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Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society?

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Are social networking sites good for our society? Specific Purpose: In today’s lifestyle, it is admitted that Social Network Sites bring convenience, efficiency, fast, speed and width for adolescents' interpersonal relationship development, but some people don’t know It also brings many negative impacts that social networking sites. Central Idea: Social networking sites have a negative influence on children, teenagers and adults. This paper will demonstrate that social networking sites do cause more harm than good. Introduction:

A social networking site can be defined as an online service that is based around the building and reflecting of social relations among individuals with common interests or social ties. Social networking sites such as Face book, Friendster,Tribe. net, MySpace and Twitter all vary slightly, but the one main feature they have is that they enable users to create a profile within the website to represent themselves and allows users to interact through email, instant messaging and other integrated communication channels within the site.

The popularity and growth of social networking sites over the past five years has been colossal, as many people from all over the world join up to this social phenomenon for varied reasons. Today, there are more than 500 million active users on face book and users spend over 700 billion minutes per month on this social networking site (Facebook, 2012). As the technology of Web 2. 0 improves and advances, social networking sites have an even bigger impact on society and human relationships, both positive and negative.

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I’m going discuss the three main reasons why social networking sites bring many negative impacts pose on today’s media savvy generation. I. Identity theft. A. Identity theft has become a result of the rapid expansion. 1. Total of 810,000 Australians of personal fraud in or identity theft in 2008” (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008). B. Sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter identity theft in two mains Ways. 1. The first being is that sites encourage you to “edit our profile”. Users share a variety of information about themselves on their Facebook profiles. 2. The second main issue is the privacy settings on these social networking sites also help personal fraud. II. The weakening of strong ties and isolation. A. The way we communicate with our peers and with strangers over the internet are changing. 1. Weakening our strong ties and also bring about physical social isolation

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Effects of Social Media on Society

With social network on the rise, and the large amount of young people that take part in social networking, there is question as to whether or not social media should be part of our education system. Propenents of social media point out the benefits of social media in regards to educational tools, and increased student engagement, while critics of social networking focus on subject like privacy, time, and miscommunication. Pros of Social Networking Today’s students are increasingly using social networking as a means to communicate.

According to a recent poll, 22 percent of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day. Seventy-five percent of teenagers own cell phones--25 percent use them for social media, 54 percent use them for texting, and 24 percent use them for instant messaging. (O’Keefe 2011) With these statistics in mind, educators looking to engage students in an already challenging curriculum, search for ways to connect a student’s learning experience to what has become a huge force in their young lives.

Social networking can be yet another platform to enrich the learning experience since students and teachers can connect beyond the confine of the classroom. Although Websites such as FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkIn are popular among young people, they are not the best, or the only social network sites available to use in school since they are “open sites” where anyone outside the student’s immediate circle can access communicate, or gain information.

Instead, blogs, wikis, and private social networking are tools that can make a tremendous impact on how teachers teach and students learn in a much safer arena than public sites such as FaceBook or Twitter. Blogs, Wiki Private Label and other private social networks such as Edmondo or Socialcast, provide a place for teachers to post homework, communicate with parents and students, and interact with students beyond the classroom. Student can also use these private social networks to participate in discussions, get peer feedback, and showcase work.

Blogs, wikis and private social networks that are controlled and monitored by teachers to provide a far more safe on-line social networking environment than open social networks. Just as social media resources has attracted the attention of millions of young people, these same features have the ability to capture the attention of students to the learning opportunities provided by their school. Educators could take advantage of these social and interactive features to encourage students to become actively engaged in their learning experience with their teachers.

Using social media resources as learning tools would allow students to access valuable and necessary learning objects regardless of their location and time of day. Easy access to an abundance of learning resources may also help in the amount of time a student spends engaged in a lesson or an assignment. In addition, the participatory nature of many social networks could be used to re-engage previously bored students or students that are apprehensive to openly talk in live discussions is class. Cons of Social Networking

There are many challenges that face the use of social networking in education such as; on-line safety, time to manage networks, and miscommunication. Before a school decides to make social networking part of their curriculum the benefits of such sites need to be weighed against the drawbacks. Social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are open for anyone who wants to participate. Students need to provide personal information to join these sites, and often don’t think about safeguarding it.

