The Positive Impact of Social Networking Sites on Society
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Updated by Dave Parrack on June 28, 2017.

Social networking isn’t for everyone. However, it’s now such a massive part of all our lives, whether we embrace or reject the notion, that it can no longer be ignored. Are social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter a force for good or evil? As with most questions there are multiple angles to approach this quandary from.

Having already looked at the negative impact of social networking sites on society The Negative Impact Of Social Networking Sites On Society [Opinion] The Negative Impact Of Social Networking Sites On Society [Opinion] I have accounts on several social networking sites, and spend far too long on them writing my own updates and reading the updates of others. I enjoy doing so, being able to interact with friends,... Read More , I thought it only fair to redress the balance. Every yin has its yang, after all. Using the previous article as a loose template it’s clear to see that what some people would conceive as negatives can also be positives. Because there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the effect social networks are having on us all in this day and age.

Friends!

positive impact of social network
Image credit: Marion Doss via Flickr.

It has never been easier to make friends than it is right now. And that’s mainly thanks to social networking sites. Just a few decades ago it was pretty tough to connect with people, unless you were the overly outgoing type able to make conversation with anyone at a party How to Get Any Party Started Using Spotify How to Get Any Party Started Using Spotify Whether you're hosting a calm hangout session with some of your closest friends or organizing a crazy all-nighter with whoever the hell shows up, Spotify can help get any party started. Read More .

The rise of mobile phones helped change this, connecting people in a new way, but then social networks sprang up and the whole idea of friendship changed again. And there’s no going back.

It’s entirely possible to have hundreds of friends on Facebook. They may not be friends you know on a personal level and spend time with in the real world on a weekly basis. But they’re friends nonetheless. There are several people I consider friends who I have never met — in fact, I may never meet them — but that doesn’t lessen the connection we have thanks to social networks.

Social networking sites can help you make and keep friends.

Empathy

positive impact of social media
Image credit: The Shopping Sherpa via Flickr.

Each of us spends a little too long talking about ourselves on social networking sites, even if we’re vaguebooking What Is The Imbecilic Art Of Vaguebooking? What Is The Imbecilic Art Of Vaguebooking? You may not have heard of the term Vaguebooking, but I can guarantee you will have seen at least one example of it in action. Certainly if you're active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any... Read More . Which is perfectly natural. We’re sharing our lives — the ups and downs, the twists and turns — with people we think will care.

They generally do care, and will tell you so. They will listen to what you have to say, and help you deal with any problems you may be facing. If this isn’t the case, then you may want to find new friends.

The point is that by all of us sharing our experiences, both good and bad, on social networking sites, we’re able to empathize with each other. A friend may have gone through a similar ordeal that you are currently going through, and they will be able to help you get through it.

You’ll also be able to see for yourself that they made it out the other side, that this issue didn’t derail them, and that they are perhaps better for the experience.

Social networking sites can act as a kind of group therapy session.

Speedy Communication

positive impact of social media
Image credit: Robert Bejil via Flickr.

Our time is being stretched thinner and thinner by work and family commitments. But social networking sites offer a chance to communicate in a speedy and efficient manner. Writing an update for Twitter How One Simple Tweet or Post Can Destroy Your Life How One Simple Tweet or Post Can Destroy Your Life Social media is dangerous, but in a way you may not expect. One simple mistake could ruin your life for good. Read More takes all of 20 seconds, and with cross-posting to other social networks switched on, that update reaches everyone you want it to reach (and probably more besides) in an instant.

One of the reasons I dislike making phone calls is the unnecessary banter they necessitate. You can’t just say what you want to say and then hang up. Because doing so is seen as downright rude. Instead, you have to swap pleasantries before saying what you want to say, and then swap more pleasantries before the conversation comes to a natural conclusion.

Social networking sites allow you to live a life unhindered by small talk.

In Touch With the World

positive impact of social media
Image credit: Steve Cadman via Flickr.

It isn’t just your inner circle of close friends and even closer family members that social networking sites allow you to communicate with easily and effectively. Social networks have the power to open the world up to you, making it a smaller place than it has ever been before.

So much so that I actually haven’t a clue where many of my contacts reside. When it comes to social networks everyone is equal, regardless of location.

