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The Perils Of Social Networking Essay

1382 words - 6 pages

Social networking sites, such as Facebook, promote sharing of personal information, dissemination of potential misinformation regarding activism and leaves users in danger of incurring many other offenses. Before the internet, people’s expectations were only as pressing as the technology that they had at their fingertips. These days, instant gratification is a conceivable reality and many people feel that they must have a cell phone, use email and would be culturally remiss without participation in a social networking site. To foster this participation, social networking sites allow the user to create a profile which reflects who they are and give them the ability to share it with others. It also allows for relationships and connections to networks of interest-based groups. The negative impacts of this cultural phenomenon are becoming apparent with the intensity of its popularity. In fact, according to the Facebook website, of the more than five hundred million active users, at least half log onto the site, daily (Facebook). With the number of users logging onto Facebook alone, there’s no wonder how this technological marvel can quickly turn dim.
Negative impacts of social networking sites include: identity theft, cyber bullying, perils of employment vs. social networking and abuses of online activism. Just like the introduction of the television, social networking is making a drastic cultural upheaval, ushering in an age where information is nearly limitless and you can be, virtually, whomever you want. Prior to the advent of electronic communication, such as, the use of cell phones, electronic mail and social networking sites, there was more human interaction. There was more letter writing, evening walks and cultivating of true relationships. Now, many of those endeavors have been replaced by the mouse clicks of a social networking site user. While this phenomenon has undoubtedly brought people from all over the world together, the physical connections of individual relationships have suffered.
Participation in activism was once a proud activity where a group of like-minded individuals got together for marches, picketing and sit-ins for a cause; however, as electronic activism intensifies, people are encouraged to donate to charities through social networking groups and games, such as the ones that can be found on Facebook. Electronic petitions have also gained in popularity. “Facebook activism runs the risk of replacing real activism and other forms of civic participation with a less tangible and, arguably, less effective activity” (Dugan), says Laura Dugan of allfacebook.com. Facebook allows you to “like” or join certain groups and invite your “friends” to do the same. This practice, effectively, creates large groups of people who may not even know what they are supporting or denouncing. Dugan argues that this approach will “pique interest in a cause. But many people who join the group are ill informed or not all that...

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