Although a lot of the information individuals’ supply on social networking is elective, young users may progressively become more comfortable with displaying a great deal of personal information online, without thinking who has access to the information, and what is it used for. Since students aren’t concerned with safety issues, teachers are therefore put into a position to ensure students are exercising privacy rights, which can take up a lot of time that teachers don’t necessarily have.

In addition, teachers must take the time to check that students are using the social network as a tool to enhance the learning process instead of recreational use, and in looking at each blog, wiki, Facebook comment, Tweet, etc,. to see if the student is in fact participating. Managing networks take a huge amount of time that teachers often complain they don’t even have even in the traditional educational setting. Although social networks can facilitate communication, they also can hinder it by possible miscommunications. Learning via. the Internet does ot afford students the same opportunity of explanation and clarification that occur in face-to-face interaction. Students can face some difficulty through social networking in expressing their views and ideas in writing, as many learners may prefer to express their ideas orally which is how they have been effectively communicating for years before using social networks. While social network users need to utilize writing skills to express their ideas and opinions freely, face to face interaction allows students to perceive physical clues like tone, inflection, and body language.

In an online environment, these necessary components are lacking. As social networking becomes more and more integrated in the ways students communicate, the debate over the role social networking play in the classroom continues. Proponents on both sides will struggle to find a balance between the importance social networks to ways teachers teach and students learn and the safety of students. Though there are risks associated with encouraging students to use social networking, advocates argue that the opportunity for a student’s potential intellectual and social growth will outweigh the costs.

References Mitrano, T. (2006). A Wider World - Youth, Privacy, and Social Networking Technologies. Educause Review, Nov/Dec, 16-28. O’Keefe G, Clarke-Pearson K, “Clinical Report-The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families. ” Pediatrics. 2011 April; 127(4): 800-805 Rutherford, C. (2010). Using Online Social Media to Support Preservice Student Engagement. Journal of online learning and teaching, Vol. 6(4).

Ethical aspects of Social Media Marketing

This essay will focus on the topic ‘Critically evaluating the ethical aspects of social media marketing in the United States’ and the principal question assessed throughout this writing will be ‘Have social media marketing acted ethical or not? ’ According to Nielson Report (2013, p. 3), ‘Social media marketing typically refers to two practices involving social media- the use free tools and paid media’.

According to Gaski (1999 cited Smith 2000, p8), marketing ethics is defined as “standards of conduct and moral judgements applied to marketing”. In relation to social media, these ethics guide the operations of marketing on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Youtube (Eagle, 2009). With the rapid growth and adoption of social media, the ethical concerns on social media has also significantly increased. (Mutula, 2012).

The author further examines the following categories: 1. 1Social Media Research According to Smith, (2001), -“be truthful, protect privacy, don't model inappropriate behaviour, don't be offensive, be fair and balanced, avoid stereotyping and protect children’’ are the seven basic ethical standards for marketing, which are applicable to the present social media marketing. However, all businesses has a legal responsibility to comply with the legislation of their country.

In the United States it is the Federal Trade Commission which regulates advertising and marketing laws in the country. (Smith, 2001: Federal Trade Commission, 2013) Social media research is the initial stage of marketing; a technique or an approach used by the marketers to conduct market research on social media platforms. The foremost issue that has commenced is the ethical aspect of using social media for market research purposes; the gathering of data and conducting research on consumers and competitors. (Patino et. al).

In addition, it is the fundamental responsibility of marketers to protect consumer personal data by ensuring that the data is only used for research purposes and makes sure that they adhere to the social network guidelines and regulations of the company. (Mareck M, 2011) However, companies violate these rules and steal customer information without their consent for research and marketing activities, which is unethical and against the FTC Act.

