Social Media Networks and Human Individuality

In the twenty-first century, the use of technology has become an everyday occurrence. People are dependent on it in almost all aspects of life. Technology is mostly beneficial when looking at mass production and products and services that are made with the help of advanced technology. Digital media and its use within the society have drastically changed the world. An even greater increase in technological advancements has made the transference and use of information fast and accessible.

As people are unable to calculate the rates of progress, it is impossible to determine what changes will be brought about with an even greater increase in technological advancements. The use of social networks has added to the hardships of life, as people endanger their personalities and reputations by their postings to the public. Social networks show that sometimes, people make mistakes in their posts, comments and pictures, causing work related problems and even termination.

There is no doubt that the advantages of digital media and its technology greatly outweigh the disadvantages. The ability to research and analyze online sources and information is extremely efficient, as many sources and reviews can be consulted regarding a question or topic. The pooling of knowledge into one database, cooperation between people to collect data and then analyze have greatly contributed to the evolution. This unifies societies and establishes common direction (Green 4).

The time is not spent on unnecessary travel and actions, so communication output is much greater. The biggest question is that sometimes problems overtake the benefits of technology. This closely relates to the social media and all the resulting problems. Many have compromised themselves in the workplace and home. There are numerous cases when a person must be working at a specific time, but the employer discovers a picture somewhere else, instead of at work (Shilling 31).

People compromise themselves by being engulfed in the need to participate in the social network. This leads to many concerns, but people are still not aware of the security issues. The unfortunate part is that people do not pay attention to the growing problem and continue using the social networks. It has become so popular that individuals feel required to upgrade their social status and produce information that can be acknowledged by others (Restivo 2).

This is very true, as people are unable to respond properly to posts and might not get the whole picture. Very often, people will succumb to the pressure and join the majority, as no one wants to be seen as an outsider. This will result in unwanted comments. Commenting on a certain picture of the co-workers or even employer might also land someone in “hot water”. One of the recent cases relates to a person making disrespectful comments about the company and people who work there.

The result was disciplinary action and a person got a lot of negative responses (Day 10). The development of social networks and the use of internet have made communication between people a form of social status. People focus on the way their “Twitter” page looks, they pay great attention to the amount of pictures they post, number of responses that they receive to certain posts and comments about their status.

The constant checking for the replies and posts of others, especially if there is an extreme amount of friends, takes up a lot of time. Very often, people add individuals to the category of “friends” through other people. They do not really know the person or are familiar with their individual personality. The only way they “know” them is by pictures on their page and comments on their “wall” (Plaisance 27).

The social networks have put a major dent into the society. A person’s reputation is at stake, as the public image is a strong determinant. One of the cases talks about an employee who has been posting images of his party life. This was rather inappropriate for the company and it resulted in his termination. The private information and the communication itself have become a public occurrence where people put their lives on the public viewing without any concern for security or privacy. Even though technology has helped people in a lot of ways, a person must realize its drawbacks and balance the use of technology with the physical interaction with others. The balance must be kept for technology to be helpful instead of detrimental.

The digital abilities have made information into an extremely large database that can be shared instantly. Of course, there are negative effects if people lose track of their behavior and attitudes by becoming engulfed in the entertainment through personal gadgets, but behavior can and must be controlled. People must become aware of the growing problem and use as much care as possible to protect their well being and individuality. A person’s reputation is very hard to deserve but is rather easy to mar by a simple comment on the “wall” or an inappropriate picture or status.

Works Cited

Day, Louis. Ethics in Media Communications: Cases and Controversies (5th Ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth, 2005. Print.

Green, Lelia. Communication, Technology and Society. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2002. Print.

Plaisance, Patrick. Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice. London: SAGE, 2008. Print.

Restivo, Sal. Science, Technology, and Society: An Encyclopedia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.

Shilling, Chris. The Body in Culture, Technology and Society. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2004. Print.

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