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The development of technology has led to such phenomenon as the development of social networks. Facebook is one of the most famous social networks nowadays. The main idea of such kind of networks is to share files and make friends online. However, this seemingly positive and harmless idea resulted in a social network which can lead to some negative outcomes. Thus, social networks, and especially Facebook, evoke many debates. On one hand, people claim that such networks help to find friends and stay in touch. Others argue that sharing personal information may lead to abuses, frauds and other violations of laws and people’s rights.
Advantages of social networks
Admittedly, social networks unite many people. For instance, people can find their old friends or relatives. Basically, people can constantly stay in touch with their friends, relatives, colleagues or acquaintances.
Social networks also can be a good alternative for everyday communication for people working from home (Terbush D.5). Some state that in Facebook or Twitter they can feel as a small celebrity when posting their pictures (Terbush D.5). Moreover, social networks can be very helpful in some really important search.
Reportedly, Facebook and forums helped a man find his children who were taken to another country by his ex-wife (Shen n.p.). Of course, such examples are numerous. Moreover, the power of social networks is now recognized by politicians and journalists who have the opportunity to get the information from the primary sources (voters, average people, people from other countries) in real time context.
Shortcomings of social networks
Nevertheless, social networks’ opponents argue that such excessive use can lead to many negative outcomes. According to numerous surveys the most active users of social networks (about 80%) are people from 18 to 34 years old (Terbush D.5). However, children and teenagers become more and more active users of such networks. These are the most unsecured users. Admittedly, people share personal information in social networks.
Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that such information will not be used by some criminal or simply unworthy person. For instance, according to survey held in 2008 the majority of people (89% of users) “use their online profiles to keep up with friends”, but quite many users (49%) use “their profiles to make new friends” (Lenhart).
Basically, they share some information with total strangers, and this can be dangerous. Many people claim that the social networks are dangerous because of threat of sexual abuse. Thus, laws can ban sexual abusers from having contacts (even talking and seeing) with their potential victims, but it is impossible in social networks (DeConto n.p.).
Reportedly, social networks can cause eating disorders in girls since definite parameters are promulgated by many people there (Siegel 6). Of course, many people argue that some users become addicted their virtual relationships and do not participate in social life. Basically, they do not have their real lives anymore.
The common ground two sides have in common and possible solution
Of course, there are many opponents and supporters of social networks. However, both parties agree that the spread of social networks should be regarded at planetary scale. Moreover, everyone agree that it is impossible to stop the development of social networks because they have become an indispensible part of modern life.
Nevertheless, there is possible solution which can be acceptable for both parties. It goes without saying that it is impossible to abolish social networks. However, it is necessary to promulgate values of real life communication.
For instance, it is possible to take on board the statement of Pope Benedict XVI: “It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives” (Kurczy n.p.).
Everyone should understand that, and if one sees that his/her friend, relative, child is about to substitute his/her life with social network, this person should show that real life is much more important than “plastic” communication.
DeConto, Jesse James. “N.C. Sex Offenders Fight Ban on Joining Social Networks.” News & Observer. 28 Jan 2011: n.p. SIRS Researcher.Web.
Lenhart, Amanda. Adults and Social Network Websites. PewInternet, Jan. 2009. Web.
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Kurczy, Stephen. “Facebook Is Fine, Says Pope Benedict, But Real Faces Are Better.” Christian Science Monitor. 25 Jan 2011: n.p. SIRS Researcher. Web.
Siegel, Judy. “Link Found Between Heavy Use of Facebook and Eating Disorders…” Jerusalem Post (International). 01 Feb 2011: 6. SIRS Researcher. Web.
Shen, Joshua Y. “Social Media Mobilize Public to Help Find Missing Children.” America.gov Press Release. 22 Feb 2011: n.p. SIRS Government Reporter. Web.
Terbush, Sophie. “Twitter, Facebook, Blogs–Young Adults Are Active ‘Social Animals’.” USA TODAY. 21 Feb 2011: D.5. SIRS Researcher. Web.01 Mar 2011.