Evidently, it was reported by the FTC, in May 2011, 32 legal actions were taken against organisations that have failed to maintain protection for consumer sensitive data thus breached consumers’ privacy rights. For example, in February 2013, a social networking app generated by Path. Inc. , acquired consumer personal information without their consent and settled FTC charges for infringing Consumer Privacy Act also in the meantime the same company was charged for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, from approximately 3000 children personal information was collected without getting parents’ consent which was claimed to be highly unethical. (Federal Trade Commission 2013).

Moreover, social media has assisted companies to monitor their employees on social networks. Many reports and cases have been lodged against those companies for unethical practices, by involuntarily retrieving personal information of employees. Such cases involve companies use specialised softwares or access employees’ user name and password of Facebook and Twitter accounts, to trace tweets and posts of what employees post on social networks.

As a result, in regard to the newly imposed social media privacy legislation, companies were seized to make settlements on the charges of violating Employee Privacy Protection Act. (Eaglesham, J. and Rothfeld, M. , 2013) Furthermore, social media marketing has become a major threat to the competitors since the birth of social media, and with the aid of market research it has become a trend for brands to practice unethical and unlawful activities such as creating fake accounts, fake endorsements, fake blogs, fake community groups and tarnishing competitors’ brand reputation on social platforms. (Ray, 2011)

1. 2 Viral Marketing and Advertising Viral marketing is the spreading of information between users on social media and it has become the defining marketing trend; techniques used to promote company product/ service and brand name on social media. For example, viral campaigns are marketing techniques widely used to spread the Word-Of-Mouth (WOM) and it can be in the form of viral videos via Youtube, Facebook statuses/posts, or blogs on social media.

Thus, viral campaigns build awareness and promotes the company product and image on social media. (Fergusan. R, 2008) For example, ASDA has effectively used this strategy for their promotional campaigns, like the Christmas doesn’t just happen by magic Video 2012 which went viral on Youtube. However, viral marketing can be an adverse impact to the company and unethical too.

For example, Celeb Boutique thought of implementing the viral marketing technique of trending hash tag on Twitter, instead of a positive brand recognition it caused a negative impact to the company brand image and was humiliated virally. (Smeets, 2013) In terms of ethics, such cases include: companies that attack other companies indirectly, being dis honest unprofessional and dis respectful on their campaigns.

For example: As reported by The Economic Times, in April 2012, Nokia launched an aggressive viral campaign against Samsung, comparing it’s Lumia smart phone with Samsung’s intentionally emphasizing that Nokia phones are invincible and can blow away other smart phones, this campaign was highly unethical and against the FTC Advertising and Marketing Act of being dishonest and deceptive to stakeholders such as competitors (Mukherjee, W, 2012) According to FTC (2013), “All businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that advertising is truthful and not deceptive’’.

Advertising shouldn’t target on vulnerable audiences such as children and should comply with the FTC standards regarding children privacy issues.

For example: Kelloggs company made false claims on social networks that it’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal benefits children and improves their immunity, this was done by giving false evidence that the attentiveness of children can be improved by 20percent clinically, this advertisement was unethical as it infringed the standards of FTC” (Federal Trade Commission, 2013) Furthermore, it was alleged that companies pay celebrities millions of dollars to advertise and promote their brand on Social networks.

Recently, Snickers was suspected in promoting their brand on Twitter in the form of tweets through prominent celebrities such as Rio Ferdinand and Katie Price in 2012. As a result, the Fair Trade officers advised celebrities that advertisements that doesn’t reveal as a promotion or an endorsement is a ‘deceptive advertising’ and warned Snickers, it is against the FTC standards. However, the complaints accusing Snickers for deceptive advertising were forwarded to the Advertising Standards Authority to take further investigations on this unethical behavior. (Barnett, 2012: Federal Trade Commission, 2013)

1. 3 Engagement Process Social media enables companies to interact with customers more directly than any other forms. Engagement process is one of the major ethical challenge for companies as it involves the process of directly engaging with customers on social networks and has become a common practice for companies. Social media is used by employees on behalf of the company and it can endanger the company reputation via social media by using it unethically.

