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Social Networking Report

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Social Networking 1. Introduction
Social networking is like small rural communities, filled with millions of individuals who are looking to meet other people. Social networking is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, social networking makes communication and sharing easier and even business models are using them. However, when such practices are becoming more common, people are less likely to question about the dangers and start using it as well. Up till this day, people are increasingly thinking that sharing and communicating online are more important than privacy and security (Elsas, 2008). The purpose of this paper is to further raise awareness of the benefits and dangers of social networking. It also covers examples of why people should pay more attention to dangers they might encounter before posting anything online.

2. Benefits
While there are many dangers when social networking, there are certain potential advantages when it comes to communicating and sharing online. Social networking provides better chances for people to communicate and build up relationships with one another and it is also important to encourage others to build positive relationships with others online. 3.1. Gaining social confidence online
Children improve relationships with friends that they have never met online (Pekel, 2012). For example, making friends online before meeting them, allows them to get to know the other better before meeting up. This usually works with situations such as going to a new school or meeting new friends. 3.2. Users find support from online communities.
There are thousands of different online communities in the internet for users to join. Such communities are important for users who have unique interests and who are isolated (Pekel, 2012). These communities allow users to create groups online in search for other users that are also interested in similar interests.

3.3. Keeping in touch
Sharing of videos, photos or messages via social networking sites allows people to keep others updated on how they have been (Pekel, 2012). It also helps to maintain relationships between family and friends even if they are on the other side of the world.

3. Dangers
Many users do not question about the dangers of social networking just because it is one of the most commonly performed activity in the society. Thus, these dangers become invisible to most of the users which resulted in many situations whereby users are being harmed by misusage of online sites. 3.1 Identity theft
It does not take a genius to be able to steal a user’s personal particulars online, for example his school or work history, names of family members or address. Users are not aware of particulars that they share on the web and this usually results in “thieves” trying to steal their particulars easily (Pekel, 2012). 3.2 Risk of Cyber bullying
Posting funny or rude pictures or videos of someone online just for a good laugh might lead to devastating consequences. For example, it was reported in The Huffington Post that Amanda Todd, committed suicide after a prolonged battle online and in school (Grenoble, 2012). 3.3 Potential Vulnerability of users
As communicating with other people becomes more common, it is possible to have thousands of friends online. In most cases, most of these ‘friends’ are not known personally by the user. This increases the chances of having strangers looking through his profile and obtaining personal particulars.

4. Conclusion
This paper has highlighted information on different factors related to the benefits and dangers of social networking. Some of the benefits are gaining social confidence online, finding support from online communities and keeping in touch whereas the main dangers are identity theft, risk of cyber bullying and who you are making friends with. There is a lot of misuse of such technology and when something is being posted online, there is no way that that particular information can be removed completely. Although there are many dangers which relate to social networking, this technology has indeed increased efficiency for many working adults and even students in the whole world. Communication has been taken to the next level, where people are able to build up relationships with one another without the need for meet-ups. However, people start to take advantage of these luxuries for dishonest uses over time which may result in dire consequences. Primary schools should educate students as early as primary 4 about how social networking can be an advantage but also a place where many people suffer from as well through compulsory subjects in class, for example Civics and Moral Education. Users should play a part in convincing peers who misuse these advantages and stand in the position of anyone before posting anything that is negative online.
References
Elsas, A. v. (2008, November 13). 5 dangers of social media. Retrieved from @vanelsas: http://vanelsas.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/5-dangers-of-social-media/
Grenoble, R. (2012). Amanda Todd: Bullied Canadian Teen Commits Suicide After Prolonged Battle Online And In School. The Huffington Post.
Pekel, K. (2012). Benefits of Online Social Networking. Retrieved from ParentFurther: http://www.parentfurther.com/technology-media/social-networking/benefits

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