Social Networking Sites Provide More Benefits than Problems

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Various social networking services have achieved enormous success at the first decade of the 21st century. Up to 2010, more than 500 million users globally have been regularly using Facebook (Kirkpatrick, 2010, 2). A social networking site is defined as an online platform where socially related users can communicate and share information with each other, such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Renren. Howevertheir success did not come without a price. It has long been a question that whether these services brought more good than harm to the community. To thoroughly examine the social impacts brought by social networking services, both beneficent and maleficent effects should be discussed. Significant benefits that will be covered in this paper are forging tighter relationships between users from different geological locations and its impressive power as a marketing tool while major concerns are possible infringement of privacy and frequently reported correlation between using social networking sites and depression.

Firstly, as e-mail, online messaging and other online services, social networking sites enable its users to communicate with each other and share the latest news without the limitation of physical distance, time and expenses, especially with mobile accessible internet which is prevalent in developed countries. This feature directly results in a closer interpersonal relationship. A survey conducted among tertiary level students at Michigan State University has found that higher Facebook usage is associated with more robust connection between them and other alumni from their high school, also more advantageously utilization of their so-called ‘social capital’ (Ellison, Steinfield& Lampe, 2007, 1148). Social capital is a...

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