Even though, engagement process is an important component for marketing and public relations it can still be treacherous if used unethically. (Institute of Business Ethics, 2011) In a survey carried out by the Ethics Resource Centre, 45percent of U. S employees witnessed misconduct at work in which 65percent from those reported to be immoral behaviour, in consequence was alleged for violating the workplace ethics law. The study reveals that social media appears to be a major contributor to this issue. (Ethics Resource Centre, 2011)

In March 2010, Nestle Facebook fan page was hovered with negative remarks from its fans after the palm oil campaign, in response, the employee who controls the fan page posted offensive comments which violated the company policies hence, led to bad publicity and boycott activities from the public. (The Guardian, 2011) In 2012, many big brands faced serious catastrophes on social networks. Such circumstances follows; when McDonald tried to promote its brand via Twitter using hashtags, unfortunately the customers on Twitter posted unfavourable comments of consuming McDonald’s food.

Other examples such as the American Apparel and The Gap faced a colossal destructive responses from its customers for posting disapproving ads at the time of Hurricane Sandy. (Anon, 2012) 1. 4 Ethical Social Media Marketing Vs. Unethical Social Media Marketing Conversely, a survey carried out by the IBE reveals, businesses that operate ethically on social media is significantly greater than the proportion of businesses that operate unethically.

The above pie chart illustrates that 48 percent of the respondents say that businesses operate very/fairly ethically. (Institute of Business Ethics, 2012) Nevertheless, IBE survey found that it was a decline from 58 percent to 48 percent of views that assumes businesses operate very/fairly ethical on social media. Therefore, the change in the percentage from 2011 to 2012 ascertains that the negative impressions on ethical business behavior have increased radically. (Institute of Business Ethics, 2012) Conclusion

Social media marketing has positive and negative effects: the importance for social media has increased tremendously due to the immense benefits such as the increase in awareness, promotion, engagement and research; if social media is used unethically, may lead to lead to bad publicity and tarnish the company reputation. The varied arguments evidences of statistics and cases from different organisations strongly condemns that social media marketing is unethical; the unethical use of social media practiced by businesses outweighs the ethical use of social media marketing.

All in all, the author finds social media marketing unethical hence, may create a huge impact on the company and brand image negatively. However, if social media is properly used, it will result positive outcomes for the brand; if misused, the consequence will be a social abuse. Therefore, the author suggests to use social media vigilantly and consider the business ethics standards of their country before taking further steps

Risks of Youth Using Social Media ( Privacy Issues)

Clinical Report: The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, Kathleen Clarke Pediatrics Volume 127, Number 4, April 2011 pp. 800-804 RISKS OF YOUTH USING SOCIAL MEDIA Engaging in various forms of social media is a routine activity that research has shown to benefit children and adolescents by enhancing communication, social connection, and even technical skills. Social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace offer multiple daily opportunities for connecting with friends, classmates, and people with shared interests.

During the last 5 years, the number of preadolescents and adolescents using such sites has increased dramatically. Since a large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cell phones, children and adolescents are at some risk as they navigate and experiment with social media, because of their limited capacity for self-regulation and susceptibility to peer pressure. Recent research indicates that there are frequent online expressions of offline behaviors, such as bullying, and sexual experimentation, that have introduced problems such as cyber-bullying, privacy issues, and sexting.

Cyber-bullying Cyber-bullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person. It is the most common online risk for all teens and is a peer-to-peer risk. Although “online harassment” is often used interchangeably with the term “cyber-bullying,” it is actually a different entity. Current data suggest that online harassment is not as common as offline harassment (Lenhart, 2007), and participation in social networking sites does not put most children at risk of online harassment (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2008).

On the other hand, cyber-bullying is quite common, can occur to any young person online, and can cause profound psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and, tragically, suicide (Hinduja & Patchin, 2010). Sexting Sexting can be defined as “sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images via cell phone, computer, or other digital devices”(Berkshire District Attorney, 2010). Many of these images become distributed rapidly via cell phones or the Internet.

