Social networking sites are great for society, promoting increased communication and connection between hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. While some people do argue that the dangers of online networking far outweigh the benefits, it is clear that this is not the case; rather it is the other way around. Online social networking can be broadly defined as any website or other type of online communication that allows people to interact with each other. Blogging, or keeping an online journal, first became popular in the late 1990’s. As blogging began to appeal to more and more people, pure social networking sites appeared.
SixDegrees. com (1997-2001) was the first website that allowed users to create personal profiles and connect with friends. In 2002, Friendster was formed, popularizing social networking before Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter came along in 2003, 2004, and 2006 respectively. “Currently, social networking/blogging sites account for over 17% of all time spent on the internet” (“Are Social Networking Sites”).
The addition of multimedia capabilities has been a major attraction to users. Through social networking sites, the average internet user can upload music, pictures, and videos to online web pages easily. As these sites grow in popularity, the user base is expanding to include more people over the age of 50, in addition to the millions of teens that already use them. There are numerous benefits to social networking with sites such as Facebook and Myspace. For one, the increased communication strengthens relationships.
Internet users usually tend to have larger social networks than non-users, and by maintaining those relationships online they are able to stay in touch with many more f. . /?pageID=cagoterminal&L=4&LO=Home&L1. “Common Sense Media Poll: Parents Out of Teens’ Social Networking Loop. ” Entertainment Close-up. 12 August 2009.
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