How Social Networking Sites Have Impacted My Life

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

As human beings we all have the desire to interact and communicate with people. This interaction gives us a sense of belonging and happiness. As people grow older they start to branch out and explore new places and meet new people, but as they branch out they lose interaction with their families and old friends. In recent years social networking sites have taken the internet by storm. These sites have allowed for people to stay in contact with old friends they have left behind as they have started to branch out and move to new areas.

These sites have had a big impact on me in just the past year. I am currently in my sophomore year at Ball State University, and my decision to go to Ball State has taken me four and a half hours from my home in Chicago. Chicago had been my home for eighteen years where I lived with my mom, dad, and my sister along with making a number of great friends. The use of social networking sites has allowed me to be able to communicate with my family and friends so easily all it takes is a quick post on a Facebook wall or a video chat on Skype and I can instantly feel reconnected with everyone back home. Without these sites I would have to write letters home, which is not a bad thing and maybe more personal, but this requires sitting down to write a letter, spending money (although not much) on postage, and then having to wait for my letter to be received and then have on sent back to me. Sites like Facebook allow for me to write up a quick message and send it free and know that it will be received instantly and more likely than not I will hear back in the same day. Not only can I keep in contact with family and friends back home, but I can also get in contact with people I meet out at Ball State. Last semester I made a friend who does not go to Ball State, but lives in Louisville and will be leaving soon to work in Germany for thirteen months. The use of Skype and Facebook have allowed us to stay close even though there is a big geographical separation.

An article called “The Future of Social Networks- Communication” on gigaom.com discusses the importance of the wall feature that is seen on social networking sites. A point that is discussed is that the wall is a major aspect of creating and keeping a social network alive because of its use in communication. This ability to communicate and interact is the main driver that gets people to want to use these sites. Another article that discusses the impact of social networking sites on communication is “Social Networking Sites: Really a Communication Phenomenon?” which can be found on coffmansc.greenwoodlibrary.org. The main focus of this article is to discuss whether or not social networking sites are a hindrance to or keeping people from interacting face to face, but one point that is brought up is how these sites allow people to sustain friendships and allow people to interact online. This aspect of these sites has truly allowed me to keep in touch with family and old friends how I may only get to see for a few weeks at a time over the span of a year.

Although social networking sites are said to hinder in person or in real life interaction I feel that they allow us to stay in touch with our loved ones who we do not get to see very often in a way that is much simpler and much faster than any way in the past. Social networking has brought about a whole new form of communication that has not only impacted me, but also my peers who are away from home whether they be studying in the country, abroad, or they have moved away from home to start their life somewhere else, and also our parents and our grandparents who may be using these sites to reach out to old college, high school, neighborhood friends or even family members who they may have not seen in a few years. In some way shape or form social networking has had an impact on almost all of us.

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