Are Social Networking Sites Good For A Society?

2045 words - 9 pages

Social networking sites can be deemed this century’s phenomenon. These websites have, throughout the years, grown from having at least 10,000 members logging on daily, to 1,000,000 active users daily. According to Danah M. Boyd and Nicole B. Ellison, social networking sites are “web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within a system” (211). Boyd and Ellison also asserts that “The first recognizable social network site launched in 1997. allowed users to create ...view middle of the document...

Social networking sites are the top news source for 27.8% of Americans, ranking close to newspapers (28.8%) and above radio (18.8%) and other print publications (6%)” (n.pag.). Due to the fact that social networking sites are so popular, many people use it as a means to distribute information, as they understand that it will reach a relatively large amount of people. For example, “studies have found that adolescents and young adults are not only interested in utilizing social networking sites for communicating with friends, but also for searching and obtaining health-related information” (“A Systematic Review of Social Networking Sites: Innovative Platforms for Health Research Targeting Adolescents and Young Adults” 257). This shows that social networking sites are great tools for maximizing the dissemination of important and useful information with just a touch of a button. This advantage causes many to be informed and conscious about the disease-plague world they live in.

Nevertheless, although this is so, in most cases, not all of the information distributed throughout these sites is factual. In actuality, social networking sites spread potentially dangerous and false information at large. Statistics from “Social Networking,” showed that “49.1% of people have heard breaking news via social media that turned out to be false” (n.pag.). Also, on September 5th, 2012, Olga R. Rodriguez reported that “false rumoursof fires, shootouts, and caravans of gunmen in a Mexico City suburb spread via Twitter and Facebook. This caused

panic, flooded the local police department with over 3,000 phone calls, and temporarily closed schools” (n. pag.). Through this, one is able to understand that social networking sites act as a means through which false information is distributed more rapidly than accurate and correct information in the news cycle. Moreover, many also argue that social networking sites offer students, teachers, and librarian’s valuable access to educational material. Currently, “the number of educators, administrators, and institutions that utilize social networking has increased dramatically. Many have adopted social networking in order to be up-to-date and connected with their students’ learning beyond the boundaries of the classroom” (“Boundaries and Limits: Part 1: Ethics” 25). “Social Networking” statistics revealed that:

59% of students with access to the Internet report that they use social networking sites to discuss educational topics and 50% use the sites to talk about school assignments. After George Middle School in Portland was introduced to a social media program to engage students, grades went up by 50%; chronic absenteeism went down by 33%, and 20% of students school-wide voluntarily completed extra-credit assignments. (n. pag.)

This depicts that social media is a form of teaching strategy that caused students to become engaged and active in learning. “Some teachers argue that students are already present in social networks...

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