Is Social Networking Helpful or Harmful?
Social networking, as defined by www.investopedia.com, is “the use of internet-based social media programs to make connections with friend, family, classmates, customers and clients.” Some of the most popular social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn. On these sites, users may develop autobiographical profiles, communicate with friends and strangers and share thoughts, photos, music and other media. Social networking leads to many harmful situations with severe consequences.
With the increasing global use of social media, there are more opportunities than ever for people to commit fraud. According to www.eonetwork.org, an American soldier while abroad in Iraq realized that his bank account was repeatedly being accessed and drained. It was discovered that the perpetrator was able to accomplish this with nothing more than the soldier’s name, email and Facebook profile. Carrie-Ann Skinner reports that one third of social networkers have at least three pieces of information posted on their profiles; among names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, children’s and pets’ names, etc. This variety of data makes it easy for scammers and thieves to take advantages of them. Their status updates also allows them to know where they are; if they post that they are at the grocery store or on vacation, they can become open to theft.
Cyber-bullying is the use of technology, such as cell phones and social networking sites mainly, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, to harass and spread mean spirited messages about a person. Phoebe Prince was a fifteen year old Irish immigrant who endured three months of torment from her school mates via text messages and Facebook. Messages such as “Irish slut” and “Whore” were posted about Prince. She eventually committed suicide and crude comments were posted on her Facebook memorial page. As cited by www.internetsafety101.org, over one million teenagers were harassed,...