Social Networking

I remember 3 years ago in my college senior seminar listening to Prof. Heller speak about networking. About how you needed to meet people, talk to people, and make yourself known. I find it odd that this concept has been absorbed by the Internet social networking sites.

When you meet someone now, they will most likely give you an email address rather than a phone number, their personal website, and you can probably find their profile on one of the many networking sites that overwhelm us.

Social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Orkut, and Friendster have become a part of everyday life for millions of people around the world. Social network sites are online networks for people to meet others who share interests and activities or for those who like to explore interests’ and activities of others.

These services generally offer a variety of ways for users to interact, whether it be through chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, or discussion groups.

As people are moving away from meeting others face to face and having a genuine conversation, there are some who are concerned about what affect these social networks will have on society as a whole. The top concerns being identity, privacy, e-learning, social capital, and teenage use.

I will admit that I have fallen victim to the social network wave. I do my best to not let it over run my life, but at times it feels like a losing battle. For instance, my sister-in-law is planning a party and the e-vite was sent to people via MySpace. Since I had not logged in for some time I was unaware of the gathering and made other plans.

The people I associate with are people that I already know in true life. In fact, I have reconnected with people from my past with whom I lost touch. This is where I am not sure how I feel about the growth of networking sites, the negatives and positives are difficult to distinguish.