Social networking is the process of using Internet platforms to interact with one’s friends, classmates, family, customers, and clients. Social networking can be done for both social and business purposes.
Social media not only enables one to keep in touch with people but also provides opportunities for professional online networking. Social networking is an added advantage to one’s career. This paper seeks to discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of social networking and weigh out whether people should continue using this online industry or not.
It is now easier and cheaper to get in touch with old friends and colleagues. It allows users to acquaint themselves with their business counterparts by just exchanging friendship requests. Social networks also provide improved inter-connectivity. It is easier to look at one’s social media profile and see their business interests. LinkedIn is a business tool; this is an online company which hires managers from the top companies. One’s profile is designed in a way to act as an online resume, informing about their education and career history. This motivates users to connect with persons working in their fields and to encourage their workmates for the skills they show in their everyday work. Social networking is very important for entrepreneurs and freelancers who can look for contact through professional groups on LinkedIn and Twitter. Moreover, business people can market their goods and services using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. They can also use Facebook to advertise their goods and services.
Nowadays learning is no longer for the rich only who can buy books. YouTube is a very educative source with thousands of video tutorials on website design, Photoshop, computer networking, data mining among others, which also benefits the poor who cannot afford to buy books. The spirit of timidness can be overcome through social networking as persons gain social confidence through interacting with people online. This makes them feel secure in places like colleges and when joining sports programs(Cosmato, n.d.).
The major disadvantage of social networking is that the majority of the people do not know how to make effective use of it. Firstly, using multiple social networks simultaneously is not meriting as it wastes much time. The benefits of social networks which are non-commercial and result only in time wastage are insignificant. Creating an account on such websites has no restrictions hence giving room to criminal activities. Another demerit is that there is no security and privacy to one’s personal data, which makes it easier for some people to misuse the personal information (Kimberly, 2011). It also promotes pornographic activities, and this harms children and youths leading to early exposure tosexual activities and immoral behaviors. People spend a lot of time on these sites and get addicted, which may lead to depression and create tension. The social media are not reliable. It is not easy to trust a stranger. There is a lot of cyber bullying; some people use e-mail and personal websites to encourage misbehaviors by individuals intended to harm others. It may lead to loss of productivity, especially when employees are permitted to have an access to social networks. Therefore, CEOs and managers should establish strong policies to minimize social networking abuse.
In general, the merits of social networking eclipse the demerits and it is just a matter of setting strict rules and regulations to optimize the use of social networks as an industry. This is because it has minimized business operation cost and created new employment opportunities across the globe (Mikoluk, 2013).