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Are social networks a positive phenomenon - Essay Example

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Are social networks a phenomenon? The last decade has witnessed an explosive array of social networking emerge that has come to dominate not only the internet landscape, but to infiltrate contemporary social relations. With this explosive power, it is no surprise that much investigation has gone into investigating the potential behind these new modes of communication, with researchers coming to a variety of conclusions…
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Download file to see previous pages When considering the nature of social networking as a phenomenon or lasting element of culture, one must consider the means by which networking has already made a significant impact within society. In these regards, perhaps the most important or meaningful can be found within the field of education. Within education social networking has taken hold in many classroom environments through innovative learning solutions. One such example is that of the networking device Ning. Teachers throughout the country have been able to implement Ning to advance classroom project collaboration in functional and innovative ways. For instance, one such method of collaborative processing has been shown to occur in English classrooms when the instructor is able to assign homework to students through this messaging system, allowing them to collaboratively brainstorm projects, and to seek advice from each other on challenging passages and group projects (Fraser & Dutta, 2008). While such collaborative thinking was previously relegated to the classroom environment it is now able to be carried over to homework situations. This has expanded the intellectual reaches of the classroom and made social networking an essential aspect of this process (Dede, 2005). ...
In these regards one must only consider how a platform such as Facebook has brought individuals into contact with each other throughout the nation and world. While only a decade ago immediate social communication with individuals in another country could only be conducted through email or telephone, Facebook and Twitter allow individuals to remain in contact with each other through indirect yet strong and profound means. This not only constitutes a means of communicating that is on par with the previously mentioned means of communication, but functions as an entirely unique form of socialization. Through these social networking platforms individuals can readily meet people through the world and communicate not simply through verbal dialogue, but engage in self-expression through pictures and songs. This means of communication allows for newfound means of interaction and expression that goes beyond past forms of social communication, advancing knowledge of the world through improved collaboration. Perhaps the most pressing question of social networking is not whether it will be considered a phenomenon, but in what forms it will evolve. As has been demonstrated social networking is a vital element of contemporary culture and not merely a trend, yet it is also clear that networking is constantly evolving. When one considers that past forms of networking communication as embodied in MySpace and Friendster quickly gave out to the more functional Facebook, it should come as no surprise that social networking as a solid definitive aspect of culture must evolve into a form of communication that is even more advanced than current networking ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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