Social Networking

History of Social Networking

The early social networking sites we can suggest here is the WELL (1985), Geocities (1994) and Tripod (1995). These early communities were created for people to interact and communicate with each other trough chat rooms. People posted their personal information online and shared with others. Later we have classrooms.com (1995) which was to connect and keep in touch with former schoolmates without paying any membership fees to search for classmates and with a minimal fee people can search lost friends and join communities and contact them through chat rooms. Six Degrees of Separation was found in 1997. This community mainly focused on people who had similar interests and hobbies. Six Degrees of Separation would be the first time to create such functions online in the site. Circle of Friends (1999) was to connect with friends, family and neighbours etc to share their photos, experiences, friendly gossip and so forth. Recently, we have Friendster.com (2002) which had many of same ideas and features on friendships with other people. This site was focused on people sending messages with each other. MySpace.com (2003) was a community which started to share independent music and video with everyone. Also people started using MySpace.com for some business issues. They started business networking through MySpace such as flower shop pages and working experiences or resumes to benefit their portfolios. Facebook (2004) is similar with Friendster as people are to connect with classmates from kindergarten through college. Facebook is getting well known in all over the world which everyone can contact with each other in different places in the globe. The latest social networking sites we can discuss would be Yahoo! 360° (2005) and Twitter (2009) which connect with many other social network communities in a faster and more efficient way for people to communicate and share their interests in the world.

Advantages of Social Networking

Research indicates more than 77% students in North America have at least on profile on social networking sites. So what secretes make these sites so attractive? First of all, social networking sites, of course to help members to expand their social network, or easily saying, to meet some new friends. These websites provides a platform for people to chat even though some of them do not know each other. Through this message-based conversations, eliminates the discomfort and embarrassment the caused by face-to-face communication. Also, in some way, reducing the distances between people mentally. Not only making new friends, members spend a lot of time get in touch with some old friends as well if they are in the same network site. Secondly, people have great job opportunities in some famous networking sites. More and more companies have their Human Resource team on major network sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, to recruit new employees. They consider the online profile is more reliable compare with their over-polished resume. Last but not the least, members can promote themselves or their business on these sites, sometimes even create a unique page for whatever they want to promote totally free of charge. The information will be visible to other members, and this would be a relatively huge population due to the social network sites they choose.

Disadvantages of Social Networking

The ownership and constraints of having social networking tools has introduced a variety of issues and complexities that makes their value for many a worthwhile investment. A major disadvantage to social networking is the qualitative measure of security. Problems like identity theft and fraud are examples that link from this exposure, partly being that these social networking tools are largely funded by online advertisements. It has been the case that these innovative web 2.0 communications has led and contributed to a new approach to recruiting, as it has cost many individuals the likelihood of their future jobs and careers. According to a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) study, around 1 in 10 employers mentioned the idea of utilizing social networks to inquire deeper into the personality and characteristics of the individual (Brandenburg, 2008). Other drawbacks to social networking include criminal trafficking and child predators as the Internet has broadened the reach of these activities. Moreover, the mass popularity given with these venues has placed the notion of wasted time and procrastination to youth and working professionals as it has been taken into account by administrations to block these access. Although the benefits outweigh the downsides, the era of social networking will be a continued importance in many people’s lives and despite the critical risks involved, these devices will be a central activity and resource for the way people communicate.

Examples of Social Networking Sites

Contributors:
Inez (History of ..)
William (Advantages of ..)
Yong (Disadvantages of..)
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