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Final word

Social Networks

In the early nineties when the internet was first introduced to Egypt, I remember my friends and I were extremely eager to utilize such technology. We were introduced to new research tools, information and social networks; such the ICQ, MSN just to mention a few. I myself was a chat bee, though I knew that chatting involved many risks such as fraud and deception, however it was exciting just as anything new. Of course as I grew older I was more aware of the risks involved and reduced my chatting tremendously to just my family and friends.

With the technological advances new social networks evolved; such as Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIN, Twitter, blogs and many others. How is a social network defined? Social networks are defined to be networks of online friends and group memberships to stay connected with current friends, reconnect with old friends or create new friendships through similar interests or groups. With the rise of these new social networks many questions/concerns have been raised such as privacy, legal and safety issues especially with the sharing of photos and personal information. However I would like to focus on the personal and professional effects that these networks have on people.

Many people are addicted to the so called social networks that they log on to them as a daily ritual to update their statuses and get new updates from their friends, many have also used them for professional purposes such as selling and buying products, spreading certain political, social or religious beliefes, while others use them for games such as Farmville, poker, etc. What I find very interesting is that I know so many people addicted to such games to the extent that sometimes they donít sleep so that they reach a certain level, to satisfy their egos, as competition is quite extreme.

Safety of the user is very important since it affects him/her personally, since the userís profile is visible to all people or even to friends, this is a major concern since people may personally use such information to harm othersí lives and the examples are various, from people posting fake photos, to cropping photos, to disclosing private secrets about their friends under phony names and profiles.

If you are not a member in a social group so you are not from the cool crowd, even young children now falsify their ages to be able to join. Which I find very alarming considering the fact that these children are so innocent and can be lured to certain ideologies that are dangerous; in addition they can be easily manipulated.

I think social networks are enhancing the problem that people are becoming less and less interactive physically, i.e. face to face. We are all either interacting on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or on our Blackberries with the BBM, which is used by all age groups. Isolation is a major outcome. Of course there are some advantages from these networks which is in my opinion is getting in contact with your old school mates and friends, however we should be very careful of the outcomes that the networks have especially on young and adolescents.

There is no doubt that we all keep using these networks, however we should use them carefully and wiselyÖ

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