A Social Networking Definition

A simple definition of social networking given by Charlotte N. Gunawardena in the article “A Theoretical Framework for Building Online Communities of Practice with Social Networking Tools.” states that it is “a practice of expanding knowledge by making connections with individuals with similar interests” (Gunawardena, 4). Although that social networking is possible in person and take place mostly in the workplace, universities, and schools; it tend to be more popular online. This form of connection has been going on since societies have ever existed, but these days it is being exploited and flourished through the internet and the different web-based groups established for these purposes.

The Process of social networking takes place through a large number of different social networking sites that are increasing every day. Examples of these sites would be: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and there are many more that surface almost every day. The process of becoming a member in any of these websites is very simple, fast and swift; individuals would just sign up by giving basic contact information about themselves and their interests. After becoming a member users tend to invite their friends and their friends will invite their friends and it goes on to build a large network of people that might or might not have ever met each other before, but they share the same interests at least.
Social networking therefore allows the building up of different communities for people with shared interests from all around the world. There is a large impact due to the increasing use of social networking on different sectors in the society. Since social networking enables many people to communicate with one another and build up different communities it affects the society in different ways as it allows online socializing and other forms of communication that changes the norms of the society. The different types of communication between different members of the society promote different values and challenge others resulting in a change in the society. People influence on another in different ways on the smaller scale and that results in a continuous change in the society. On the other hand, these different activities might promote negative actions against the society such as fraud which occurs in large number these days. Another example would be identity theft which regularly occurs across the different networks such as Facebook and MySpace .

In the Article “Is MySpace Good for Society? A Freakonomics Quorum” Stephen J. Dubner shows the different views of people about the issue of social networking and whether it made the society better or worse from three different points of view: economical, psychological, and sociological. Most of the people responded saying that the bad side of this technology is that it diminishes the value of friendships and interactions in general, and it also violates some privacy issues. However it helps in the process of socialization as well as many important business meetings that take place over the internet.

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