Before social media, the sharing of information still existed back then, currently, social media enables connections on digital media to be documented and posted publicly on the internet. Social networks developed in the past were used for academic and profit-making purposes. Technologies have since evolved facilitating user-generated, collaborative, and shared internet content from its initial commercial and institutional use. The social interfaces brought about by the change in the information sharing have since increased between online users (Haythornthwaite 137).
There has been an increase in privacy concerns popularized by press coverage of social network sites, especially over the younger users. Security concern arises where people create schemes and make them originate from a friend on the network as shown in a study done by (Jakobson et al. 97) who argued that people were willing to share information with a friend in their network rather than a stranger. The topic of privacy has become of much debate, and the focus changed over time.
The social networks do not necessarily guarantee the security of the information shared a certain profile. For example, application developers access personal information and social networks may not necessarily take responsibility for the action of such developers.
Currently, there are few laws that protect the users of online sites or the information they provide over these networks. The existing laws do not extend to the informal searches carried out on the internet, or revealed information that assists companies to develop products such as quizzes such done on Facebook. Users of Facebook and other networks for that matter have no idea whether the content they post online is protected or, not even with the notice of privacy posted on the walls.
Users can only be assured of protection contained within the terms and conditions provided on the networks via various links. Facebook may claim that information has been archived safely, but nobody knows about the future or where Facebook will end up. Servers could be hacked, and information leaked to the public domain hence no privacy protection whatsoever.
Online Privacy is remarkably different from the way it was 6 years ago before the dawn of Facebook and other networks. Privacy online has changed a lot with online profiles allowing people to post anything without permission from data owners. Facebook will not drop the desire to open its doors to an advertiser who needs information at the expense of making millions out of people’s profiles. There is the tendency of sending personal data to an untrustworthy third party without knowing and many Facebook users are not aware of this.
Over the years, social media has changed people’s view of the world; the change may have affected the world’s populace rather than the world itself. Social media has brought a positive impact on childhood development where children who update their status regularly, write posts, and instant messages are considered to have better reading and writing skills. Therefore, a connection is drawn between social media and children’s literacy where online activity and education are correlated in the level of socio-economic factors.
Social media has increased people’s knowledge on various subjects given the ability of the internet to replicate information for distribution and sources such as Google and Wikipedia, which allow people to share information and what they know regarding a particular topic. Social media has also reinvented politics where social networks encourage younger people to engage in politics by sharing information about policies and politicians. Such mediums as Twitter offer platforms where people can participate in debates about elections or leaders and actually influence other users perceptions.
The marketing industry has also been affected by social media outbursts. It has been relying on the mass market channels, but with the advance in social media, information has become public giving rise to consumers who expect not to be subjected to mass non-targeted information and prefer their needs to be addressed personally. This has become particularly challenging for PR and marketing staff to handle the social media efforts. This is because one unsatisfied customer can cause a brand crisis over the networks.
Social media allows one user to connect and share information with people who have online contacts without much effort. Sharing over the network is the activity that normally occurs over a short period of time which triggers people to take action such a clicking a certain link. The content shared can be classified into two: the rational trigger referring to the content shared being valuable and of relevance and the emotional trigger is content shared because it is considered fun or fulfills an emotional need.
Social media savvy should share input and ideas that add new perspectives to life or information that promotes creativity in areas of business and academics or insights into health. The sharing of information online can lead to people becoming prone to crimes and scams, and research carried out has actually shown that people tend to reveal too much information (Gross and Acquisti 75).
Gross, Richard, & Acquisti, Augistine. “Information revelation and privacy in online social networks.” Proceedings of WPES’05. Alexandria, VA: ACM 31.2 (2005): 46-83. Print.
Haythornthwaite, Caroline. “Social networks and Internet connectivity effects”. Information, Communication & Society 16 (2005): 112-141. Print.
Jakobson, Michael, et al. “Social Phishing”. Communications of the ACM, 17 (2007): 89-101. Print.