A good reputation and respects are worth much more than silver and gold.
A great many means of communication are prevalent across the globe. Of them, face-to-face conversation, phone calls, text messages, video chat, handwritten letter or cards, instant messages, social networks etc. are the commonest methods. Though we have so many options for keeping in touch, each one has pros and cons.
For face-to-face chat, at least two parties must be available to talk, for handwritten letter or card, it takes time to write and days to deliver to the recipient. Similarly, an e-mail is said to lack emotion—or misinterpreted easily. Social networking, some youths and teenagers say, is the best way to be connected. Scores of social networks exist, and the most popular one—Facebook which has registered more than 800 million members.
A social network is a website that lets users share information, personal feelings, photos and comments with the select ones. It is the fastest way of getting updated. At times, disasters strike–such as earthquake, tsunami, hurricane which devastate some parts of a country or the world; at the moment, phone lines may be down but social networks will be the best means to find out about the welfare of our loved ones as well as victims.
Everything has pros and cons—positive and negative sides, so does Facebook. Undue use of Facebook leads to some risks and dangers. So, we ought to number the items in order of their weight to us—privacy, valuable time, reputation and friendship. A recent survey carried out by Consumer Reports revealed that many social network users run the risk of burglaries, identity theft, and stalking. Fifteen per cent had posted their current location or travel plans, thirty four per cent their full birth date, and twenty one per cent had posted offspring’s names and snapshots.
Really, anything posted on a social network can be viewed publicly or as a material that can be made public. Therefore, what we need to do is to be thoroughly familiar with the privacy settings on our social networks, and use them. Also, restrict access to our status updates and photos to people we know are conversant with. Chatting on phones is a way more personal and far less exposing. Moreover, what information we post can violate not only our privacy but of our friends too.
Social networking really consumes our valuable time and distracts us from more vital activities. I understand it is hard to get off a social networking site because it has been an obsession. It can interfere with the friendship we are cultivating within our household. A writer writes in his book, Grown Up Digital, "that whilst it makes staying in touch easier when family members are physically apart, it can also keep us apart when we are home."
Leaving our accounts singed on when we are not present can run the risk which is equivalent of leaving our wallet or cell phone in the public place. Anyone can sit down and start making post to our wall which is enough to ruin our reputation. Damaging our reputation on a social networking can have long-range consequences. Social networking sites users can get sacked or turned down for new jobs on account of what they have posted online. Guarding reputation means being careful not to let others have valid reasons to think bad of us.
Our friendship influences how we think and act. We pick up those who we trust and know well. Then why don’t we be selective about whom we befriend on a social network? If we use social networks duly thinking it as a boon of science, we gain advantages. If we misuse it, it will be no less than an atomic formula, which is being misused by people with an eye to be powerful, propounded by Albert Einstein. It is wise to weigh up pros and cons of something prior to using it.
R R Campus