Socialnetworking service refers to a platform used to create either socialrelations or social networks among individuals that share real lifeconnections, activities, interests, and backgrounds. SNS servicescontain a small profile and some background information concerningthe user. The service enables the service users to interact invarious ways such as instant messaging or sharing media files such asphotographs. Social networking service is an influential platformthat individuals can use to connect and communicate with far awaypeople virtually.
Inthe recent past, North African countries such as Tunisia, Egypt,Libya and Morocco underwent a regime changes, thanks to the power ofsocial networking. Activists used Twitter and Facebook accounts tomarshal support from the citizens to conduct peaceful demonstrationson the streets of the respective countries. Amazingly, the networkingservices offered an effective communication and coordination toolthat the masterminds for the revolutions used to achieve theirambitions. Regular citizens with no vast military skills organizedthe protests that famously became known as the “Arab Spring”,which advocated regime change. Similarly, President Barack Obamareached several supporters using the social media. The platform gavehim a convenient tool for interacting directly with his fans (Adams,2011).
Thevast influence that social media generates has made it a convenienttool for business advertising and networking. In fact, severalcompanies have established social networking websites in the socialmedia sites where they interact directly with the customers. Otherorganizations have converted the fan base page as a convenientlocation where they can complain concerning goods or servicesrendered (Hartley, 2010, p. 49).
Accordingto Message Labs (2009, p.1), the boundary between personal activitiesand business interest is gradually disappearing since many employeesexpect to use workplace internet to interact with friends and theouter world. The research states that many companies’ socialnetworking service is intended to enhance business marketing, butmany employees use it to download music, play gambling games, visitadult content sites and access personal email accounts (Safar Mahdi,2012, p. 37). However, the author notes that employers cannotdisconnect the employees from using the internet since they stillneed it to connect with potential customers online. In fact, severalemployees actually combine their personal social media accounts toconnect with external employees sell them products (Hartley, 2010, p.9).
Socialmedia services can affect people either positively or negatively. Itdepends on an individual’s application of the social media in theirlife. For example, the employees of an organization who spend a lotof time to browsing social media websites, emailing friends, visitingauction sites or reading blogs often wastes several productive workhours (Message Labs, 2009, p. 2). As a result, the organizationincurs massive labor and production losses since the employeesdedicate most of their time to networking online (Message Labs, 2009,p. 3).
Atthe face value, social networking service increases interaction amongpeople from different backgrounds. However, a recent study indicatedthat social could make people distant. As people become used tocommunicate through the internet, they rarely meet in person. Thismay reduce an individual’s capacity to communicate effectively (BBCNews 2009, 1).
In2010, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine conducted aresearch study, which claimed that hyper-texting and hyper-networkingon social networking is an important cause of teens’ healthproblems. The researchers claimed that teenagers that send more thana hundred and twenty text messages in a day, as well as spends threehours in the social network are vulnerable to unhealthy behaviorssuch as sexual, alcohol abuse and smoking activities (BBC News 2009,1). The researchers also associated hyper-networking with additionalproblems such as poor academic performance, depression, suicidethoughts, poor sleeping patterns and substance abuse (Frank, 2010, p.1). Frank (2010, p. 2), students can avoid the adverse effectassociated with hyper-networking and browsing through moderating thetime they allocate to social networking. The best to accomplish thegoals would be for creating a strict program that would account for awhole day program (Frank, 2010, p. 2).
Extensivesocial networking service use does also compromise students’creative writing prowess and correct language usage. May studentseither use shortened or slang words when they are communicating onthe social networks (Hartley, 2010, p. 20). Over time, the languagesticks to the students’ mind such that they unconsciously use theinformal language when writing. Educators recommend that studentsshould use formal language when communicating in social networkingplatforms in order to improve their language (Safar Mahdi, 2012, p.44).
Individualsusing social networking websites may also waste a lot of time. Forexample, students’ may perform poorly in school because theydedicate plenty of time to social networking instead of studying(Childnet International Report, 2000, p. 9). Similarly, employees ina given organization may also use social networking service to dopersonal activities such as browsing and reading entertainmentwebsites instead of doing their assigned work. Employers can preventemployees from spending too much time on the social media throughestablishing and internet usage policies directing individuals forappropriate use of the company resources and time (ChildnetInternational Report, 2000, p. 16).
Insummary, social networking service is a powerful media platform thatcan have both positive and negative effects such as the staffallocating too much time browsing the social media websites insteadof working. On the contrary, the employees may also use their vastsocial media connection to market an organization. Social networkingservice is an influential platform that individuals can use toconnect and communicate with far away people conveniently, but itrequires usage moderation that may cause inconvenience.
Adams,R. (2011, April 4). Barack Obama tweets the start to his 2012re-election campaign. The Guardian, Web. Retrieved on December 13,2014 fromhttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/04/barack-obama-twitter-facebook-election
MessageLabs, (2009). Is social networking really bad for business? Symantec.Web. Retrieved on December 13, 2014 fromhttp://www.fh-schmalkalden.de/englmeier/_/social-networking-bad-for-business.pdf
Frank,S. (2010). Hyper-texting and Hyper-Networking Pose New Health Risksfor Teens. The American Public Health Association’s 138th AnnualMeeting & Exposition. Web, Retrieved on December 13, 2014 fromhttp://case.edu/medicus/breakingnews/scottfrankhypertextingandteenrisks.html?nw_view=1418428265&
ChildnetInternational Report, (2000).Young people and social networking services: A childnet internationalresearch report.Young People and s. Web, Retrieved onDecember 13, 2014 fromhttp://www.digizen.org/socialnetworking/downloads/young_people_and_social_networking_services_full_report.pdf
BBCNews, (2009, February 19). Online networking `harms health`. BBCBroadcast Online. Web, Retrieved on December 13, 2014 fromhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7898510.stm
Safar,M., & Mahdi, K. A. (2012). Socialnetworking and community behavior modeling: Qualitative andquantitative measures.Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Hartley,D. E. (2010). 10steps to successful social networking for business.Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.