Social networking - Research Paper Example

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Social networking - Social networking sites have become an indispensable part of modern life. Still, their use has been also related to a series of risks, including the exposure of private life to an unknown audience. The studies developed in this field lead to contradictory findings in regard to the actual necessity of social networking today…
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Download file to see previous pages However, the use of these sites has caused many concerns especially due to the privacy risks involved. At this point the following issue has appeared: should the use of social networking sites be free from limitations or not? Six academic studies have been identified and are presented below for showing that social networking sites are valuable in terms of communication and exchange of information, both at individual and at business level, but their use should be set under monitoring so that the privacy of users is not threatened. Lewis (2010) explored the role of social media in a particular business sector: public relations. He found that for the specific sector the use of social media is quite important, at the level that public relations practitioners consider social media as a unique tool of communication (Lewis 1). However, this role of social media may not be clear to their users. For example, the research developed by Lewis proved that the individuals who study public relations are not aware, at least not fully, of the potential value of social media in public relations (Lewis 17). It should be noted that most of the participants were proved to be heavy users of social networking sites (Lewis 17). ...
These people, even if they do not state it clearly, prefer communication than trust; such view is verified by the fact that the existence of trust among millions of people who are unknown to each other is not feasible (Dwyer, Hiltz and Passerini 2). In the survey conducted among the members of two, popular, social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace it was revealed that the members of Facebook feel that their privacy is protected at higher level than the members of MySpace (Dwyer, Hiltz and Passerini 5). In other words, privacy in social networking sites can be protected, at least up to a level, even if the members of these sites actually set ‘the development of new relationships and the exchange of information’ (Dwyer, Hiltz and Passerini 3) as priorities. The above studies verify the first of this study’s hypothesis, i.e. that social networking sites are quite popular as tools of communication and for promoting business activities. The second of the above studies reveals a critical fact: the involvement of social networking sites in privacy risks does not seem to discourage the users of these sites. The privacy risks related to the use of social networking sites are further analyzed below. Zilpelwar et al. (2012) highlight the popularity and the risks of social networking sites. According to Zilpelwar et al. (2012) a high range of social networking sites has been established for meeting the different needs of people. Indeed, apart from Facebook which is popular worldwide, there are also other social networking sites that address specific categories of people, such as Bebo, for people living in UK and Ireland, LinkedIn for professionals and Ning for those who wish to develop their own ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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