Social Networking has really started to take on a life of its own these days. I am old enough, to remember the days of Myspace , and while I never had a Myspace account, I was interested in what it was that everyone was talking about. I am probably one of the few in this class who had to wait until I had a University e-mail address to access Facebook, and I remember being so excited when I finally signed up. While it was still in it’s developmental stages, I was blown away by what was happening. I was able to connect with all of my friends who had gone off to enjoy their own college experiences, and don’t even get me started on the day I got my first poke! Do they even still have this feature? All kidding aside, I feel that social networking is a double-edged sword. The benefits of social networking are tremendous. For me, having a cousin who is currently working at the United States embassy in Afghanistan it is always reassuring to get a “status update” on her status. It is also unique to get her opinions on the situation over there, even if it is through the use of Facebook. My Mom recently acquired a profile of her own, and after getting over the original strangeness of receiving a friend request from my Mom I have seen the benefits it has had for her. She has been able to reconnect with a number of old friends who have also been bitten with the Facebook bug. With such an appeal to a wide variety of ages, it is clear that the social networking craze is going nowhere.
I only recently created a Twitter account, and use it more for the purposes of following than to actually tweet. I have never been one to put up a facebook status or to tweet, because does anybody really care to hear every menial detail of my life (I know we all have friends who post these types of things)? With twitter I also find it hard to express your thoughts in 140 characters or less, and have actually enjoyed writing this blog for that very reason. However, I get great amusement out of following a vast array of celebrities and getting some insight into their everyday life. It is great to humanize these stars and makes them seem like they are just like everyone else in the world. I have thoroughly enjoyed the transition to a twitter filled world and can’t wait to see what the future holds in social networking.
Unfortunately, I feel that future is going to further push the limits of privacy, as the ability to connect with anybody at anytime is just downright scary. I appreciate the fact that you are able to control exactly what is visible to everyone and have selected my choices carefully. While I don’t boast the technological knowledge of others, I know it is up to me that I protect myself on these social networking sites from viruses and hackers. This is the harsh reality of social networking that when used properly it can certainly be a great tool for people to stay connected, but there are always people who look to take advantage of the situation that keep you guarded.