So, now that you have taken a look at some of the more popular social networks that other students are using let’s look at some actual statistics of social networks. And we start with Facebook. Facebook has currently a little bit over one billion users worldwide. Followed by Google Plus with about five hundred million users. Twitter ranks currently at about five hundred million users as well. And we have LinkedIn which is a social network for professional networking with about two hundred million users. Flickr about eighty million users. And we have MySpace which used to be very popular but is declining in popularity, with twenty five million users.
So, we can see that social networks play a huge role and have a big impact because a lot of people use them. But, they have both a positive impact and negative impact. With a lot of things there is always the dark side and there’s always a light side. Let’s talk a little bit about the positive impact that social networks have had on people. People can use social networks for several things, they can connect or reconnect with friends old and new alike. They can build relationships. They can even find jobs sometimes by making the right connections. And its all about often who you know.
So people have benefited that way as well. People use social networks as a platform to exchange openly ideas, exchange opinions about topics, about issues that are going on currently. People also use social networks as a platform where they can find other people that have the same interests as they do. So, there are a lot of positive effects that social networks have had. Now let’s talk about the negative impact that social networks have had on people. To really understand the negative impact, we will have to go back a little to the time before the web and before social networks even existed. And before we had social networks how it used to be was that people had two different lives so to speak. They had their personal and private life at home. And they also had their professional lives. And both of those where clearly separated and there was very little impact or very little exchange between the two lives.
What they did at home, they did at home. And what people did at work they did at work. Now social networks have changed this pretty dramatically. In that the personal life of people and their professional life have become intertwined. So, the distinction between personal and professional lives that we used to observe before the world wide web came around and before social networks became popular, has disappeared. And that’s largely due to the fact that social networks can often be used for both personal and professional use.
When you think of Facebook for example, a lot of people have their own personal Facebook profiles. But, there are also a lot of companies that use Facebook for an online profile to represent themselves there. So, there is only a small number of social networks such as LinkedIn that can be explicitly used for either professional or personal use. LinkedIn, in this case would only be used for professional use. So, then the negative impact is mainly that social networks have blurred the distinction that we used to have between professional lives and personal lives. Social networks they also provide a minimum of privacy. When you think about it, a lot of people can access your profile and read information about you and find out who you are.
And there’s also the issue of user authenticity, which means that anyone at any time can make up a profile and there’s really no mechanism in place that makes sure that the identity of the person is checked and that you really are who you say you are. So, that teaches us then there really is a big need for all of us to know how to distinguish between personal and professional communication in social networks. And so next we’re going to take a look at different types of information that you would provide in a personal social network and in a professional social network. .
As found on Youtube