Social Networking: Positive or Negative?

We live in a society where your popularity is defined by how many friends you have on facebook. Where you’re only “cool” if you have a lot of followers on twitter. Where the only reason that you remember someone’s birthday is because of a facebook reminder.
 And so the question presents itself… is that okay?
Is it okay that:
  • 39% of Americans spend more time socializing online than face-to-face interactions.
  • 88% of teenagers say that they have seen someone being mean or cruel on a social networking site.
  • 92% of American toddlers have an online presence, ranging anywhere from a single picture posted of them to an entire profile made in their name.
  •  69% of teenagers admit to have put their physical location in a social networking status update.
  • “It may be possible that young people who have no experience of a world without online societies put less value on their real world identities and can therefore be at risk in their real lives, perhaps more vulnerable to impulsive behavior or even suicide.” - Dr. Himanshu Tyagi, West London Mental Health NHS Trust
  • Teens spend an average of nine hours per week on social networking sites.
But isn’t it also great that:
  •  59% of students on the internet say that they have used social networking to discuss educational topics.
  • 60 million Americans said that they got help with major life issues from people on their social network.
  • Social networking sites allow people to express themselves in ways that they cannot normally do.
  • Through social networking you can connect with family and friends who you might not be able to talk to face-to-face due to distance and such things.

Many smart and educated people can argue the benefits of social networking without a problem. For one, social networking can bring people who have the same interests and/or ideas together. Also, for those who do not share the same opinions it is a good way to learn about new ideas and hear from other people’s point of view. Another reason that social networking can be positive is by way of spreading information. I am part of a service group in our school called buildOn and before we do a drive for a certain program or organization, I update my facebook and twitter status to raise awareness about the action that we are taking, and how my friends can help. As a result, people become interested as well as support our project. Here are some examples of that:

However, there are many downsides to social networking as well. It is the main way that many kids and teenagers are cyber-bullied, which has been brought up as a very serious issue recently. Also, it can be very distracting. Even as I am writing this blog, I am being constantly distracted by notifications from twitter, tumblr, and facebook. This makes me wonder, how productive are most kids who have nearly unlimited access to social networking while at home? Also, social networking sites can be extremely unsafe. There are over 700,000 online sexual solicitors that have been identified on these sites. Since many teenagers have not been taught adequate internet safety, many have posted personal things that they though were private, but in reality every post that you make is public and leaves an internet footprint.

This issue is very important to me, as I’m sure it is to most kids in my school as well as in our generation. As I stated in my introduction, my generation is one that is living our lives through the phone, through the computer, or through the TV. We tend to think that we always must be connected in some way to the “outside world”. Also, since I go to a technology-based school and all students receive their own laptops, I wonder how many of us have grades that have slipped due to social networking. 

How distracted do we actually get when we are supposed to be doing our homework? Does it effet our working habits? Does it effect our health? Will it makes us less responsible in the future? These are all questions that I intend to think more on and begin to do my own research about, including making a survey.

Here is my bibliography.

Comments (3)

Klarissa Hudson (Student 2015)
Klarissa Hudson

I noticed that your opening paragraph is fabulous as well as your closing one. The whole blog flows together nicely. I wonder if there could be more pictures throughout the blog. What if you went and did a survey face-to-face or online?

Antoinette Hiller (Student 2015)
Antoinette Hiller

I notice that you added a lot facts to back up your subject. I wonder what other dangers and upsides there are in the social media that others don't know about. What if you add a real life situation about cyber bullying to create a more interesting blog. To add, I find your blog to be very interesting and very well written. I like the way you intertwined yourself with your subject. Your facts are interesting and detailed.