Social Networks Can Be a Way of Connecting People

Subject: Entertainment & Media
Pages: 8
Words: 1960
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: College

Introduction

Social network is a social organization made up of individuals or members who are connected by one or more factors such as friendship, similar interests, kinship, culture, social status and prestige among others aspects (Shah, 2010). Social networking is possible between different people especially at workplace, at school, at church, within the neighborhood and in numerous online websites such as facebook and twitter among many others. Recently, social networking has become a popular development in the society and many people are embracing it across the globe. The majority of people are using the internet to connect with each other since it has variety of users where people can meet new friends, share first hand information, communicate instantly and exchange ideas (Lusted, 2011). The social network has brought people together from different regions in a revolutionary way; apart from this, social network has brought communication to another level and people have been able to interact in very dynamic ways. This research paper will focus on the topic of social networking and will discuss how social network can be a way of connecting people or a way of discouraging people to communicate.

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The emergence of information technology has brought many developments in the communication industry. For a long time companies and government agencies have used internet to communicate which has been facilitated by the use of emails (Shah, 2010). Email has been an effective tool of communication within offices and is now regarded as the most authoritative and official means of communication. Over time, inventors have become more creative in developing instant means of communications, which have come to be referred as social networks.

The social network is the most popular of all, unlike email social network has become the most utilized internet application in the recent past especially among the young generation (Shah, 2010). Just to name a few Facebook, 2go, yahoo messenger and twitter are the most common and popular social networks in the world today (Shah, 2010). This category of social networks has enabled fast and instant communication across the planet, which has largely been a positive attribute in the communication process because it has created positive connection globally. However, with such level of communication there is also some negative impacts because social network has its bad side, which is consequently discouraging people to communicate.

How social network can be a way of connecting people

Foremost, social network is a tool that brings different cultures together since people of different customs can be able to break the cultural barriers through social network. This concept is efficient in a multicultural society as it promotes peace and harmonious living (Hart et al, 2007). Social networking has helped people to learn about different people’s culture, learn to appreciate diversity in cultural ideas and accommodate different people in the society; this helps to connect people together (Hart et al, 2007).

Secondly, social network is a tool that enlightens and educates the society (Lusted, 2011); civil activities and other people who advocate for social change for instance can use social networks to enlighten the society about their rights and so on. Getting the society informed about their rights is an important concept that also ensures that citizens are able to enjoy all the civil liberties granted by a particular state or country. In some cases, people are not fully aware about their rights, as such civil activities can be able to reach a wide population in this era of social network and get people to understand their rights such as issues of constitutional rights and so forth.

Social networking helps people to keep in touch even when they move to different geographical areas since they are cheap means of communication and easy to use; this makes it possible for friends and relatives to keeping it touch regardless of the distance (Hassan, 2008). Additionally, corporate social networking helps individuals to build friendships with people working in the same organization or with other people from different companies and this helps in building a strong team within an organization (Hassan, 2008). This is an effective tool for achieving organization objectives.

Social network can be effectively used to spread messages of hope since it is a tool of communication in the society (Hassan, 2008). For instance, in situation where people are faced with natural calamities including earthquake and famine among others, social network can help in restoring hope to such societies. This has been evident in the recent earthquake that hit Japan early this year where messages of hope were common in the social networks especially facebook which is widely used. Therefore, social networks can restore hope and build unity in the society.

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Social network is offering people the opportunity to transact business; business agencies and companies are advertising their goods and services to a bigger audience through the social network (Hassan, 2008). For instance, people from all regions are carrying out advertisement on social networks by way of advertisement; this need for trade brings various people together and the world is becoming a global village due to the connection.

Social networks make it easy for people in different geographical areas to communicate and share ideas regarding topics of concern and we can therefore argue that social networking eliminates barriers of communication brought by distance (Hassan, 2008). This is because social networks enable people to stay in touch with each other for instance when it facilitates students in the same school to interact. Students can also check with other students from different schools and share ideas about their schools study curriculum for instance.

