One of the key attributes amongst living things is communication. There are many ways for humans to communicate, whether it is face to face, telegrams, snail mail, texting, et cetera. The form of communication that has rapidly increased over the years is social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google Plus, et cetera. In fact, according to Pew Internet, as of 2012, eighty-one percent of teenagers who use the Internet are using it for social networking sites (Madden et al.). Furthermore, as of May 2013, seventy-two percent of adults who are online are social networking sites users, which is five percent higher than a year ago and sixty-four percent higher than where it was in February 2005 (Brenner and Smith). With the numbers of users rising over the years, it has become clear social networking sites has established itself as a legitimate form of communication, whether for personal, educational, or even professional use. While there are some concerns about using social networking sites – many of them being valid – the advantages of using social networking sites outweigh the disadvantages, which will be addressed shortly. Moreover, when it comes to communicating with others, social networking is more advantageous than any other form of communication, including face to face communication.
Opponents of social networking, however, may refute the claim of social networking sites being more beneficial than face to face communication. One disadvantage of social networking that opponents point to is the lack of personal interaction between people. While communicating via social networking is an expedient way to communicate with everyone, it is missing the intimacy and personal connection between all of the parties involved. Furthermore, it is difficult to ascertain whether or not the person at the other end is the actual person him or herself, which segues into the next argument.
In addition to the lack of personal interaction and lack of verification, other disadvantages opponents of social networking point to are the lack of privacy and potential security concerns. There is a fear of someone hacking into a person’s account and steal valuable information of said person to use for malicious purposes, such as identity theft, for instance. If the wrong person is successful in stealing another person’s information, the results could be potentially devastating for the victim.
Another con of using social networking sites is that it can be addictive if someone spends too much time on them. This could have dire consequences if students are spending too much time chatting with their friends on Facebook, an employee playing games on social networking sites instead of working on productivity reports, just to name a couple of scenarios. There is even a possibility of someone incurring health problems, such as sleep deprivation, joint problems, and blurry vision, just to name a few examples, from spending too much time on social networking...