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Are social networking sites good for society?

Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are amongst the most popular destinations on the web. No doubt in some cases this has contributed to Internet Addiction Disorder, but have they on the whole had a positive effect in our lives?

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Experts and Influencers

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Experts In Sociology

Nicole Ellison    Telecommunications Professor
I believe the benefits provided by social network sites such as Facebook have made us better off as a society and as individuals, and that, as they continue to be adopted by more diverse populations, we will see an increase in their utility. Anecdotal evidence of positive outcomes from these technologies — such as political activities organized via Facebook or jobs found through LinkedIn — is well-known, but now a growing corpus of research on social networks sites supports this view too.
15 Feb 2008    Source

Experts In Marketing

Steve Chazin    Marketing Director
Mostly Agree
I believe social networking technology has changed our lives for the better, but at a cost. ... While all humans need to feel connected to each other or to some cause, there are also times when we simply want to disconnect, and disconnecting is becoming increasingly hard thanks to social networking technology. ... Today, we experience a feeling of isolation when our Internet connections go down, revealing just how dependent we’ve become on the connective power of the Web.
15 Feb 2008    Source

Experts In Media

Danah Boyd    Researcher
Mostly Agree
This is not to say that all of the products of social media are positive. We can all point to negative consequences: bullying, gossip mongering, increased procrastination, etc. Our news media loves to focus on these. Even the positive stories that do run often have a negative or sensationalist angle, such as those who used Twitter to track the California fires. Unfortunately, those who do not understand social media look to the news, see the negative coverage, and declare all social media evil.
15 Feb 2008    Source

Experts In Science

Aric Sigman    Psychologist
Mostly Disagree
My paper [Well Connected?: The Biological Implications of 'Social Networking'] has been misrepresented by many news reports as claiming that social networking causes cancer or disease. This is not true. The paper addresses the extent to which time online may be displacing face-to-face contact, and that lack of social connection is associated with physiological changes, increased incidence of illness and higher premature mortality.
01 Feb 2009    Source

Susan Greenfield    Baroness, Professor of Brain Physiology
Mostly Disagree
[social networking sites] are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity.
24 Feb 2009    Source

Experts In Science

William Reader    Psychology Professor
Some doom-mongers have suggested that social networking technologies will eventually lead to a society in which we no longer engage in face-to-face contact with people. I don’t see it. ... So has social networking technology made us better or worse off? My view is neither utopian nor dystopian: social networking technologies are doubtless changing society. But like anything — apart from motherhood and apple pie — whether this is good or bad depends upon what kind of society you value.
15 Feb 2008    Source

Experts In Economics

Martin Baily    Economics Professor and Policy Adviser
Powerful new technologies provide great benefits, but they also change the way we live, and not always in ways that everyone likes. An example is the spread of air conditioning, which makes us more comfortable, but those who grew up before its invention speak fondly of a time when everyone sat on the front porch and talked to their neighbors rather than going indoors to stay cool and watch TV.
15 Feb 2008    Source


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0 Points      Jessie Kurt      28 Jun 2012      General Comment
I think social networking is only an issue when people use them for what they weren't meant for.. I mean, if you read the about pages before joining a network and make sure that you're comfortable with just how it works... and then got the rest of the world to do so lol (good luck) it'd be fine. The thing is this - Facebook is great for fam and friends, Twitter is great for following celebs, sites like www.Tumblr.com are great for having blogs, www.Formvote.com is great for asking questions, there's so many of these networks now lol. But the point is that when you switch the use or confuse them, you end up in some ... stuff. lol.

1 Point      Anonymous      19 Sep 2011      General Comment
most things goes wrong because of our carelessness.everything has both advantages and disadvantages. It depends on our choices that we make, it will create a great different no matter what happen

0 Points      Matthew Anthony      25 Aug 2011      Stance on Question: Neutral
Like anything else in life, moderation is key. Too much of anything is usually a bad thing. Almost everything has pros and cons and social networking is no different. I sincerely think its that simple. There are going to be people who sit in front televisions too much and there are going to be people who watch them sparingly. I think this is just one of those topics that will get overanalyzed easily.

