This is a guest post by Holly McCarthy edited by me.
Living in isolation is not a trait of a human being and this is the reason why we all need someone to talk to and emote with. In our daily lives, we interact with people at varied levels – in workplace, in our residing premises, at community gatherings and so on. It is driven by this basic instinct of humans that now various online social networking sites have come into vogue. Some of the popular sites like MySpace and Friendster aim to build communities of people who share common interests and objectives.
A social networking site is like a virtual meeting place where people join to connect with varied interest groups, and build up new acquaintances. It provides a socializing platform for people of diverse backgrounds, nationalities and professions. You can connect with different knowledge groups and build upon your own awareness level. Some use these networking sites to promote their blogs, to post bulletins or even to pursue prospective love alliances.
Social networking sites also offer ample opportunities for small business entrepreneurs as they are easy to use, and involve least monetary obligations in most cases. In comparison, creating and maintaining a commercial website might be a costly proposition for small business set ups. Social networking sites have also established themselves as reliable and effective outlets of advertising.
The biggest edge that online networking has over other socializing media is that most of these sites provide free networking avenues, hence making it well within the reach of common man.
Besides the various advantages of social networking sites listed above, off late some grave security concerns have also surfaced that could be considered its disadvantages as well. As internet provides easy access to information, it has made it very easy for individuals to claim to be someone who they are not.
However, it is strongly advised to make sure that safety and security are the topmost concerns while you use these social networking sites. This is because social networking sites require or give you the option to provide personal information such as your name, location, and email address. Unfortunately some people can take this as an opportunity for identity theft. They can copy your information and pretend to be “you” while engaging in illegal activities. This leads to cyber-stalking, where the stalker uses electronic media such as the internet to harass you.
Another issue is privacy, when signing up for a facebook account and filling up all the personal information, you are providing more information to strangers who otherwise will never have access to when meeting in other social settings. While it might help to discover someone new, there is much more unwarranted attention, giving “social eningeerers” a easy way to harvest your personal data for sale.
In view of above advantages and disadvantages of social networking sites, we need to understand that this is a medium that comes both, with opportunities and risks. The need of the hour is that this powerful platform of creating human connections should be exploited in positive ways to make this world a better place to live in. Let us try to merge in people of diverse backgrounds to positively channelize efforts of individuals.
Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of an online school for bachelor degrees. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com