Family members living abroad can be kept abreast of the latest happenings in your world as quickly as those living next door. Friends you haven’t seen since school, and who have since moved away, are able to keep in touch. While location-based services 5 Best Location-Based Alternatives to Foursquare 5 Best Location-Based Alternatives to Foursquare In this article, I am going to take a look at the best alternatives to Foursquare. While this technology still has a ways to go, a lot can be said about the apps that have... Read More such as Foursquare and Swarm put an emphasis on your location, social networking as a whole means it has become a lot less important.

Social networking sites have made the world a smaller place. And then some.

Building Relationships

benefits of social networking
Image credit: Katie Tegtmeyer via Flickr.

There is no doubting that social networking sites can lead to the breaking up of relationships The Internet's Worst Dating and Relationship Advice The Internet's Worst Dating and Relationship Advice Most dating advice on the web is awful. Here's the worst of it. Read More . But there is another side to the story, which is that people are moving onto other, perhaps better, relationships. Social networks can put you (back) in touch with people who you have lots in common with, and that common ground is often the starting point for long-lasting relationships.

As painful as break-ups can be, they can sometimes be the right thing for all concerned. What’s to say that the new relationship, founded on the steps of Facebook, isn’t the one that will last? Even if it doesn’t turn into a spectacular coupling, it could be the friendship that is needed at the time. Which has to be a positive thing.

Social networking sites can help foster friendships and perhaps more besides.

Finding Common Ground in an Open Society

positive impact of social network
Image credit: Scott Cutler via Flickr.

As previously mentioned, social networking sites can help you find people you share interests with. Facebook, for example, asks you to list who and what you are interested in right from the start. This makes it much easier to find common ground with other users.

On Twitter you should be following those who have something to say that you’re interested in, making connections with like-minded individuals much easier than it is offline.

This does require the sharing of information, and giving up a certain amount of privacy Why Have Americans Given Up On Privacy? Why Have Americans Given Up On Privacy? A recent study by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication concluded Americans are resigned to giving up data. Why is this, and does it affect more than just Americans? Read More . Which is enough for some people to reject social networking outright. Keeping key personal information private is necessary, but sharing your likes and dislikes, interests and obsessions, and thought and views actually contributes to an open society.

Social networking sites make fitting in easier, as long as you open up a little.

Are Social Networks a Force for Good or Evil?

As with most things in life, there are positive and negative sides to social networking, both of which we have now explored. My ultimate belief is that when used in moderation, with checks and balances on how younger people in particular are using them, social networking sites are neither good or evil. They’re somewhere in between.

Does this make you feel better about social networking sites and the effect they could be having on society? Or will you remain wary in spite of these examples of the positive impact of social networking sites on society? Whatever your thoughts on the subject, we’d like to hear them in the comments section below!

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  1. Myname
    March 11, 2017 at 10:50 am

    No basis, no relevance, no evidence, no substance. This article is a desperate attempt to justify the irrelevant. Social media would be great in an ideal world, with ideal humans; however, that is not and never will be the case.

  2. Divith Rao
    September 19, 2016 at 4:06 am

    I loved this information.it is useful...??

  3. ILOVEPETERSCARROTS
    July 13, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Your so gay

    • Ijamjams
      October 12, 2016 at 5:20 am

      you're*

    • hari krishna
      November 23, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      You're rude

  4. kpah
    May 11, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    SO true. It is the cause students cheating on test in school.

    • 10nutx
      June 20, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      no

  5. hello
    April 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    passage. not pessage, beef jerky. And btw, why did you name yourself that???

    • 10nutx
      June 20, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      beef jerky is bae

  6. Mackayla
    March 24, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Reading this has greatly helped me out for my argumentative essay on the effects of social media.

    • Nikita
      October 30, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      Same!

      • saray
        November 9, 2017 at 2:26 pm

        same ?

  7. van928
    March 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    this passage is great i used it for my profect in school

  8. Lorenzo5
    November 18, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    (1) People used to read books at night - that was a healthy activity.
    -Instead, they use facebook to waste time

    (2) People used to socialize in person
    -Instead, they use facebook to waste time

    (3) People used to exercise.
    -Instead, they use facebook to waste time

    (4) People used to persue extracuricular activities to enchance their life.
    -Instead, they use facebook to waste time.