0 Points      Benja      25 Aug 2011      General Comment
"Like anything else in life, moderation is key"
See platitude.

0 Points      Matthew Anthony      26 Aug 2011      Stance on Question: Neutral
"Whether any given statement is considered to have meaning is highly subjective, so platitude is often—but not always—used as a pejorative term to describe seemingly profound statements that a certain person views as unoriginal or shallow."


0 Points      Anonymous      10 Jan 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
I believe that there are more cons than pro that come out of social networking. Yes they bring people together, but other than that what do they do? They are a easy way to stock people or lead to all the rape or kidnap stories we hear about. They are also adictive, with facebook and myspace there are many games that require you to check everyday. So you either let you crops die in Farmville or feed you animals in super poke pets. I myself have a facebook and used to have a myspace, and have played games on each and yes they are adictive. And yes I had a slight adiction to facebook but in the end it was all vertual things that didn't really matter. Yes, it isn't the sites fault; it's the person and how they use them but if the sites didn't exist there would be no temptation. I believe the sites are a waste of time for everyone that uses them, why don't people go outside and take a walk or call a friend instead of sitting in front of a screen.

0 Points      Anonymous      27 Oct 2011      Stance on Question: General Comment
so what are you getting at are they good or not???

0 Points      susu      22 Aug 2011      Stance on Question: General Comment
well were arguing that are social networking sites good for society not are games on social networking site addictive.

0 Points      trishh      15 Aug 2011      General Comment
you are right..they are addictive..

0 Points      porter2010      20 Jan 2010      Stance on Question: Agree
Social netowrking is good for marketing .... very good. Other than that I find those sites VERY intrusive.

0 Points      Anonymous      07 Apr 2010      General Comment
good and bad because many things could happen

0 Points      Angel      17 Feb 2011      General Comment
I agree because anybody can get on your stuff and see what is going on in your life. The police of chief can even look at all of the things that you do and say about other people. So before you go and do something stupid.... THINK BEFORE YOU DO IT.....

0 Points      Anonymous      22 Aug 2011      General Comment
privacy settings u dont have them for no reason

0 Points      HoustonSEOExpert      14 Jan 2010      Stance on Question: Neutral
I would have to stay Neutral on this type of topic. This is like asking if 'Guns' have had a positive impact on society. Because you can't really judge that, it really depends on the person who is using it and their own personal intentions.

Guns have the power to easily kill - but depending on the person who owns that gun will determine whether or not it is good for society.

Guns helped us hunt for our food, win wars, protect our selves and our families...etc.

Social networking sites are kind of the same.

They can be bad if a pedophile opens an account...but can be good if a society such as the 'Purple Heart' starts connecting to users and raises more money to help people in need.

Social networking is also making it better for businesses and the the consumers who purchase their products and services. Businesses get better visibility and consumer relationships...while consumers get more interaction and transparency of the people they buy from.

Yet on the business side there is also a huge annoyance...another avenue for SPAM.

In closing...it's not whether or not Social Networking sites have had a positive or negative impact on our society...because if a person decides to become addicted to these types of places, it is THEIR decision and most likely the result of something NO ONE LIKES TO TALK ABOUT.....

Lack of proper parenting, happy relationships, guidance, and structure. Something that I believe went down hill when your average American turned their back on really following their religions and belief systems. I think that those positive religions and belief systems out there, are the glue that kept our society SANE for so long.....

If you introduce ANYTHING new to our society now days...there will always be people who either can't handle it or will misuse it.

0 Points      Matthew Anthony      25 Aug 2011      Stance on Question: Neutral
"If you introduce ANYTHING new to our society now days...there will always be people who either can handle it or will misuse it."


0 Points      Clive      29 Apr 2009      Stance on Question: Neutral
Yeah, have to go with neutral on this one. I think as a society we're just not experienced enough to make a judgement on social networking. I remember hearing about the two the got married by meeting on second life and the rapist that found his victim online.
Simply put, we just don't yet.