How Social Network Sites Affect or Change our Lives
Table of Contents
Social networks are a trend towards the development of the Internet integration, combining features into a single, multi-user web-based platform. These platforms allow users to chat with friends, read the news, watch movies, listen to music and share it with other members, to take part in the discussions, create communities; moreover, all of these features people can concentrate on one site.
Undoubtedly, social networks are a serious technological achievement that promises many opportunities. Although along with these opportunities come some troubles, we cannot say that social networking brings only harm. With proper, disciplined approach to this miracle of Internet technologies, it is possible to get some benefit and make our lives easier. However, there is always the risk that working with social networks has the harmful effect on our psyche. I would like to tell people who use social networks very often about its advantages and disadvantages.
It is hard to imagine the modern world without computers, information technology, and the Internet as they have already managed to occupy a special place in everyone’s life. Social networks are becoming more and more popular. Users can create an account and visit their pages, at least several times a week. Now people can chat with friends and family who are far away from them.
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James Barnes introduced the term “social network” long before the advent of the Internet and a modern Internet network, even in 1954. Nowadays, there are many social networks such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. The latter is the most popular social network in the world and the most visited website. Since its creation, it does not cease to show tremendous growth of both users and profits. The company continuously invents and introduces new ideas as well as actively integrates with the outside world. There are certain issues connected with this social network: people often criticize Facebook for problems with privacy and a strong openness to the outside world. There exist also problems with monetization, the area where the company is constantly experimenting. However, despite the problems, gross profit increases annually by 2 times. Moreover, many users are not fond of its interface.Twitter is a new social network based on the microblogging. The idea is quite interesting: the creators took old ideas of blogging artificially limiting the length of messages by which they greatly simplified the whole system.YouTube is a place where everyone can find different kinds of videos as well as upload their own work. Today, there are the possibilities to communicate and to share news and fresh ideas with billions of users around the world. For authors and advertisers, this site has become a unique platform for video and classified ads.
Nowadays, most of the population of our planet has access to social networks. For example, the number of users in Facebook is about 1 billion. Scientists estimate that a minimum residence time of the user of the social network is 3 hours while they visit their accounts at least twice a day.
Firstly, according to Donna Cosmato (n.d.), the best way to find someone is to search via the social networks, where you can find your colleague or even a teacher. Thus, social networks provide an opportunity to chat with colleagues, relatives and friends that live in different cities and countries as well as to make new friends.
Donna Cosmato also says that you can find people with the same tastes as you have in the social networks; besides, there is the opportunity to join groups. We can use social networks as a tool for self-development. Here people can watch educational films, listen to good music, read interesting books, learn foreign languages, etc. The social networks include interest groups where you can find the information you need, such as videos from fitness classes or guitar lessons. Social networks can help during the learning process. Thus, people can share lecture notes, assignments for some tasks and books. It is also possible to join the community of certain subjects and study in detail the questions of history or tighten knowledge of a foreign language. To do this, social networks have links to the necessary literature, photos and videos; a person can discuss problematic issues with other group members.
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“Rather, the positive or negative reactions that youth experience within the site are a key mechanism for their social development.” (Ahn, 2011, p.1441) As a result, people become more sociable and they accustom to get some good or bad reactions. They consider some judgments as a typical phenomenon of the society.
Moreover, social networks are a platform for business development where people can advertise their online store web design studio or rock school. Advertising can effect a target audience and find people who might provide the necessary products or services. As well as that, people can find here new customers, increasing the loyalty of regular customers. Social networks provide the ability to use a large amount of information to develop and improve. “The best part is it that you can spread the word through social networking profiles for free”( Donna Cosmato, n.d.).
However, despite social networks sometimes serve a very useful purpose, there are many disadvantages in them. Because of the abundance of entertaining, superficial and often unnecessary junk data in a social network has significantly increased. The pastime spent online can have a negative impact on our health as a large amount of information often tires and loads the nervous system.
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Caitlin Probst’s (2015) research shows that our brains cannot focus attentively on two things at the same time, so multitasking is harmful for our health. Social networks annoy the pleasure centers in the brain. People are experiencing positive emotions every time they read the friendly comments under their photo, get a “Like” or a positive feedback, etc. The desire to re-produce these emotions carries us back to the vast social network, forcing us to spend more and more time there.