Social network - Research Paper Example

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Dangers in Social Networking Sites Social networking sites paved way in connecting individual with one another via the internet, making the collective connections a virtual community – thus the term “social network” indeed. …
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Dangers in Social Networking Sites Social networking sites paved way in connecting individual with one another via the internet, making the collective connections a virtual community – thus the term “social network” indeed. The interesting nature of the social networking site is that it is able to provide the users the freedom to express themselves and this makes social network sites very addicting. Facebook, My Space, Friendster, Twitter are among of the popular social networking sites to date, with Facebook as the most famous with the list and followed by Twitter – also known as micro-blogging site. A report stated that there are some 120 million active users on Facebook alone in 2008. People of all ages are engaged with these social networking sites, from kids to their parents, from students to their teachers. Gone are the days of snail mail and even e-mail. With Facebook, users can now attach photos and documents, it also has chat feature, and can follow certain pages from news stations to celebrities. Basically, Facebook became an instant center of the cyber sphere. Just like in the real social environment there are benefits and downside with social networking sites. Connecting to people significant to the users is one of the main purposes of social network. It has been an instrument to meet new people and reconnect with lost friends or discover unfamiliar relatives. Connecting can be done through private messaging, tagging, and “poking” (University of Pacific 2011). It is an easy venue for online-dating. Social networking sites can also be an instant portfolio and an intelligence tool to research about certain people regarding their behavior and comments from friends, an example would be one who wanted to find out about his expected roommate in college dorm (Tucker 2009). However, social networking sites are an easy tool as well to execute cyber cullying, and be exposed to online predators. Addiction is also one negative effect of engaging too much in social networking sites. Bullying. Megan Meier took her own life after being bullied by a hoax account of a guy that she’s crushing with through My Space. Although reports stated that Meier was on psychiatric medication as she was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, it was the cyber-bullying that she received that triggered to commit suicide by hanging herself. (Jones 2008) At first, 13-year-old Meier had established online relationship with the hoax 16-year-old Josh Evans. They had never met but she’s aware that they were in the same village. The information about the location was fact, but the person behind the Josh Evans was in fact Evan’s mother, Lori Drew. The last messages that Meier had received from Evans were all about hatred and how the whole town had known how bad she was as a person and that she was hated by all. This had caused grave emotional distress to Meier, leading her to do the unfortunate move that cost her own life. In the court investigation, Drew admitted that she had the access with Josh Evans account and had purposely taunted Meier. She was convicted of the computer fraud charges in 2008. She was released in 2009 when her former employee admitted of sending the hate messages to Meier as Evans just to make her stop from messaging him (Jones 2008). Aside from hoax accounts and sending hate messages to someone, cyber-bullying can easily be executed as simple as putting rude and lewd captions to the photos of other persons that are in the user’s possession. An example is the unnamed minor student of Stonewall Jackson High who posted photos of her 9 classmates with the title of the album, “Stonewall Hoes” in Facebook. Each photo contains vulgar descriptions that one of the victims was emotionally harmed. (Gordon 2011) The cases mentioned could happen to anyone due to the freedom in the internet. Anyone can be a bully, purposely or unaware, and anyone can be a victim. The act is considered bullying if it imposes threat and harm to other persons. Online Predators. Social networking sites are the easiest venue where to locate potential prey by online sexual predators or sex offenders. Take the case of Peter Chapman, a registered sex-offender, who used Facebook to lure his target. Chapman was sentenced in prison to life for kidnapping, raping, and murdering 17-year-old young girl, Ashleigh Hall. (Smith 2010) Online predators rely strongly to the information they could gather to their prey; photos where their location can be identified, status messages of their whereabouts, mobile numbers, address, and other personal info that are possible to be traced by the nature of social networking sites. (University of Pacific 2011) Addiction. There are some serious effects in getting addicted with social networking sites. One is losing the human touch in communication. Online users are getting more comfortable talking and do reaching out in the internet through the social networking sites than doing it in personal basis. Addiction also caused by the undercurrent of megalomania that was being induced to the users. It is not hard to be famous anymore these days by the help of social networking sites. Users who are being addicted with this also put themselves in higher risk users with the cyber bullies and online predators. ((Tucker 2009) Staying Safe. Social networking sites are helpful in certain ways, not to mention the innovative entertainment it brings to the modern crowd. In contrast, it seems more damage is being done through these sites to its users. Because of the nature of the internet by making users incognito to other end-users, cyber-bullying and online predators are confined. The best way is to for users to be aware of such possibilities that could happen through the Internet. Protecting personal information is strictly needed such as personal numbers, address, social plans, etc. The privacy feature of the sites can be utilized in this concern. Works Cited "Online Social Networking Dangers and Benefits." University of Pacific, California, 2011 Gordon, Chris. "Student Charged in Facebook Cyber Bullying Case." NBC Washington. 22 Mar 2011 Jones, Anna. "How dangerous are networking sites?" BBC News. 18 Nov 2008 Smith, Catharine. "Serial Sex Offender Admits Using Facebook To Rape And Murder Teen." Huffington Post. 3 Sept. 2010 Tucker, Jill. "Social networking has hidden dangers for teens." San Francisco Chronicle. 10 Aug 2009 Read More
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