It's a small world!
Do you remember a time when you spoke to a complete stranger and then through conversation came to know that you both knew a common person? At which time either of you would exclaim "Oh! It's a small world!".
Well, I am sure you will agree with me when I say today that it indeed IS a small world, thanks to social networking through the internet. Of course the internet itself had made the world a very small place a long time ago but at that time (I guess!) we were still connecting with other human beings through the telephone or meeting them in person. Once the online social networking bug bit us there has been no looking back! Today I can connect with anyone who shares a common interest with me sitting on my chair, in the comfort of my home using the various social networking websites available at my disposal - Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr, Pinterest and many many more.
We do connect with other people using our phones these days, however, we mostly do so using the social media apps available rather than actually making a phone call!
Finally, coming back to why I started writing this hub in the first place - why use social media at all? Are there any advantages? Or is it completely an intrusion of one's privacy?
Let's look at some 'wows'...
1. Stay in touch
Excellent way to keep in touch with friends and family.You can also make friends with people halfway around the world without ever having to meet up for a cup of coffee or a drink!
2. Can help you land your dream job!
Today almost all employers search for potential candidates through professional networking websites.They prefer it if you have an online profile so that they can go through it and get an insight into your past career, the type of connections you have, what your past co workers and managers have to say about you etc. For example, LinkedIn has a recommendation section where you can ask your past co workers or managers to recommend your work. A recruiter going through your profile would be interested in reading these recommendations to get a better notion as to how suitable you are for the job at hand.
3. Receive first hand information
This is rather interesting...
Recently I read this article in a travel magazine about how this guy traveled through Miami, Florida using Twitter on his cellphone. Whenever he wanted some information on what to do, where to eat etc. he would tweet and promptly get a reply from someone eating at that restaurant right at that moment! Now that's what you call receiving first hand information!
4. See a picture/watch a video before you travel
Travel has never been this easy, thanks to social networking. While you are making your itinerary you can visit any of the photo sharing sites like Flickr, Shutterfly, Snapfish to see what your place of visit would look like or just go to YouTube and watch a video.
Here's a walking tour of Paris, France on YouTube
HubPages is also a form of social network...
I would not restrict social networking to Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube. What I am doing on HubPages is also a form of social networking. I am sharing my thoughts with everyone, people who read them are sharing their opinions through their comments, I am in turn also reading others' hubs and sharing my opinions with them.
This is almost like the food chain! I am just a small spider somewhere in the world wide web trying to share my thoughts with millions of other spiders elsewhere in the web. And at the same time I am trying to reap monetary benefits from all my networking activity.
But it's not all rosy out there. There are some ill effects. Here are some 'boos'...
1. Can be used for unwanted stuff
Some people take advantage of the anonymity the internet can provide and resort to writing about or uploading unnecessary content (for example pornography). But I am glad that websites like HubPages and YouTube keep the filth out. Else it would be a menace for people who are actually interested in sharing knowledge. And sites like Facebook have enough privacy settings to keep out the unwanted stuff.
2. Don't share too much personal information
How much you want to reveal about yourself on the internet is finally up to you and I would advise you to check the sanctity of any website before you go ahead and divulge all your details. Also, you must be very careful about any photographs that you upload of yourself on the internet, I don't think I have to tell you about photo morphing.
3. Keep your professional life away from personal social sites
Try not to be too vocal about what you don't like about your job, your boss or your colleagues on social networking sites. Certainly doesn't help you in any way! On the contrary it could land you in a lot of trouble.
4. Stick to mostly sharing general info
Try to keep all wall posts, tweets, blogs, discussions more general with a view to share information with others only. On a public forum or website avoid making racist comments, jokes etc.
5. Don't friend strangers on social sites
Online social networking is very popular among teenagers today and I have read about many criminal incidents which have occurred due to overexposed networking. We should avoid contacting strangers on websites like Facebook where most of us share a lot of intimate information between friends and family.
To sum it up, I would say that take advantage of all the good things online social networking has to offer but be careful while using it.
- Google CEO Exposes Dark Side of Social Networking - PCWorld Business Center
Google CEO Eric Schmidt puts the concept of online privacy in the spotlight once again by suggesting that users change their name and erase their identity to avoid their digital past.
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divakar3368 from Maldives on April 30, 2017:
Excellent piece of writing......kudos...
Harshini on November 19, 2013:
It is really helpful for my assignment. Thank you so much.
