What are the Pros and Cons of Social Networking?

Lainie Petersen

The pros and cons of social networking and social media are varied and often connected to each other. While social networking sites provide networking opportunities, ways to quickly transmit information, as well as ways for old friends and family members to stay in touch, they have their drawbacks. Opportunities for legitimate networking can be exploited by scammers and hackers, gossip and rumors can spread just as quickly as actual news, and stalkers can use social networks to further exploit and harass their victims.

A pro of some social networking sites is the ability to avoid people with whom you don't wish to associate.
A pro of some social networking sites is the ability to avoid people with whom you don't wish to associate.

Social media sites are perhaps best known for their abilities to connect people who have similar interests but who may not have ever had the opportunity to meet because of geographical, social, or time limitations. Perhaps chief among the "pros" of social networking is the ability of "average" people to learn about others with whom they may share crucial information and develop business and personal friendships. Social networking has proved a boon for people with specialized hobbies and interests, but it also enables people to get acquainted at a safe distance. Unfortunately, some individuals use social media as a way of cheating a gullible public, either through outright scams, such as an appeal for money for a non-existent hospital bill, or by using the social network to spread computer viruses or to gather personal information to be used in identity theft.

Social networking increases computer virus risk.
Social networking increases computer virus risk.

Many people use networking sites to share news and information with their friends and family. Many social media platforms make it very easy for users to share links to Internet-based stories, articles, photographs, and blog posts. The pros and cons of social networking information are once again deeply connected: While it is easy for someone to share and spread an important news story, such as one about a natural disaster or a significant health concern, it can be difficult to contain the spread of a story that includes misinformation. Many experts in school bullying also recognize this problem, as students can easily use these sites as a way of spreading viscous rumors about schoolmates.

Stalking is a concern many have with sharing information on social networking sites.
Stalking is a concern many have with sharing information on social networking sites.

It's also possible to misuse social networking information for the purposes of harassment or violence. For many people, these sites are a wonderful way of staying in touch with family and friends, particularly those who live far away. Users often share a great deal of personal information about themselves on these sites and may even use them to record their day-to-day activities. While this can be a great way of maintaining relationships, stalkers and other people with bad intentions may use this information to harass and even injure site users. Social media participants should take advantage of privacy protections offered by their sites and restrict what information strangers can learn about them from their profiles.

Social networking can be dangerous for teens who share too much personal information online.
Social networking can be dangerous for teens who share too much personal information online.
Social networking can be a platform to share amusing videos and pictures.
Social networking can be a platform to share amusing videos and pictures.
Social networking might be used to find new friends with similar interests.
Social networking might be used to find new friends with similar interests.
People might use a social networking site to organize different social events.
People might use a social networking site to organize different social events.
A stalker may used information obtained from social networking sites to follow their victim home.
A stalker may used information obtained from social networking sites to follow their victim home.
Many people use social media to promote their parties or other events.
Many people use social media to promote their parties or other events.
Many people use networking sites to share news and information with their friends and family.
Many people use networking sites to share news and information with their friends and family.
In some cases, social networking leads to extracurricular.
In some cases, social networking leads to extracurricular.
Social networking is one way a person can meet a new romantic partner.
Social networking is one way a person can meet a new romantic partner.

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Discussion Comments

subway11

@Sneakers41 -I think while social networking benefits are important, I also see how a social networking platform can be dangerous especially for kids.

It really does leave them susceptible for bullying and other dangerous crimes. I understand that kids also need to socialize but, I am a little old fashioned and prefer that they use the telephone to talk to their friends because at least I know who they are talking to.

The internet poses a lot of dangers to kids and until kids realize how to use the internet responsibly and are truly aware of the dangers that exist, why take the risk?

sneakers41

I know that social networking sites have pros and cons. I think that some of the positive aspects are the social networking marketing opportunities. There are a lot of companies that reach customers this way and some even hire people this way.

I had a friend who found a job through one of her online social networks because it turned out that she knew the human resource manager and went to school with her. I think that a lot of the business social networks are helpful for people looking to network with others in their industry in order to stay on top of the latest news and also establish contacts in case they choose to leave their current firm or get laid off.

Some people don’t have time to engage in networking meetings at a hotel, but if the meetings are from the internet than they could probably squeeze in the time.

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