threat of sexual predators. Users of these services also need to be aware of data theft or viruses. However, large services, such as Myspace and Netlog, often work with law enforcement to try to prevent such incidents. Data mining: Through data mining, companies are able to improve their sales and profitability. With this data, companies create customer profiles that contain customer demographics and online behavior. A recent strategy has been the purchase and production of “network analysis software”. This software is able to sort out through the influx of social networking data for any specific company. Facebook has been especially important to marketing strategists. Facebook’s controversial and new “Social Ads” program gives companies access to the millions of profiles in order to tailor their ads to a Facebook user’s own interests and hobbies.
However, rather than sell actual user information, Facebook sells tracked “social actions”. Notifications on websites: There has been a trend for social networking sites to send out only ‘positive’ notifications to users. For example sites such as Bebo, Facebook, and Myspace will not send notifications to users when they are removed from a person’s friends list. Similarly Bebo will send out a notification if a user is moved to the top of another user’s friends list but no notification is sent if they are moved down the list. This allows users to purge undesirables from their list extremely easily and often without confrontation since a user will rarely notice if one person disappears from their friends list. It also enforces the general positive atmosphere of the website without drawing attention to unpleasant happenings such as friends falling out, rejection and failed relationships.
Access to information: Many social networking services, such as Facebook, provide the user with a choice of who can view their profile. This prevents unauthorized user(s) from accessing their information. Parents who want to access their child’s MySpace or Facebook account have become a big problem for teenagers who do not want their profile seen by their parents. By making their profile private, teens can select who may see their page, allowing only people added as “friends” to view their profile and preventing unwanted viewing of the profile by parents. Most teens are constantly trying to create a structural barrier between their private life and their parents.
Potential for misuse: The relative freedom afforded by social networking services has caused concern regarding the potential of its misuse by individual patrons.
Risk for child safety: Citizens and governments have been concerned by a misuse by child and teenagers of social networking services, particularly in relation to online sexual predators. A certain number of actions have been engaged by governments to better understand the problem and find some solutions. Trolling: A common misuse of social networking sites such as Facebook is that it is occasionally used to emotionally abuse individuals. Such actions are often referred to as trolling. It is not rare for confrontations in the real world to be translated online. Trolling is not to be confused with cyber-bullying. Online bullying: Online bullying, also called cyber-bullying, is a relatively common occurrence and it can often result in emotional trauma for the victim. Depending on the networking outlet, up to 39% of users admit to being “cyber-bullied”. Interpersonal communication: Interpersonal communication has been a growing issue as more and more people have turned to social networking as a means of communication.
Psychological effects of social networking: As social networking sites have risen in popularity over the past years, people have been spending an excess amount of time on social networking sites and on the Internet in general. The excessive amount of time that people spend on social networking sites has led researchers to debate the establishment of Internet addiction as an actual clinical disorder. Social networking can also affect the extent to which a person feels lonely. Investigations: Social networking services are increasingly being used in legal and criminal investigations. Information posted on sites such as MySpace and Facebook has been used by police (forensic profiling), probation, and university officials to prosecute users of said sites.
In some situations, content posted on MySpace has been used in court. Facebook is increasingly being used by school administrations and law enforcement agencies as a source of evidence against student users. The site, the number one online destination for college students, allows users to create profile pages with personal details. These pages can be viewed by other registered users from the same school which often include resident assistants and campus police who have signed up for the service.
APPLICATION OF SOCIAL NETWORKING
Government: Social networking is more recently being used by various government agencies. Social networking tools serve as a quick and easy way for the government to get the opinion of the public and to keep the public updated on their activity. Business: The use of social networking services in an enterprise context presents the potential of having a major impact on the world of business and work (Fraser & Dutta 2008). Social networks connect people at low cost; this can be beneficial for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to expand their contact bases. These networks often act as a customer relationship management tool for companies selling products and services. Companies can also use social networks for advertising in the form of banners and text ads. Since businesses operate globally, social networks can make it easier to keep in touch with contacts around the world.
Applications for social networking sites have extended toward businesses and brands are creating their own, high functioning sites, a sector known as brand networking. It is the idea a brand can build its consumer relationship by connecting their consumers to the brand image on a platform that provides them relative content, elements of participation, and a ranking or score system. Brand networking is a new way to capitalize on social trends as a marketing tool. Datin: Many social networks provide an online environment for people to communicate and exchange personal information for dating purposes. Intentions can vary from looking for a one time date, short-term relationships, and long-term relationships. Most of these social networks, just like online dating services, require users to give out certain pieces of information. This usually includes a user’s age, gender, location, interests, and perhaps a picture.
Releasing very personal information is usually discouraged for safety reasons. Education: The National School Boards Association reports that almost 60 percent of students who use social networking talk about education topics online and, surprisingly, more than 50 percent talk specifically about schoolwork. Yet the vast majority of school districts have stringent rules against nearly all forms of social networking during the school day even though students and parents report few problem behaviors online. Social networks focused on supporting relationships between teachers and their students are now used for learning, educator professional development, and content sharing. Finance: The uses of virtual currency systems inside social networks create new opportunities for global finance. Hub Culture operates a virtual currency Ven used for global transactions among members, product sales and financial trades in commodities and carbon credits.
Medical: Social networks are beginning to be adopted by healthcare professionals as a means to manage institutional knowledge, disseminate peer to peer knowledge and to highlight individual physicians and institutions. The advantage of using a dedicated medical social networking site is that all the members are screened against the state licensing board list of practitioners. Social and political: Social networking sites have recently showed a value in social and political movements. In the Egyptian revolution, Facebook and Twitter both played a pivotal role in keeping people connected to the revolt. Egyptian activist have credited social networking sites with providing a platform for planning protest and sharing news from Tahrir Square in real time. By presenting a platform for thousands of people to instantaneously share videos of mainly events featuring brutality, social networking proves to be a vital tool in revolutions.
Social Networking is a nice form of entertainment, great for meeting people with similar interests, and can be a very effective business technique for entrepreneurs, writers, actors, musicians or artists. Most of us have hobbies, or things that we are keenly interested in such as books, television, video games or movies. Social networks allow us to reach out to others that have the same interests. Social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have become nearly inescapable facets of modern life, particularly for kids. A new report suggests they can have real benefits and risks for children.
These sites, and virtual gaming worlds, allow users to interact with each other and they are where children and adolescents are spending a lot, if not most, of their free time, according to a report on the impact of social media just released by the American Academy of Paediatrics. The report says that more than half of adolescents log on to a social media website at least once a day, and nearly one-quarter of teens say they log on to their favourite social media sites 10 or more times each day. In the knowledge society, in addition to technical skills and access to information technologies, it is becoming increasingly important for people to have diversified and supportive social connections. Although resources and opportunities may be available, one may not necessarily be aware of their existence, or even have direct access to them. In those cases, knowing people from different backgrounds, grades of expertise, and social levels turns out to be essential.
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