The Big Debate: Social Networking- Good or Bad?
Most business owners and entrepreneurs will tell you that having the right connections can make a huge difference in the success or failure of a business. Knowing lots of customers, potential customers, potential partners and people who can give you good advice
will add to your ability to get things done and grow your business. That’s why social networking is so important.
Social networking on the Internet is important in this day and age because the Internet is the place to be for everything. People head to the Internet to shop, to sell things, to learn things, to meet others and to find what they’re looking for. And the Internet is full of Web 2.0 social networking sites and tools that make it very easy to connect with others.
You want to involve yourself heavily in social networking via the web because the reach you’ll have is literally global – you have the potential of coming into contact with millions of others! You can make friends and make business contacts. These will impact your future success with an online business, or even a business that you conduct traditionally, out of a storefront, for example.
Social networking is so important because if you don’t do it, you and your business will remain unseen and anonymous. In the World Wide Web, being unseen is the kiss of death. Learn to use Web 2.0 social networking tools to your advantage. When you do this, you’ll ensure that your business has a clear advantage and a fighting chance to not only survive, but also thrive.
There have been many who have been involved in running social media campaigns for the society and have done good to the society. In 2001 Ajay Mamuktala from Mumbai was able to raise around 20 lakh from a campaign he run on Twitter for cancer patients. In 2005, John Bunnel, a US based sheriff was able to mobilize 5000 youngsters for a basic life support training campaign only through his facebook campaigns. Last year, President Obama reached out to millions of people on a very personal level with the help of twitter. This is what social networking can do to you.
For me, social networking and social media has been a world in its own. With an ever changing web, the social media is getting all the more exciting.
For the past three-four years, social networking has been the buzzword that won’t go away. Social networks like ‘facebook’ and ‘twitter’ have millions of users worldwide. In india, it all probably began with ‘hi5’, then came ‘orkut’, and now we have ‘facebook’, ‘MySpace’, ‘twitter’, ‘Linkdeln’.
No doubt that social networking is an important tool when it comes having the right ‘connections’ in this web-driven world, and has helped scores of budding entrepreneurs to kick off with little capital and global exposure. But then, it’s yet something new, and one must not get over-enthusiastic over the business part.
Henry David Thoreau once remarked, “Men have become tool of their tools”. It couldn’t be more apt even then, than it is now, when talk of social networking. From new teens to young adults to office-going-nearing-40, everyone who has access to net seems to be on one social networking or the other.
It is especially the younger ones who are more prone to being addicted to SN. They have taken to it like they might have to comic books or video games or smoking or some other fad of the generation. Teenage and early adulthood is the time when we’re growing out of the secure cocoons of our homes, and begin to come into contact with the outside world. At this stage when our young minds should be engaged in dealing with the realities of life and relationships, they are dipping their body and souls into a virtual reality. You can never be sure of (and this is often the case) what the person is behind the profile that he/she has put up. Some don’t even live double lives- they just have one identity: online. This also poses the threat of an addicted, avid social networker become an actual social outcast. We’ve even had people committing suicides over rumours spread over some networks about their identities.
Another trouble is how when we live online, we live for others. We want to have more and more friends on our lists, so the world can see and we can boast about our ‘sociability’. People have claimed to be under stress until they come out each morning with some quirky one-liner/’current status’ to go along with their ids, just to keep up their image of being ‘funny’ or ‘different’ or ‘weird’ or….. Like all new technologies, SN has also redefined some concepts. It has totally changed (or mutilated ) the meaning of ‘friendship’. Now people have more ‘friends’ with weaker bonds, than the other way round.
And then we have the most common symptom. People with camera phones taking their own pictures with friends they go out with, so they could flaunt it on facebook or orkut. They are always bothering some-one or the other to snap a picture “worthy enough to be put up on their profile ‘albums’”.
social networking is more bad than good, and more ugly than both. Although it gives us a chance (not a genuine one) to know people from all over the world and make friends, in the we are losing our individuality, our identity whatever it may be: good, bad or ugly.