When analyzing the role of social media in American society, several questions come to mind. What is social media and are these social media and networking sites helpful to the people of America; can these sites be used to enhance or do they intrude in the relationships people have with others, and can they be integrated into their daily lives successfully. As the world becomes more and more technology friendly, the internet has transformed into a place that nearly everyone can go to get away. With the constant click of a mouse for some is all it takes to relieve the stress of their day.
Social media and networking sites have changed the fundamental nature of the way Americans live and do business and how millions of people access information. It is fast becoming the basis for social life, the new culture of America. It is redefining the values and ideas Americans hold about themselves, from achievement and their daily activities to their external conformity and individualism. It has democratized the media, and taken control of what gets read from the protectors of print and broadcast corporations and gave it back to the people. Social media has spread to just about every area of our lives, from politics and entertainment to business and world culture. Many people no longer read or watch the stories through the traditional media outlets; newspapers, radio or television. Reading or viewing a story of interest is only a mouse click away. Whether this is good or bad, it is now a fact of life.
The best way to define social media is to break it down. Media is an instrument of communication, like a newspaper or a radio, so social media would be a social instrument of communication. This would be any website that does not just give information, but interacts with the user while giving information. This interaction can be as simple as leaving comments, voting on something, or recommending movies to someone based on the similar interests of other people. Traditional media was a one-way street limiting the ability to give any thought on the issues at hand. Social media, however, offers a two-way street effect that enables the user the ability to communicate. Social media is a great tool for both keeping in touch with family and friends, as well as staying up to date on current affairs worldwide. Social media and networking sites have become popular these days and people of all ages, denominations, color and creed are meeting online to interact at social media websites.
There is debate over these social networking sites; do the benefits outweigh the dangers? Some people argue that social networking sites promote increased communication with friends and family, familiarize people with valuable computer skills, and allow contact and interactions with people from around the world. Others argue that these sites expose children to predators, increase vulnerability to computer viruses, lower worker productivity, and promote narcissism and short...