Before the Internet existed, the only way people could make socialise was through collective gatherings and face to face exchanges. Things have changed though. With the emergence of social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Bebo and so forth, people can now keep in touch with friends and family all around the world. In fact, it is now more common to new people online than in real life (this is predominantly within teenagers and young adults who have catapulted social network sites into the dominate force they are today).
Likewise, the days of instantaneously planning week nights and weekend outings are also lessening. If the weather isnt looking to good, individuals would preferably opted to stay indoors and log on to their favourite social network site (mine is Facebook). Now to clear things up, people do still frequently go out with family, friends and colleague, but at the same time, people do spending a great deal of time online (unlike in previously).
I think there are a few reasons for this. One could be that fact that it is easy to talk online. People only see the words you write, so youre free to express yourself more clearly without the worry of tone and facial expressions present in real life interactions. Most of the social networking web design revolves around this idea. Another reason could be that people are not as open to meeting new people in the flesh any more. Walking up to a complete stranger is still very challenging even for the most confident individual. This becomes doubly hard when its a person youre attracted to; thus, people find it much easier to introduce themselves online, where the only bad thing that can happen is the person not replying back.
However, cynics claim that people should stop logging into Facebook, Twitter etc and start going out and meeting real people more. Their argument is that, social network junkies are ruining their communications skills by staying indoors and neglecting face to face interactions. On the other hand, with everyone so busy with work, family and relationships, it much easier to communicate online than wait weeks for people to have an opening in their schedules.
A more practical concern is the dependency factor that social networks seem to have. Once you start, it can be very difficult to stop. I guess website designers have done a good job in creating web design in such way that provides you an electronic life. In fact, sites like Facebook do not even allow you delete your profile. The only option you have is to deactivate your account, but at anytime, you can always reactivate it. This means serious social network users can easily fall back into the habit of staying online for hours on end.
In my opinion, social networking sites are a good medium of keeping in touch with friends and family. However, these sites can sometimes be an obstruction. Individuals, who stay on social network sites, may fail to build important interpersonal skills, as well as, seriously affect their concentration span in some cases. If you are a social network user, please use them with a degree of restraint and self-control.
Do you agree or disagree? What is your personal view on social networking sites? Tell me what you think and please include any information you feel I have left out.