I realise this post is probably gonna make me seem like a really old, technology-rejecting grandma, but this is a topic that is very important in the world today and I want to write about it!
Social networking is a huge part of many peoples’ lives, whether it’s for a good or bad reason. Some people live by their chosen website and can’t get off it and some people want nothing to do with it. There are a few websites, the most popular ones being Facebook and Twitter. Social networking has caused a lot of trouble and has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, but people say it can be really good. In this post, I’m going to try and answer the following questions: What are the good and bad points of social networking? Which one is better; Facebook or Twitter? What is it with kids and social networking? Is social networking going to replace other forms of communication? Is social networking actually a good idea? Finally, what is the future of social networking? These questions are going to be quite challenging to answer, but hopefully it will give you something to think about and maybe a new perspective on social networking. I may have to do this in a few posts if it becomes too long.
So, the first question: what are the good and bad points of social networking? There are loads of points for each side, so I’ll try to condense them into bullet points (this is just my opinion, however. Feel free to disagree!).
The good points:
- You can talk to your friends all around the world
- It’s free
- There are loads of things you can do, not just chatting to people
- You can talk about relevant issues or whatever you want- freedom to say anything
- You can reconnect with people you haven’t seen for a while
- You can share photos for free
- You can see what all your friends are doing and organise events and stuff
But, here are the bad points:
- If you don’t set your settings to private, anyone can see what you’ve posted
- No one really cares about status updates, and people end up saying ‘Oh look guys, I’m on the toilet!’
- It’s a haven for stalkers and pedophiles
- Once you’ve posted something, it’s always going to be there for people to see (it’s the same with anything on the internet)
- You can see some very rude and disturbing things there, which, once you’ve seen, you can’t un-see
- It becomes a popularity contest between you and your friends to see who has the most friends/followers
- You eventually get totally addicted to it and don’t do anything else but chat to people online
I did the same amount of bad points and good points to make it even. I don’t want to be biased! (I am, I hate social networks.)
By the way, if my information is all inaccurate, please forgive me, I have never actually used Facebook/Twitter so I don’t really know about the features and everything.
Next question: which is better; Facebook or Twitter? I’ll write a paragraph about each and then come to a conclusion, but I would love to see what you think as well!
Facebook, at first, was basically the most popular social network. You can talk to your friends, ‘like’ other peoples’ stuff, post photos and tag people, see what everyone else is doing and post updates from anywhere that has internet. Did I mention it was free? It’s like everything you need rolled in to one website. This is all very nice, but that’s all Facebook does. It’s good to be able to talk to your friends, but mostly people add their school friends/work friends, who they see almost every day! Humans have MOUTHS for a reason! Anyway, if you set your settings to public, weirdos will see your account, but if you set your settings to private, no one but your friends will see your account, and then you can’t really meet anyone new (obviously people you trust. DON’T GO ADDING STRANGERS!!). I think the ‘like’ button, at first, was a good idea. You can show your appreciation for something really quickly, without having to comment. But it got turned into a popularity contest: who can get the most ‘likes’? It’s the same with friends: who can add the most friends? Facebook should be about chatting to people who maybe you haven’t seen for a while, but then again, email does just that. It’s probably even easier to set up an email account. With email, you can basically do the same thing, and it’s even better because you can email ONE select person, not say ‘Hey guys, I’m buying Doreen a present at [somewhere]!’ and let everyone, including Doreen, see it. And you could choose to email more than one person. Email doesn’t have a minimum age either, so you don’t have to lie. Basically, Facebook is rubbish (in my opinion).
I asked my mum about Twitter, and that’s all the information I am using to write this. Twitter is a place where you can post ‘tweets’ about anything- talking about a relevant issue, replying to what someone has said or asking a question to the world. When I first heard this I thought ‘Huh? Is that all? It’s just like posting status updates!’ and it pretty much is. From what I’ve heard as well, there’s no setting to change your profile to private, so if you tweet something that was meant for only one person, everyone else will see it. That could be bad. My mum said that a good thing was that people tweet things WAY before they appear on the news. That could be good, but you only have 140 words (or something), so the full story can’t be covered and people may not believe you if you’re just a normal person who just saw, for example, Barack Obama fall out of a window and die. In that way, respected people could tweet totally false information and average people could tweet something true. Guess who they’d believe?! And like Facebook, it could become a contest to get the most followers, and really, you only get followed if your tweets are interesting. I suppose there is something good, though, because there is a lot of discussion about relevant topics, so if you have a particularly funny/interesting opinion on something, you can tweet it and do the hashtag/@ thing and more people will notice you. Then they might follow you. Also, Twitter’s not just a community of stupid people posting stupid status updates, loads of famous/respected people go on there and post (hopefully) interesting stuff and people will talk about it. So it’s a place for posting quite serious stuff.
Overall, for me, I think Twitter is better, mostly because you can talk about relevant issues in a place where (again, just guessing) people respect your opinions and take you seriously, if that’s how you want it to be. Facebook is just a waste of time, a boring place for people to post stupid things.
This has been long, so I think I will go and do a new post answering the next questions.
Your unfinished blogger, Jaz