Monday, 27 August 2012

Are social media websites destroying actual communications?


As a young (ish) person living in the 21st century I, along with the rest of my generation, own a Facebook which I use regularly (along with a Twitter, Tumblr and now a Blogspot). These days it is pretty odd for someone not to have one and, although once there was an age restriction of 13, I am not sure that this is still the case. And even if it is, it is so easy to lie about it, that huge amounts of primary school children are using the facility.

Since its invention in 2004, Facebook became hugely popular almost immediately and now boasts close to a billion users. And it is still going from strength to strength. So much so, that none of the other social networking sites have even come close to its popularity. But even though it has 'social' in its name, what is it actually doing to our society? Is it enhancing our abilities to communicate with each other or is it actually destroying them.

There are a lot of amazing services that Facebook can offer such as the ability to communicate to a large number of people easily and the extra form of contacting your friends if you can't do it any other way. It is an excellent way to keep in touch with older friends, see what people are up to and to share your thoughts/pictures/music with people who you consider close. And now it is even quite good for you as a way to record the different events of your life and all the pictures that go with it, through the invention of Timeline. If that's what you want to do.

However, despite these useful features, the majority of Facebook is timewasting and slightly inane. Recently there has been a huge surge in the number of apps and other features that have been integrated into the site. Whether this is to do with music or pictures or games (such as farmville, and cityville and loads of other types of -ville) it means young people are spending even more time on the internet. Time that they could use to actually go out and see their friends. On top of that, it can also be seen as dangerous, with na├»ve young teenagers adding people they don't know in an effort to have more 'friends' and to look more popular. And these randomers then have access to a lot of personal information which is why it there is an age restriction of over-thirteens only. But as I said earlier, it is no trouble to lie to get around this.

With Facebook becoming ever more available all day long on smart phones, it is unlikely that it's popularity will ever fade. Unless it starts charging like it keeps on threatening to do so. So go on and enjoy it...just don't let it take over your life. And now, I am going to go and post a link for this article on Facebook and Twitter...how ironic.

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1 comment:

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