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Impacts of Online Social Networking

Please create an account on a social networking site such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, or any other site. Play with it if you donít have any experience with social networking. Write an essay about the impact and your concerns with online social networking.

Impacts of Online Social Networking

†††††††††††Online social networks (OSNs) have experienced tremendous global growth in the recent past. This has hence attracted intense global research on the impact of online social networking in the society. Teenagers and young adults have been identified as the main users of the social network websites. [blur] The social network websites have become a powerful communication tool among young adults and teenagers as well as section of the older generation who are not averse to modern technological advancements. OSNs have a wide array of effects comprised of both negative and positive impacts[1]. [/blur]

††††††††††† [blur] Major positive impacts of OSNs include the provision of global connectivity. Through social media, one can conveniently connect with a friend, colleague or a family member regardless of their geographical location. OSNs allow one to have friends from any part of the world provided they have access to the internet. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn among others allow people to stay connected and share ideas from different geographical backgrounds. [/blur]

[blur] This gives room to global social integration where people from different backgrounds freely share ideas which leads to global cultural exchange and integration. OSNs allow people to identify individuals with common interests. This allows one to share ideas and gain new information on areas of interests from other people. For instance, social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, suggests to the user new friends based personal profile[2]. [/blur]

††††††††††† [blur] The OSNs have had a positive impact in dissemination of news. Social media increases the cycle speed of both local and international news. Most news corporations are currently relying on social media to gather and share information. Facebook and Twitter for instance has become a major source of breaking news. News gets quickly shared in social media increasing the cycle speed. OSNs have also emerged as strategic marketing tool new and established businesses. Businesses advertise their products and services through sharing information to social media users[3]. [/blur]

††††††††††† User backlash is one of the negative impacts of online social networks. Due to diversity of social media users in terms of religion, political ideologies, and cultural background among others, a post may yield controversy among other users attracting backlash. This backlash may have negative consequences on the user. Use of OSNs may lead cyber bullying. This involves constant harassment of users by other subscribers through inappropriate text messages. Cyber bullies may also share misappropriate pictures and pictures to their victimís social media pages. [/blur]

[blur] The use of OSNs increases the risk of identity theft and fraud. Common personal information posted in user profile of most social media sites is public and can be accessed by anybody. In LinkedIn and Facebook for example, one is usually requested to provide personal information including current and previous occupation. A person may access such information and use it to impersonate the user or to commit a fraud[4]. [/blur]

††††††††††† [blur] My personal concern about the OSNs is that they are a great tool for social interaction and communication among peers at a cheap cost. One only needs the internet to connect to friends through any social media website. OSNs hence save the cost of social connection. I however feel that too much personal information is shared on social media sites and may deliberately or otherwise induce false perception of self from peers and other online friends. [/blur]

[blur] People tend to perceive their friends on social media based on the information that they provide. For instance, some users post pictures of themselves at luxurious places in order to be perceived as rich. Social media sites are addictive and people especially teens spend pretty much time on these sites. This may lead to low performance on obligated physical tasks such as work or school. [/blur] †


[1] Paul, Jomon Aliyas, Hope M. Baker, and Justin Daniel Cochran. "Effect of online social networking on student academic performance." Computers in Human Behavior 28, no. 6 (2012): 2117-2127.

[2] Oh, Hyun Jung, Elif Ozkaya, and Robert LaRose. "How does online social networking enhance life satisfaction? The relationships among online supportive interaction, affect, perceived social support, sense of community, and life satisfaction." Computers in Human Behavior 30 (2014): 69-78.

[3] Aral, Sinan, Chrysanthos Dellarocas, and David Godes. "Introduction to the special issue-social media and business transformation: A framework for research." Information Systems Research 24, no. 1 (2013): 3-13.

[4] Ngai, Eric WT, Spencer SC Tao, and Karen KL Moon. "Social media research: Theories, constructs, and conceptual frameworks." International Journal of Information Management 35, no. 1 (2015): 33-44.

Impacts of Online Social Networking

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