Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn—society is more and more connected online, and less and less connected in real life. I'm the pot calling the kettle black though. I have a Facebook account, I "tweet" on a regular basis as a journalism student, and I’m LinkedIn in order to ensure gainful employment post graduation in May. I think what we need to realize is that social networking has both its pros and cons.
In the reading, “Social Networking Offers Free Marketing” we see that these type of sites are above all things—free. Accessibility is a reason why everyone turns to these sites--no membership fees and an offering of infinite web connections. As a small business owner, or large business owner for that matter, wouldn’t you agree that you are crazy not to be on these sites? They’re free and have the most web traffic of any website out there. Sounds like a great business marketing plan to me.
But with all good things, there are the negatives. Personally, I feel that people lose touch with everyday person-to-person interaction. Have you noticed that you text or Facebook message someone instead of picking up the phone to call them? Have you noticed that you find out new information about some of your friends through Facebook? Maybe or maybe not--but it’s definitely happening. And, as we saw in the MySpace suicide incident and the Facebook bullying, social interactions online are not completely harm-free. If anything, people are more inclined to be more forward and malicious because there isn’t a reaction from the person in front of you.
Now I turn to you—social networking: love it, hate it, or a little bit of both?