Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Affects of Social Networking on Society

            I'm going to research what affects social networking sites have on society. I will focus on one social networking site, Facebook, and the affects it has on business, schools, and relationships. I want to see if Facebook primarily has positive or negative affects on business, schools, and personal relationships within a society.
Current Use
            To further my research, I have found the current use of the social networking site, Facebook including how many people use it and the demographics of those people. Facebook is used by a variety of different people across a variety of different countries and a variety of different demographics. I am going to focus on the United States as my country of focus and see how many people currently use Facebook. I want to see what the main age group of users is and what people mainly use it for. Some businesses use social networking sites such as Facebook to promote sales and get their name out there. Some schools use social networking sites such as Facebook to connect teachers with their students. Relationships might be the most affected by Facebook because of the exposure of people’s personal lives and the ability for anyone to view a person’s profile or contact someone.

             Security and account privacy settings that the social networking site, Facebook has to offer are very important but how many of its users actually use them? Facebook usually updates its privacy settings and options quite frequently. As a user myself, I get updates at least monthly saying that the privacy settings have been modified. The creators of Facebook have increased security so that users are able to block access to their profiles to certain people, only allow their designated friends to view their profile including their pictures, posts, etc. This increasing security allows people to choose who can see anything they put on the website and who is not allowed access. There are of course some loopholes around these restrictions, however, that is why Facebook is always updating its privacy settings and creating more options for a safer, more secure social networking site.

Ethical and Social Implications
            There are ethical principals that should be enforced on Facebook because of the negative outcomes that bad ethics have on relationships, business, and school. Facebook ethics includes, but is not limited to, netiquette, only posting appropriate posts and pictures, etc. Even though these ethical principals seem to be common sense to most people, others who are mean spirited use Facebook as a way to bully others. Online bullying, or cyber bullying, has become a huge problem and has even lead to people committing suicide.
Future Use
            There seems to definitely be a future for Facebook but also other upcoming and newly popular social networking sites as well. There has been emergence of other sites that serve different purposes instead of such a broad social networking purpose that Facebook offers. These new sites include, linkedin, instagram, and twitter. Linkedin is a more professional, business social networking site that can connect people. Instagram is where the creative people come together to share and compare photos. Twitter is a more compact version of social networking where users are limited to how much they can include in a post or ‘tweet’. These are other newly emerged social networking sites that many Facebook users are choosing to join as well. Facebook has also recently put itself out on the market of stock. Will people continue to invest in Facebook, or will they start to invest more in these other upcoming sites?

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