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Social media is a term used to describe the interaction between groups or individuals in which they produce, share, and sometimes exchange ideas over the internet and in virtual communities. The impact of social networks on young people is significant. Children are growing up surrounded by mobile devices and interactive social networking sites such as Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook, which has made the social media a vital aspect of their life. Social network is transforming the manner in which young people interact with their parents, peers, as well as how they make use of technology.
The effects of social networking are twofold. On the positive side, social networks can act as invaluable tools for professionals. They achieve this by assisting young professionals to market their skills and seek business opportunities. Social networking sites may also be used to network professionally. On the negative side, the internet is laden with a number of risks associated with online commuinties. Cyber bullying, which refers to a type of bullying that is perpetrated using electronic technology, is one of the risks.
Bullies have taken to internet sites such as Twitter and Facebook, where the hide behind the anonymity provided by the internet to carry out their despicable acts. Young people also run the risk of inadvertently disclosing their personal information since on most occasions; they usually neglect to read carefully websites’ privacy policies. Whenever young people fail to read the policies and disclaimers, they are exposed to risks of having their personal information disclosed. This is especially a serious matter in light o the rising cases of cyber crimes such as identity theft. New studies reveal that social networks have the ability to sway people to spend money by running advertisements on the user’s page . Such forms of near-subliminal advertising can subconsciously cause an individual to buy certain merchandise.
It is becoming increasingly clear that social networks have become part of people’s lives. Many young people are using their tablet computers and smartphones to check Tweets and status updates from their friends and family. As technology advances, people are pressured to adopt different lifestyles. Social networking sites can assist young people to become more socially capable. However, they may also make them clumsy and incompetent, as well. Therefore, it is imperative to exercise caution and restraint when dealing with such issues.
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