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What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media?

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The relative advantages and disadvantages of social media are a subject of frequent debate. Some of social media’s advantages include the ability of users to easily stay in touch with friends and family, connect with like-minded people, and expand business contacts. Social media has also been used to increase awareness of social and political issues and organize demonstrations. Frequently cited disadvantages of social media include privacy concerns and a decrease in real-world social interactions.

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One of the most important advantages of social media is certainly the speed and efficiency in which it allows communication between people. For example, in the 2013 protests which took place in Turkey, social media played a vital role in communication. Many of the protesters were young men and women, students, and they organized the protests using social media. The plans of where and how the protests would take place spread through social media accounts rapidly, staging some of the biggest protests that Turkish people had witnessed in the country's history.

This is a great example of how social media can be used for change and for public mobilization. Similar examples took place during the Arab Spring and other incidents across the world. Social media has given people, especially the new generation which is very computer savvy, a new and effective instrument to come together for issues they believe in.

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What are the pros and cons of social networking sites?

I personally love having social networking tools to stay in touch with my far away family, but I think the biggest detriment is an over-exposure of information. Do we need to know everything? Not at all! I try to limit to "big ticket" items or funny things.

 

The other caution I'd give is: Lock your info down. Don't let your boss/colleagues find your facebook. Personal life should stay personal!

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What are the pros and cons of social networking sites?

I think social networking sites are a good way to keep in touch with old friends and acquaintances. You can share photo's of yourself and family and keep abreast of each others lives. I think one drawback of these sites is that some tend to put too much personal information out there for the world to see. I have heard stories of accounts being hijacked or stolen because of the personal information that is accessible.

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What are the pros and cons of social networking sites?

Another con I haven't seen discussed, is that things you may want to keep private about yourself are hard to do in the social media age.  I have read numerous reports of businesses checking out people's facebook pages to see if there is anything about the perspective employee of concern before they are hired.  One picture of a bad moment that a person thought was in private could cost them a a job if it was tagged on a facebook page for the world to find.

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What are the pros and cons of social networking sites?

Social networking can be an amazingly powerful thing, if used right.  People who tell you everything they do can be annoying.  However, the sites can be used to stay connected with people in profound ways as well as menial ones.  Yet the effect of social networking is more complex than we might have previously thought.  Research indicates that being connected via social networks is actually making us lonely!

Stephan Marche of The Atlantic, quoted in The Week, notes that “this is the paradox of the Facebook age: We have an unmatched ability to connect with other people through social networks, yet we still ‘suffer from unprecedented alienation’” (para 1).  The week goes on to quote other columnists commenting on the recent study.  You can find the text of the article here: http://theweek.com/article/index/226827/is-facebook-really-making-people-more-lonely

It’s a fascinating idea.  Because we are so easily connected with daily, trivial elements and with so many people, we lose the face to face contact that humans crave.  Why stop by to visit a friend when you can send an instant message?  Why have a party to celebrate an event when you can just post pictures on Facebook?  Sometimes being together virtually keeps us apart physically.

"Is Facebook Really Making People More Lonely?" The Week. Web. 04 May 2012. <http://theweek.com/article/index/226827/is-facebook-really-making-people-more-lonely>.

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What are the pros and cons of social networking sites?

Another con is that people who use social networking sites tend to not keep up their social in-person skills.  I have noticed that my own sons are reluctant to pick up a phone to call anyone anymore.  Sometimes I fear that our vocal cords are going to atrophy.   Also, the on-line world has become the real world for many people, making hermits of them, depriving them of fresh air and exercise. 

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What are the pros and cons of social networking sites?

Some other pros are that social media can be moved to facilitate popular movements, organize causes like fundraisers, and keep up with your interests, like your favorite bands, sports teams, political parties, and so on.

Negatives would be (and this is a bit of an editorial on my part) that it tends to increase the meme-driven nature of popular culture, including political culture. Complex issues are reduced to bumper-sticker length simplicity.  

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What are the pros and cons of social networking sites?

The major pro is that it allows us to stay in touch with people who we are no longer able to see every day.  The major con is that it can be another way for young people to be cruel to one another.  Social networking sites make things like cyberbullying possible.

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