Ponx (author) from USA on July 13, 2012:
JDIZM on July 12, 2012:
some pretty good pros and cons there, nice hub
Ponx (author) from USA on June 28, 2012:
cityalice on June 16, 2012:
Good information. Social networking seems to have replaced the phone box, well, really Facebook did. Nice list of the social media hubpages.
mamicado.2 on March 01, 2012:
social network has easier for us because it cheaper and it is simple for everyone,builds credibility and connects people
nachi on February 21, 2012:
thanks for the information, it really helps in my thesis,
hoteltravel from Thailand on January 23, 2012:
Well-written hub! Beginners and not-so-tech-savvy fall prey to bad elements easily. Social networking sites should take the initiative to educate this group and enhance security features to prevent abuse.
tanisha lalaji on January 21, 2012:
it depends upon people how they use the networking sites from my point of view its both bane & boon
Ladybird33 from Fabulous USA on January 14, 2012:
Very helpful, thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Mud Engineer from Texas on December 23, 2011:
Good comparison of online social networking advantages and disadvantages. I would like to say though that Facebook continues to be a problem for some of the social media beginners out there. A lot of "newbie" profiles are easy to break into because of lame security questions like favorite foods and pet names. This has lead to accounts being hacked and taken over by predators who can then find provocative photos and distribute them elsewhere. Vulnerabilities like these need to be broadcast so that new internet socialites don't get taken advantage of. Again, good hub. Thumbs up and followed.
RobertDCrandell on November 09, 2011:
Great information!Voted up and shared!
Marilyn Alexander from Vancouver, Canada on September 22, 2011:
Thnx Ponx! Good hub. I think that next to security, helpful advice on how to use the particular networking site is needed. Also, I notice that people's networks can become so large and diverse that they no longer have much meaning. I understand that people can now set up "groups" to differentiate their following. That could be very worthwhile for legitimate marketers.
Thank you, I liked the hub.
skyfire on August 24, 2011:
I noticed that these days people post valuable content on social networks like facebook and g+ but not on their blog. So that is one big disadvantage if you're blogger. Making new connection is good thing but if we're limiting our growth because of these social networks then i guess it may not be a good idea. :)
fatty on August 21, 2011:
priyanka chopra on August 11, 2011:
well said hub pages!!!!!!!!
Ponx (author) from USA on June 06, 2011:
Well pointed out dkanofsky, certainly one of the advantages of social networking in today's online world!
dkanofsky from Bethalto, Illinois on June 06, 2011:
Social networking has literally become a gold mine for many internet marketers when they use it the right way, namely, getting to know the person first by establishing an online relationship.
Ponx (author) from USA on June 01, 2011:
Thank you DD!
DeAd Dolls Inc on June 01, 2011:
Amazingly Hub, voted up.
Ponx (author) from USA on April 25, 2011:
Thanks for stopping by soulpepper.
soulpepper on April 25, 2011:
very good! Thanks
Ponx (author) from USA on November 15, 2010:
Thanks for dropping by chine. Yes privacy concerns are an issue with almost all the social n/wing sites that we have out there. But I guess you just need to use them wisely.
Chinemere onuekwusi on November 06, 2010:
Hi ponx it was really nice going over this nice piece of work (hub). Since the privacy concerns on FaceBook arose with so many user looking for ways to cancel their account, I feel wary using social media these days as it could come back as your past to haunt you. Thanks for this indepth analysis. I wish to read more of such educative hubs from your stables. Thanks once more for sharing.
Ponx (author) from USA on September 04, 2010:
Yes elayne001....I will read your hub as well :)
Elayne from Rocky Mountains on September 03, 2010:
Great hub - can never be too careful. I wrote a similar hub. Thanks.
Ponx (author) from USA on August 31, 2010:
Thanks for the info Micromaniac...will have a look at the website...
Micromaniac on August 31, 2010:
Microjob.co uses social networking to make advertising affordable. Its uses social sites like facebook and twitter etc. to promote sites and gain traffic. It truly is revolutionary. Not a bad way to make money either.
Ponx (author) from USA on August 22, 2010:
Hi Rebecca...thanks for visiting my profile and dropping your comment.Yes of course it is a boon as I could not imagine how life would be without the internet anymore!But as I mentioned we must be careful and take advantage of all the resources we have at hand.And enjoy it while we're at it!
Rebecca E. from Canada on August 22, 2010:
well done, in fact I beleive it can be both, a boon and a bane, but then I've been on teh internet for a while, so the boon is here, only because I know how to use it