Social network can effectively promote integrity, discourage negative behavior and fight illegal practices in the society (Lusted, 2011). The community members or citizens of a county can be able to come together and fight negative behavior within their administrations. For instance, in case of corruption and other negative behavior in governments, people can use the social network to fight such behavior for instance by organizing peaceful demonstrations meant to enlighten people and advocate for change (Lusted, 2011). Recently, there has been a revolutionary wave to campaign against poor governance across Middle East and we can see how citizens of different countries have used the social network to organize mass actions aimed at eliminating corrupt and dictatorial regimes as happened in Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya (Hassan, 2008). In fact, in all those nations where the citizens have succeeded in toppling corrupt regimes the social network has played a critical role in facilitating this regime change in more than one way (Hassan, 2008).

Social network helps people to build strong customer relations as well as improve their services since social networks can be used to determine customer interests and expectations by way of survey (Lusted, 2011). Once businesses people are able to connect with their clients on an individual level, they are able to improve their services. Additionally, social networks can solve social problems in a society by lobbying people towards a common goal such as towards implementing development programs, community development programs or community service (Lusted, 2011). The people can also use the social network to communicate, bring new ideas, fight crime and raise funds among other contributions (Lusted, 2011). Community members can be able to come together and contribute towards supporting community projects using social networks (Lusted, 2011). The society today is facing many evils such as soaring crime rates and people can be able to fight this challenge through suggesting ideas and by reporting such cases to the relevant department using social networks.

Furthermore, social networks can be used to track lost friends and relatives in case they have been missing for instance by circulating their pictures online where millions of people will see and probably help (Hassan, 2008). Through social networks, one can be able to reach those friends you have lost contacts with especially if they are not in a position to meet you physically. This means that through the social network one can be able to find missing friends and relative if they happen to be networking with some of your friends.

How social network can be a way of discouraging communication

On the other hand, there is no doubt “that social network can lead to social upheaval and destroy people’s lives” as it can create situations where people will not be able to connect, communicate or relate well. In this section, this paper will discuss extensively how social networks can contribute to misunderstanding and contribute to alienation of people instead of connecting them.

It is said that, face-to-face communication is the most positive and effective aspect of communication; in fact, through face-to-face communication we can be able to detect change of tone and express our mood as we communicate (Hassan, 2008). However, communication through social network does not facilitate any of this. Social network where unchecked have turned out to be an addiction to some people and is depriving individuals with opportunities to interact with real friends since people spend a lot of time chatting with people they do not know who they regard as friends on the social networks (Hassan, 2008). Through social network, people are loosing ties little by little and communication between friends, relatives and family members is fading in one way or the other.

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Social network can be a source of social upheaval through spreading hate message since communication is instant and distributed fast; thus, any message can reach a large number of people within hours (Hassan, 2008). As such, people of ill motive can take such opportunities to communicate hate message that targets certain communities in the society. For instance, an employee in the work place can use the social network to ruin the reputation of his boss through spreading negative and false messages to work colleagues to tarnish his image.

Additionally, social network can be a source of social upheaval when used to harass others. Some people use social network to harass or threaten others and this can discourage many people from using social network system or leave them with psychological scars. Recently, the criminal justice system has dealt with many similar cases where a number of people have been accused, sentenced or even fined for acts of harassment or for threatening and abusing others on social networks. Such cases are especially common at schools and college environments.

Furthermore, social network can have negative impact in the society when used to communicate messages of sexual context (Hassan, 2008). Today, the social network has become popular even among the young generation and children from age of ten are also embracing facebook, twitter and others social sites since it is the trend in fashion. However, some individuals are less sensitive and they are using the social network to spread sexual messages, upload pornographic videos and nude photographs. This negative behavior and can be very destructive to society especially the young teenagers since this will negatively influence their morals.

Conclusion

In summary, we can conclude that social networks have impacts that are more positive rather than those that are negative in numerous ways. Social network has become a popular phenomenon in the society and many people are embracing the new system for communicating, connecting and integrating the society together. In fact, social network has become an instrument of social change and has facilitated change in many societies, so far by spreading messages of hope, helping to save life and restoring hope among the many broken hearts across the world. On the other hand, social network has also negatively influenced the society in many ways such as by nurturing cyber crime, negatively influencing the young people and harassment. However, it is important that the society note the benefits of social network and utilize them in order to promote positive developments and social change in the society.

References

Hassan, R. 2008. The information society. London: Polity press.

Hart. T., Greenfield. M. & Haji. D. 2007. People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Lusted, M. 2011. Social Networking: MySpace, Face book, & Twitter. Texas: ABDO.

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Shah, R. 2010. Social networking for business: choosing the right tools and resources to fit your needs. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.