Social Networking: Is it Good for our Society?
In July 2012, Americans spent a total of 121.1 billion minutes on social networking sites (procon.org). Social networking has become a big part of people’s lives today. According to a December 2012 Nielson “Social Media Report”, 20% of time spent on a home computer is on social media while 30% of mobile Internet time is spent on social networking sites (procon.org). Sixdegrees.com, which ran from 1997-2001, was the first ever social networking site. Now there has been many different social media sites such as, Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Some proponents of social networking sites say “online communities ...view middle of the document...
People can use social media to get to know a person before personal, business, and other meetings. Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project found that messaging on social networking sites leads to face-to-face interactions when plans are made via the sites and social media users messaged close friends an average of 39 days each year while seeing close friends in person 210 days each year (procon.org).
Social networking can start the spread of untrue and potentially dangerous information. For example, on September 5, 2012 false rumors of fires, shootouts, and caravans of gunmen in a Mexico City suburb spread via Twitter and Facebook caused panic, flooded the local police department with over 3,000 phone calls, and temporarily closed schools (procon.org). Social media is also a source for criminals such as, burglars who would be more likely to find out peoples information via social media. Also, stalkers can gain information about a person from posts, photos, or location tagging services. Other criminals, like gangs use sites to initiate younger members, plan violent crimes, and threaten other gangs. The white supremacist group, Aryan Nation also uses social networking to recruit possible members (procon.org).
Social networking is also a source for law enforcement to catch and try criminals. 67% of federal, local, and state officials surveyed think “social media helps solve crimes more quickly” (procon.org). In 2011, the NYPD added a Twitter tracking unit to help catch the criminals that brag about the crimes online (procon.org). For instance, when the Vancouver Canucks lost the 2011 Stanley Cup, the city of Vancouver evolved into riots (procon.org). Some of the vandals and rioters who use social networking sites, tagged people they knew in over 2,000 of the pictures posted (procon.org).
Social media makes people waste their time. 40%...