Unit 2

Gary Lewis

English 116 


Is There a Con to Social Media and Networking?


There is an ongoing debate on weather or not social networking brings social change. There are two sides to that debate, on one side we have a writer named Clay Shirky who believes it does benefit us and helps society. While on the opposite side we have Malcolm Gladwell who opposes that belief. While social media brings social change maybe true, there is always a con or negative aspect of everything. 

Clay Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations is about how the social media and digital age is shaping the way we learn and gather information with the new digital world around us. He discusses how social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, and how they help people collaborate on issues like the occupy movement and flash mobs that gather sometimes for social changes in society. He also delves into two types of people professional and amateurs an example of this is shard awareness, how information is no longer spread by a professional news paper corporation but also by the internet and people on Twitter and Facebook sharing information about currant events with one another. 

On the opposite side of this debate there is Malcolm Gladwell. He feels that there should be some type of leadership or a hierarchy where one is on top leading. He does not feel social networking builds strong ties to other people. Or that it will bring about big social change. An example he gives is the sit ins African Americans were doing during segregation and how that brought about a larger change than social media could.

With the examples and scenarios from these two writers on social media and networking. I decided to explore how this field of dating has change recently due to the internet and social media and networking.  Has dating and relationships changed for the better or worse? 

The article that I read discusses both the good and bad aspects of this new version of dating caused by social networking media. The Article is written by Dan Slater and the article is called A Million Fast Dates: How Online Dating Is Threatening Monogamy.  Dan Slater brings up valid points why online dating is a positive thing pointing out how it helps single people meet with one another who normally would not have every met or talked to one another in an everyday setting. Another point and quote that sticks out to me  that I agreed with is “ The internet has made it possible for people to communicate and connect in ways never before seen”. What I think Dan was try to get across was that with people just meeting and connecting through internet you never have to meet personally with someone which can be both a good thing but also a bad thing. 

On the flip side Dan Slater points out how online dating has ruined dating and relationships. He gives examples of this by saying in the article that it will make people more “disposable”, and that people will be more willing to just leave a relationship if the relationship doesn’t work because they can just find someone new.  A quote that helps validate that statement in the article is “But you could also easily see a world in which online dating leads to people leaving relationships the moment they’re not working—an overall weakening of commitment.” What I assume the writer was trying to get across with that statement was that people would become increasingly likely to not feel as strongly committed in a relationship in this fast paced technology driven society. Where if in a relationship a couple is having their issues they will mostly like just break up because they can find someone new instantly. When everything people want they can obtain right at their finger tips instead of putting in leg work to make things work why would someone want to work as hard in a relationship or anything for that matter?

My opinion  on whether or not social networking and social media causes change for the better is this. I do believe that in this computer driven generation that it is most times for the best. With the ability for student to find information  for school on wikipedia, google, yahoo and all the other search engines it benefits them and their education. Another way is how young children like toddlers learn things now on the computer or with IPads, Notebooks, and Kindles. These devices and the apps they provide are helping young children learn at a faster pace than they would have if it was by a traditional word of mouth way. In addition they make it creative and interesting and that makes children want to learn and that is good especially since I’m a father myself and I want the best for my son when it comes to his education and learning.

But the cons are there also, I do see that with this new technology it has and will make people increasingly impatient when it comes to most things in life. The fact that now you can have everything at your finger tips like food, clothes, and movies and all you need is a credit card it will create problems. When we already have more people losing there identity and having their   credit cards maxed out because they put it out there on the internet it is only inevitable somebody would find a way to abuse this. When it comes to the dating realm I see that when it comes to dating, people will feel more likely to not want to put as much work in a relationship  because you can find a new person in minutes, why would you waste your time in a relationship that you believe wont go any where? I think that with this mentality going on people are losing the ability to communicate in face to face situations because everything is done through computers and phones and if you also don’t like who your with whether its a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend. You could just find a new one online. 

Overall I do see and agree that the benefits of social networking and social media. Although the cons maybe there in the long run they will be more beneficial for people in their everyday lives in many ways. An example is when it comes to assisting people in their everyday life and making it easier like if a military service member who is overseas he can use social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook  to stay in contact with loved ones at an easier and faster rate than phone or mail, or he can just post something to his Twitter or Facebook account letting his loved ones know that he or she is OK. I only hope that in the long run that social media does not destroy human communication and how we communicate and deal with one another in person.




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