We’ve entered a new ere of social networking. Once upon a time you may have met your friends down the pub to discuss a spot of relativity theory and the non-existence of colours. Gone are the days of leaving your home! With the emergence of services such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you seldom have to see another living soul in the flesh to communicate. Granted, we also have phones which most certainly contribute to this detached and isolated individualism that is society but that’s for another day.
At the click of a button, following a few keystrokes, you can spark the debate of a lifetime from your very own home. Not to mention the fact that you can stay in contact with people you never see, subconsciously spy on the lives of others thanks to their willingness to post their daily routines on Facebook, daily, and abuse the fat kid that made a funny vine. Is this such a bad thing?
Communicating through internet based social technologies is such a beautiful concept, it’s ridiculously convenient and merely replicates what has taken places since the dawn of time in a way that conforms to the current technological advances.
But is it healthy? Surely, for the weak of mind and less in confidence, social networking seems fantastic – but is it not a hazard to their health? Lack of direct human interaction is, in my most humble opinion, never a good thing and social networking simply adds fuel to the fire. If you don’t like going out, and you don’t have to go out, why go out? The web is giving birth to a new global generation of recluse!
Bullying is another issue that comes as part of the spiders lair that is social networking (the web, get it?)! If you thought you left bullying behind you when you finished school, you might just be mistaken. Enter: Cyber bullying! According to the Megan Meier Foundation 39% of Social Network users have been cyber bullied in some way. This site also goes on to say that 1 in 10 teens who are subject to cyber bullying will attempt suicide! It’s worth noting that this foundation was set up at the end of 2007 by the mother of Megan Meier after Megan committed suicide following cyber bullying.
Cyber bullying and health aside, privacy is the next big concern. Love your privacy? Leave social networking well alone. There are countless examples of big social networking companies abusing their power to make money with your data. Sure enough they give you the option to opt out (in some cases) or stop certain people viewing your profile on Facebook, for example – but you provide more than enough ‘anonymous statistical data’ for them to sell on and earn a buck or two from your name. Perfected surveillance as a business model.
Anyway, my word limit is swiftly running out so if I don’t stop now I fear that this post will henceforth become an essay. I implore you to look at the following 2 sections on wikipedia to gain a little more insight on the past and current behaviours of Facebook:- Data Mining, Surveillance