This phenomenon does occur among the teen population; a recent survey revealed that 20% of teens have sent or posted nude or seminude photographs or videos of themselves (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2010). Some teens who have engaged in sexting have been threatened or charged with felony child pornography charges, although some states have started characterizing such behaviors as juvenile-law misdemeanors (Gifford, 2010; Walker, 2010).

Additional consequences include school suspension for perpetrators and emotional distress with accompanying mental health conditions for victims. In many circumstances, however, the sexting incident is not shared beyond a small peer group or a couple and is not found to be distressing at all (Lenhart, 2009). Facebook Depression Researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called “Facebook depression,” defined as depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression (Davilla et al. 2009; Sturm, 2010). Acceptance by and contact with peers is an important element of adolescent life. The intensity of the online world is thought to be a factor that may trigger depression in some adolescents. As with offline depression, preadolescents and adolescents who suffer from Facebook depression are at risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to risky Internet sites and blogs for “help” that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors.

Social Media :: Curse or Blessing ?

Social Media :: Curse or blessing ? The way I see it, it all depends on how these sites, like Facebook or Twitter, are being used. Social media itself can be abused, overused, and taken advantage of. However, the power of social media itself is probably greater than the power of any person, any novel, any ruler, or even any country. But, whether that incredible power is a blessing or a curse is also one matter to question. The power of social media can be something extremely influential. This first took a huge toll in the beginning of 2011 with the political upheaval of Egypt.

The Internet's far-reaching speed combined with social media websites to create something unforgettable. The voices of Egypt stood together to overthrow the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and they spread all throughout the world. The power of social media was also noted when Mexicans turned to it for survival, not too long ago. At first, this served as a revolution. For the very first time, people's voices and opinions were coming together to form something larger than themselves. But we have to wonder, is that power too much?

History has repeated itself in telling us that it becomes a problem when one voice has too much power. One only needs to look at people like Hitler, Idi Amin, and Mao Zong for proof that giving one voice too much power can sink an entire people or nation. And in Egypt, this corrupting nature of power turned itself over from the ruler to the subjects which resulted in the same horrific effect. From this, it is clear that social media has a way of lending itself to this attribute of power. Another way social media can act as a curse is through its changing the behavior of our society.

Some say social media sites can lend to shorter attentions and less efficient work. Not only that, but my generation, that is, teenagers, tends to abuse social media and use it for popularity. Despite social media being a term with the connotation of connecting us, that seems to be one thing it is doing least. People who abuse Facebook, for example, by requesting and accepting as many 'friends' as possible, up to thousands, are giving those relationships artificial traits. Those relationships are so scattered and insignificant that many people don't even know some of their 'friends. These thinning relationships have no such value, and are illusions of genuine relationships. In this abuse of social media, values of building relationships and making new connections, as were the intentions of social media, are taken away and transformed wrongfully. Nevertheless, many people do use social media for positive purposes, which leads me to the side of social media that is a complete blessing to this modern world. When used correctly, the benefits of social media can far outweigh some of its downfalls. Social media changes the world every day, in ways both small and large.

For everyone who uses it, social media at least promotes and encourages communication and lends to more modern ways of learning and communicating. Not only do they lend to more efficiency in our rapidly evolving technologically advanced society, but social media sites are also some of the best ways to positively influence people by sharing your opinions. They act as platforms for your voice. If you have great ideas or want to be heard or found, websites like Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn can promote those good intentions.

Through these sites, you can find millions of people who share the same interests as you, and start making a difference, step by step. Social media websites can operate as both curses and blessings in our modern society. The difference between it as a curse and a blessing all hangs on the shoulders of its users. You may choose to abuse the potential of Facebook, or to change the world with Twitter. The difference in your actions may be small, but the end result varies greatly, and it is up to you to decide social media's role in your life.

Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society? essay

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