    Hands down - social networking sites have been the most destructive influence on both old and young minds alike.
    Take back your life - put down your phone/tablet etc. and rejoin the world.

    • 10nutx
      June 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      *pursue

    • joanna
      July 9, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      actually it depends on our decisions on how we use social media , the good side of it is, i tend not to miss so much of my relatives out there coz of the power of social media i can communicate to them easily, I use fb posts for empathy at times and sometimes i read books, draw , and many more for empathy, but if you have this thing called "obssession" or "overinfluence" over social media, then that's bad, see it's just a matter of choice

  9. Pedro
    April 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Toss Misalad

    • 10nutx
      June 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      we are not spanish idiot we dont like u u have no friends

  10. beef jerky
    April 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    this is a good pessege

    • 10nutx
      June 20, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      ur name is yummy

  11. shona kapoor
    March 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    yaa its good passage its related to my project also

  12. hahahha
    March 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Great i loved it i used it in my project

  13. who cares
    February 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    great details

  14. anonymous
    February 25, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    i dont have facebook nor do i have a phone

  15. chicken nuggets
    February 24, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    this is a good passege

    • anonymous;)
      February 24, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      true,very specific!

  16. fried chicken
    February 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    im using this for school its nice

    • Anonymous
      February 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      this is a good passege

    • Anonymous
      February 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      this is a good passege

    • Anonymous
      February 23, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      this is a good passege

    • 6Godbroski
      February 11, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      same lmao bro #illuminati

  17. unkown
    February 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    you are number 1 with us

  18. Anonymous
    December 25, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Well! Its a good thing but for school children its waste of time

  19. rajesh
    October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    well, i guess social networking sites have become a quintessential part of a large faction of the society. i beleive that it is not at all a bane to the society but a boon to the majority. IF it is used to the best possible way it would reap more positives than negatives.
    And iterating the cliche - 'an empty mind is a devils playground'...if an individual has nothing to do he could destroy the sanity, of even an ongoing sunday chapel service...

  20. pinaz
    August 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    can i get some important question on positive side of social networking site

  21. Liz Valette
    July 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I recently sold my car through Facebook. In less than 36 hours the deal went through and the money reached my bank account. It took very little effort on my part. I’ve been on Facebook a long time, like all relationships they take time and effort. I live in Portsmouth and I'm retired.

  22. Anik
    May 31, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Social media is actually a source of easy communication.

    • g
      May 10, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      Who said you could comment

  23. Udari Gamage
    May 28, 2012 at 5:26 am

    As you have mentioned in the conclusion these social networks have both advantages and disadvantages. Especially when considering about school children today most of them have the access to these social networks. In a way it's faster and easier ,but on the other hand once people get addicted to it they can't stop logging into FB or Twitter. That's a bad sign. I too have a face book profile,but I log in only once in a way.

  24. parvez@social networking site
    May 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    It is really a great post..

  25. rachman joy
    May 1, 2012 at 2:48 am

    after having a year join on facebook,i realize its giving more patiences habit for myself, and ... ..able to increasing my sexual desires (its true !).

  26. Bumferry
    April 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    As you say, Every Ying has ts Yang. If I had been asked 2 years ago about facebook and twitter etc, I would have laughed you out of town with a chortle of "its all for kids and geeks" but since then I've moved away for a new job and FB is now the main way i am able to stay in easy communication with friends, be it by the laptop or the apps on my phone. sometimes its always an option to speak on the phone but a quick message on FB or twitter has allowed me to not only keep in touch but reduce/extend my list of friends to the point where I now know who WANTS to stay in touch and who cant be bothered.
    of corse, theres the whole "how much info are these systems and companies using about me?" (hense why i use a silly name like this eveywhere i go) but overall Im grateful for the chance to have these tools to ensure i dont loose contact with those i care about.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Facebook has rightly come in for a lot of criticism, especially over its privacy policies, but it definitely has its positive sides.

      As you say, as a means of communication social networking sites are fantastic if used in the right way. Thanks for your comment. And I like the name ;)

    • g
      May 10, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Para n a half mate