Spotlight on the Pros of Social Networking

Kalie Browne | @kbfrommt | kaliebrowne.com

Top-3-Social-Networking-Sites


 

We often read articles and hear news stories about how social media is negatively effecting society. We are bombarded with stories about cyber bullying, shorter attention spans, less personal interactions etc. And while many of those negative aspects have made an impact on the lives of the modern people, there are many positive aspects of social media that have made us all more connected and more informed individuals by using these platforms. We discussed many pros and cons in class and these are some of the ways that the pros have positively effected our lives.

The connectivity of it all

The world is more connected than ever before. People can now find their “birds of a feather” no matter where they are. There are discussion boards, Facebook groups, Twitter lists, and Tumblers to follow for I would guess almost any topic a person could find interest in. People are no longer limited to the conversations of their town or pen pals but can now connect, learn from, and discuss with, people from all over the world whenever they want.

The sharing of links, stories and pictures on to peoples feeds provides followers and friends with articles they might not have ever thought to look up or find. Not to mention the crowd-sourcing and crowd funding capabilities that have risen from and are enabled by social media like never before.

The information of it all                                                                                     

Personally, I get the majority of my headline news from Twitter. In fact, over 50% of people learn about breaking news on social media (http://socialnetworking.procon.org/). News can break faster on social media and the internet than it ever could on TV or newspaper because of its instantaneous nature. I can remember numerous times that I knew about something happening in my hometown before my mom did because I follow our local newspaper and radio stations on Twitter. Also, we now have the capabilities to reach out to experts via Twitter or LinkedIn for class, research, or general curiosity and there is a good chance of getting a response. In the same manner, people can ask questions and get quick customer service directly from a company on social media in many cases.

The moral is, if we were to all stick to being respectful and using these amazing tools for good, we could weed out all of the cons that are plaguing many individuals and unleash the potential that lies in an ultra-connected world full of knowledge, entertainment, and connectivity. And maybe this will take time as online social networking is still a relatively new concept in the human race.

What do you guys think? Is a world like this possible? Will social media evolve to have similar standards and ethics to the ones that we have face to face so that the pros outweigh the cons?

[If you are interested in a more in depth analysis of many pros and cons of social media, check out http://socialnetworking.procon.org]

 

This Article Has 14 Comments
  1. Bri Briggs says:

    Like we discussed in class, every pro has a corresponding con when it comes to social media. While it would be amazing to see a world without cyber bullying, lies and even degrading conversations like the ones on The Grilled Cheese Experience Facebook page, I don’t know if a world like this is possible. There will still be those people who sit behind their computers and say things that they would never say in person. Like you mentioned, however, I hope people start to realize how valuable social media is. There may be bad people on social media, but social media itself isn’t bad.

    • Kalie Browne says:

      Good thoughts. I think that is such a huge, whole other conversation that is so interesting about the psychology behind why people say things behind a screen that they would never say to someones face and how they rationalize that behavior. It’ll be interesting to see if that becomes more or less prevalent.

  2. Bryna Geary says:

    I also get most of my news from Twitter first. Once something happens, multiple organizations and companies that I follow tweet the breaking story and that starts the retweeting chaos. I can get news so must faster because retweeting is such an efficient way to spread information quickly.

    In response to your question about social media evolving to have similar ethical standards, I believe that it will. There are now so many instances and examples to learn from of people practicing bad social media and communication. The people who don’t have a morally and ethically sound social media presence get shut down by the rest of the social media community. This will continue to happen and continue to show people what to do and what to absolutely not do.

    • Kalie Browne says:

      I definitely join you in your optimism that that moral standards of the internet will some day rise. Not completely to a point of perfection but hopefully to a point that allows for more openness and positive creation rather than negative comments.

  3. Polly Irungu says:

    I mean honestly some people don’t even know how to act in public. Those who will care about having social media etitiqute are those with professional careers. I agree with Bri. Social media / the Net is not a bad thing. That isn’t the root of the problem. It is the people who use these tools. I think the cons/issues of being online like cyber bullying have potential to decrease but realistically it won’t be wiped out.

    • Kalie Browne says:

      You’re right there will always be just as many if not more idiots on the internet as there are in real life but hopefully as Bryna said that communities will come together more in the future to shut this people down and raise the standard for behavior on these sites.

  4. Drew Forrest says:

    Honestly I believe this type of world is not possible. We live in a world with a lot of pessimistic people who want to be negative about a lot of different things. I think the best thing we can do regarding social media is be positive consumers and engagers in media. This means when posting things on different sites don’t post anything that may be ambiguous. Don’t leave the interpretation up to others! Social media has dangers that each person must manage when considering their own image. If you are someone who posts risque things that’s great, but manage who follows you. Considering personal brand management is crucial especially when thinking about ethics and the pros and cons of certain posts.

    • Kalie Browne says:

      You are very right, just as in the physical world we all have a responsibility to be respectful and positively contribute to a community whether it is online and off. It will be up to individuals to regulate their presence.

  5. Sophie Wenet says:

    I have to say that the world of only using social media for good seems unlikely to me. Social media has become a way to communicate with your guard down. You have the ability to say anything you want, and take it back by deleting shall you decide to. Regardless of that being the right or wrong thing to do, it is an option. Though I do believe the development and evolvement of social media has more pros than cons, the cons weigh in heavily due to the false information that is rapidly spread throughout the world within minutes due to social media.

    In regards to what you said about technology and social media having developed a way for us to connect, learn from, and discuss information with others all around the world, I agree that it is a huge beneficial advancement to society.

  6. Natalie Mangan says:

    Hi Kalie!
    I really enjoyed reading your article. As a society, we always tend to focus on the negative aspects of things, but your approach was very refreshing! I agree with your stance that social media has more pros than cons. I used social media to get an interview at a company because I was connected on LinkedIn with someone who worked there.

    My question for you is do you think that because there is a higher usage of social media that younger people may struggle with face-to-face communications? I have always heard that the younger generations have issues communicating with people in-person because they would rather be doing it from their computer.

    • Kalie Browne says:

      Super good question. I have thought about this a lot and I think it is super important for people to remember that online communications are only a supplement to real life interaction. The younger generations are growing up with a much heavier technology presence than ever before and I can even see it effecting my younger cousins. It will be up to all of us in the preceding generations to make sure that standards are still held high for interpersonal skills and communication etiquette as these technologies become more a part of our lives.

  7. Jaira Chaffee says:

    I completely agree with your stance on this topic. We are incredibly lucky to be living in a time and place that allows for instant communication on a global scale. The technology that allows for social media is unprecedented in written/oral communication and has definitely created countless opportunities for information dissemination and connectivity of interests that would not have been possible before, just as you mentioned in the blog post about easily finding your, “birds of a feather”. We just have to remember that social media is a tool, and how we choose to engage with it makes all the difference.

  8. McKenzie Boyle says:

    Unfortunately I don’t think that society is ever going to get over the thrill of anonymity. That being said, I think that the pros outweigh the cons. Instant news is incredibly powerful and the medium allows people who would otherwise not read the news easier access to information about what’s going on in the world.

  9. Michael Eiden says:

    Kalie,

    Wonderful points on communication in this era. We have become so dependent on instant communication that we often take for granted its benefits and opportunities. In a perfect world, those ideas would be possible. It’s a shame people can’t seem to respect one another on digital platforms, but users have to ignore that negativity and focus on the positives of digital communication.

    -Mike
    @mikeeiden11

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