The “Internet” has slowly but surely crawled into the hearts of people all across the globe. They have discovered the secret of connecting with people living as far as the other side of the world.
Earlier, it was cool to stay in touch with near and dear ones who are far away. And today, it’s more about binding with strangers and unknown faces.
This is an era of social networking. There are hundreds of social networking sites on the world wide web. Out of the general category- MySpace, Facebook, Orkut, etc.. are increasingly popular.
There is Yahoo 360 degrees, that links all yahoo ids. There is WAYNE, thats based on travel and living. Flixter for movies, Flickr and Fotolog for photo sharing, Del.icio.us for link sharing, LastFM for music too…..You name it, and you get a list of sites for every imaginable and unimaginable thing that comes in your mind.
Well, in the beginning getting connected is an amazing experience. You find old friends, meet new interesting people with similar likes and dislikes, you can express your feelings without any inhibitions, show-off and do a lot of cool things.
It’s fun sending messages to friends, deciding things, sharing photos, whew….and many more activities.
I have friends who have hooked up over such sites and even some getting married finally!!! Some have went ahead and found their partners, others have found friends for life.
Social networking sites provide a sort of platform for getting together and being in touch with the rest of the world. With just a click of a button you are drawn into a crowd of people and you learn to remain in touch.
You might have observed, usually shy people transform into the popular and talkative types. In real life, those who are quiet, on such sites, are the ones with most friends and wide networks.
There have been instances where these sites have helped in apprehending criminals and wrong-doers. The police have had a lot of help in zeroing on suspects and getting proofs about many cases.
While such sites might sound awesome and have their benefits, it would be stupid if you fail to look over the darker side.
If social networking sites are so popular with the police, they are in their bad books too. Cyber crime is on rise, as some people move on to post porn pictures and write defamatory texts. Stalkers have increased. Befriending people, especially girls, meeting them and then taking advantage of their situation is becoming quite common these days. Kidnapping plans are hatched, robberies are planned….the misuses are plenty.
You will always hacking someone else’s site and posting nasty things, communities and groups are formed with derogatory remarks on big political leaders, famous personalities and hey, even the short-tempered school principals.
People are being threatened, abused, hate, etc…
And you know, these sites are even have psychological effects on users. Depression, nervous breakdown arise as a result of constant networking. People today have become so involved in this type of life-style that the prefer internet friends over real ones, not seeing messages everyday causes them to feel abandoned and un-loved, their friend list keeps growing and growing as they keep on adding strangers just for the sake of it since it will make them look more popular and famous. Parents are having a high time in taking their children to psychiatrists and the psychiatrists are observing an increasing trend in such cases.
How much ever popular these sites might be getting, it will be wrong to over-look the dire consequences they might have on us “normal” individuals.
A word of CAUTION for all people. There’s nothing wrong in getting linked with people and improving your network base. It’s true, that you meet some nice unknown people and form good friendships with them.
But, it’s absolutely essential to maintain distance and move ahead only if your sure. Remember, you are responsible for your own actions. So, just be careful about what you do.
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has posted some rules while networking online. You can glance them at:
Always remember, SAFETY FIRST!!!