How Social Networking Sites Are Affecting Our Interaction As a Global Village

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We live in a global village, but in the past, it was difficult to say that we indeed live in only one world. We were divided by seas and borders, which made us stick to the “my town” or “my suburb” only mentality. But today, everything is changed because of social media and social networking.

Before Facebook, there was Friendster. When the site came out, it instantly gained millions of followers because of two reasons. First, the site provided an avenue for old friends to reunite and rekindle their friendship; and second, it made interaction easier and more convenient. Sure, there was text messaging and other technologies, but Friendster was way better in several ways.

Then came Facebook. And with its new features and functionalities, its impact is a lot bigger than Friendster. Everyone got addicted to this new site. And although several new sites with the same platform continue to emerge, none has equalled the massive appeal of Facebook. Today, Facebook and the rest of the social networking sites are re-defining how people interact with each other. From high school students to working adults, almost everyone is an active Facebook user.

How have social networking sites affected our interaction as a global village?

1. Instant communication

For one, these sites have just made the world a smaller place. Even if people live hundreds of miles away from each other, they can still communicate instantly. When a news breaks out, it ripples down to the farthest countries with just one click of the share button. Through these sites, information is literally just one click away.

2. Freedom of speech

Second, these sites have just made it easier for us to exercise our freedom of speech. They have given people an avenue to say what they think without fear of being incarcerated or censured. News articles, blogs, and other websites have become interactive because of social networking. And unlike before, information is no longer a one-way process.

3. Relationships

Third, social networking sites have opened the possibility of forming strong bonds among people of different nationalities. In the past, people from different countries wrote letters to each other. But today, you almost don’t have to use the post office anymore. All you have to do is to view a person’s profile, and if you think you can build a strong bond with that person, then you can add him/her to your list of friends.

But the effects of social networking is not at all positive. Because of too much freedom, these sites can be abused to spite other people. Many people use Facebook to broadcast their hatred of another person, causing embarrassment and pain. So to make sure that we reap the positive effects of social networking, we must use these sites with care.

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