Our Views – Social Networking

What’s wrong with social networking?
In theory, nothing. In practise, a lot.

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr dominate the online networking world, but with the rise of everything from Kik, Snapchat and other app based networks, social networks have become far too complex to see from one perspective. There is the narrow-minded view that either social networking is brilliant, or terrible – but that is, at least recently, a rather “Old-School” mindset. Social networking isn’t a cave dwelling form of socialising anymore, it’s not just the “geek” who talks online now, it’s everyone. From children, who, in many cases are underage to hold accounts, to businessmen and entrepreneurs, the world is becoming a much smaller place.

It used to be that you need a rather large phone book or few well placed contacts to get a good deal, but now all it takes is a few clicks and you have the cheapest deals anywhere. The search engine has brought about a new era or savings, but have you even tried searching yourself? How many social network accounts show up of yours?

How many different pictures of you can you see?

If it was in the real world, would you “Like” their comment on sensitive subjects if it was offensive or crude? If someone “Commented” a bullying remark, would you ignore it?
Like it or not, but you are becoming a different person than before you used a social network. Do you “Follow”, “Friend” or “+1” people you don’t know in real life? Would you go up and talk to a random stranger in the street?

Social networks desensitise you to real life. Just like playing violent games desensitises you to violence in real life, social networks (In their relatively “safe” environment) teach you to ignore instinctive warnings, like avoiding strangers and people who might harm you.

Lets do a quick case-study here.

Ask.FM
– Known to have caused at least one suicide.
– Run by a Latvian company, who don’t have to follow UK child protection laws.
– Commonly known as a place to “anonymously bully” other children.

Why, would you use that? It’s stupid. Think about it again, two years ago, would you have used a site like that? Probably not. So why are you using it now? Because people have become so sure of their safety online just because they have their privacy settings on, or their friends list is ONLY their real friends?

So, in conclusion, we know that any number of blog posts like this won’t stop social networks, nor should it. They are a great tool for promoting business, making friends and chatting while away from friends.

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3 thoughts on “Our Views – Social Networking

  1. Points raised here are all valid and also highlight something that DLs can make a difference with. JHNCC DLs have presented assemblies on ask fm and its use to bully people.
    Complaints have significantly dipped.

    So work with Mr A to advocate a clear and strong message for students about responsible social media use.

  2. What an interesting and well argued post. I’m curious about your opinions on school e safety lessons. Do you think that they have any difference on the way that you and your friends act online?

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