Less than a decade ago, connecting to people meant communicating via snail mail, fax, phone calls and beepers. Since then communication evolved into email, IM (instant messaging) and SMS messaging through mobile phones. Today, these facilities are looked down upon as very simple communication tools which do not give additional personal experience.
People want to share more and at the same time learn more about individuals they communicate everyday. Simple email exchanges provide necessary data about each party, but today, just two persons sharing data is considered insufficient. For that reason, social networking began to grow online.
At first, social networking was just based on activities where people gathered at one website and shared their thoughts through comments on articles and live chat with other members. But just like previous communication protocols, these are not seen as sufficient because it focused only on one website. Personalization could even be expensive back then since it was only possible when a person could create another personal website.
In recent years, the online community has moved a stepped further in connecting people. Social networking was born, and through this online platform, people can share their thoughts, post pictures, videos and even invite people to events. Social networking websites have created virtual communities wherein communication is not just based on the needed information but on a personal level as well.
Goal Specific Social Networking
The common form of social networking is that everyone can sign up. These social networking websites encourage individuals to create groups so that like minded individuals can meet and interact.
On the other hand, there are websites that are specific to certain tasks, hobbies, beliefs and goals. For example, there are websites geared towards professionals and businesses who want to connect so that they can get more contacts. Many active social network users use two are more networking websites. For example, some would create a professional profile in Linkedin.com to connect to other professionals in the same industry while they are also members of MySpace.com and Facebook.com in order to get connected to friends and family.
Advantages of Social Networking
Social networking provides advancements especially in communication and self expression and the use of social networking is expanding. Businesses use social networking to promote their products and services. Since millions are logging in to different social networks, it is just natural for businesses to promote their products and services through these websites. Social websites could easily group users through their given information, advertising is a lot easier for businesses since they can target users.
Job seekers and those who want to promote themselves online have also used social network as a way to achieve their goal. Many use social networking websites to post their music, photos and other works so that their skills could be noticed by other professionals. They have already achieved fame through this technique and are still using social networking to connect to as many people as possible for self promotion.
Disadvantages of Social Networking
As much as social networking could mean improvement in communication and even in businesses, social networking could cost the reputation of business and individuals. Social networking easily opens up the individual to the world. Anything posted online could be easily searched and reposted somewhere else. Any degrading messages or any message that goes against the industry values could be posted in different social networks.
Privacy is also the main concern of users as well as social networking administrators. Attacks could happen anytime and when these attacks are successful, user’s data could be extracted and used against their will. As a way to connect to friends and families, personal information is added in these social networking websites which could be targeted by hackers anytime.
Social networking has come a long way in improving communication and data sharing among individuals. With the aid of the improvement in technology, users are getting more involved in different social networking websites to connect to as many people as possible. For businesses and professionals, the chances of finding clients and partners could be easily attained through these social networks.