The Prominence of Social Networking

May 12, 2011
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The prominence of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn have more than quadrupled from 2005 to 2009. These sites provide users with profiles of their backgrounds and interests, while also allowing them to communicate with friends and strangers, and share thoughts, photos, and music. Many users say the sites are good for our society, but others contend that the dangers of social media outweigh the benefits. Society has crossed lines of the proper uses of social media and the unseen limits that are easily crossed.

Advocates of social networking sites argue that these online communities promote increased communication with friends and family, while familiarizing people with valuable computer skills. This may be true; however the opposite sides will argue that these sites increase vulnerability, while lowering student productivity.

According to social buzz, social networking and blogging sites accounted for 17% (about one in every six minutes) of all time spent on the Internet in August 2009. The amount of time Americans spent on social networking sites increased 83% from 2008 to 2009. This is nearly three times as much time as in 2008. While this statistic is scary, the matter of fact is that social media continues to grow in the means of time consumption.

Teens spend an average of nine hours per week on social networking sites. Nine hours a week came from a study from a few years ago, and since has increased. While this fad is on an uprising in today’s generation, it has contributed to a lack and loss of personal skills. There is an undeniable flaw in student’s grammatical work as well, as well as the presentation of themselves in a social situation. Not only are student’s loosing basic skills, they are overlooking the risks that coincide with social networking.

Cyber- bullying and sexting are two of the most common negative connotations that are associated with social networking. According to a recent study done by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 21% of teenage girls and 18% of teenage boys admitted to “sexting.” Sexting consists of sending/posting nude or sexually explicit photographs. Bullying is the second common appearance in the world of social networking. Cyber-bullying allows for teenagers to say things to someone else, without having to face them.

Both, cyber-bullying and sexting have become two very important issues that are vital to being addressed. Media coverage has recently published many stories of students being arrested for sexting, claiming that it is pornography, while the cyber-bullying has been addressed with recent legislation. With the recent measures that are being taken, hopefully the message will be made clear that these things should not be tolerated.

Thirty-five percent of adults and sixty-five percent of teens in America who use the Internet have profiles on social networking sites. Alarming statistics such as these only continue to grow with time. The disadvantages of this time consumption is overlooked and the consequences may not be seen until it is too late. Teenagers while having been raised in a world of technology sees only one side of the picture. What they are overlooking, is the fact that there are negatives with everything that can easily be covered up with the idea of something bigger.

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