The ways in which people communicate and interact with each other have changed greatly with the emergence of new technology. Cyberspace is fast becoming the new way through which people meet and interact with each other and even share details that are personal or otherwise. Over the last couple of years, social networks have become a source of information for most people.
However, there are a number of ethical issues that have become associated with social networks. Ethics have an important role to play in an individual, as well as in social media (Arnold, Beauchamp & Bowie, 2013). Ethics define what is good and what is bad in the society. This research paper will focus on the ethical issues that have become associated with the social media, as well as the role that ethics play in an individual.
Social networking is increasing at a high rate. Very many people are using social networks to interact with each other. Social networking sites started transforming the social, as well as political setups of individuals across the world. Among the most common sites include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram (Quigley, 2011). Facebook is said to have over one million users across the world.
Despite the fact that social media has made communication easier, it also has an influence in reshaping the way human beings behave and maintain their ethical social bonds. Some of the social relations that have been influenced by the social media include friend-to-friend relationships, teacher-to-student relationships, as well as parent-to-child relationships among others.
Social networking has ethical implications on these relationships, which could either be positive or negative (Quigley, 2011). It is for these reasons that there is need for rigorous philosophical studies to be conducted on the ethical issues that are associated with the social media.
One of the ethical issues that are associated with social media is privacy. Social media have threatened the privacy of people who use it. Data about people who use the social media can be accessed by other people without the consent of the owners. In addition, social media can be used by people to track users.
It is possible to track where the user is located or where they are updating their status from through the social media (Kizza, 2010). This information can be used by criminals or by people with bad intentions to their advantage, thereby getting the social network users into trouble. It is unethical to use social media to track the location of other people so that one can rob them or put them through any kind of trouble (Kizza, 2010).
Use of the checking feature on the social media could be a good thing or a bad thing since it might get an individual into trouble. For instance, if a parent tracks the location of their child this could be good since they are likely to know whether their children are in a safe location or not. On the other hand, a boss tracking the location of their employees could be an advantage to them and a disadvantage to the employee.
An employee may be doing their own things that are best for their own interests. The employee can lose their job if found out by the boss. This is disadvantageous to the employee, while the boss gains from such a move by eliminating workers who seem unproductive to the organization. This is a concern that needs to be addressed since it is a threat to national and global security (Arnold, Beauchamp & Bowie, 2013).
Social media can also be used to track the activities of users. When an individual uses a social network site from a PC it is possible for the person who next uses the PC to track what the previous user was doing. It is possible to track the activities of other people from a personal computer through the help of cookies (Arnold, Beauchamp & Bowie, 2013). This can bring a lot of trouble in offices or even at homes.
For instance, an employer might track the activities of an employee on social media. The employee is likely to be fired if they are found using the social media for the wrong reasons at the workplace.
People share information and communicate through social media. In a family set up, a wife or a husband might be found by their spouse sharing too much with a member of the opposite sex. Despite the fact that this sharing may not be ill intended, it is a situation that has led to divorces since spouses feel insecure in such relationships (Arnold, Beauchamp & Bowie, 2013).
As a matter of fact, social media has the ability to affect the life of an individual negatively or positively. While some people may use social media for the wrong reasons, there are others who use it for their own benefit (Quigley, 2011).
For instance, social business can be used by business people to improve their businesses through advertising. On the other hand, social media can be used by criminals to get information for people they intend to trouble.
Social media has been on the rise as technological advancements continue. Social media has affected the way in which people communicate and share information. Social media has also been associated with a number of ethical issues. It affects individuals’ ethical life in different ways. It is important that measures be taken to control some of the ethical issues associated with social media, especially issues of privacy.
Arnold, D. G., Beauchamp, T. L., & Bowie, N. E. (2013). Ethical theory and business. Boston: Pearson Education.
Kizza, J. M. (2010). Ethical and social issues in the information age. London: Springer.
Quigley, M. (2011). ICT ethics and security in the 21st century: New developments and applications. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.