With the introduction of the Internet access, the social media began to gain power in popularity and comfort on a global scale, nonetheless, bringing a number of problems on the table, as well. Information is known to be one of the most serious weaponry in the world. It is said, he who disposes information, disposes everything. With the introduction of social media, the information obtained the label of common usage. The outcome of easily available information of free access to the information can result in both positive and negative results. On one hand, in enables the viewers to search for any kind of request information, and also find the place of storage and retrieve without delay. On the other hand, easily obtainable information might be lacking safety and security, lack of credibility or relevance, which specifies that nowadays the information is not always protected. Therefore, anyone can abuse the laws regarding the freedoms of communication. However, no information could be transferred without the social media.
Today, the biggest information database is stored online and can be accessed through the social media. The social media is defined as “websites and applications used for social networking” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2012). While interacting with each other on the Internet, people exchange information. According to Campbell (2007) “media is the plural of medium, and each medium is capable of producing worthy products or pandering to society’s worst side” (p. 15). For instance, social media applies to each person, who has Internet connection; facilitates the search though a variety of search engines; enables shy and lonely people to reconnect using applications or E-mail; serves as a huge global market for businessmen; broadcasts the latest news and innovations in a fast, clear and informative way; and finally, saves planet, as it does not use paper. Moreover, there is another side of the coin, which exhibits social media as a threat to the user. According to Campbell (2007) “appropriate content, privacy protection, and security” are all the issues raised in the social media (p. 30). The users should be aware that even children, who are not under parental supervision, are exposed to the threat of becoming a victim of overt sexual content, cyberbullying and identity theft.
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Even though it is powerful enough to continue expanding globally, learning about the positive effects and arising issues of social media usage will protect one from undesirable results. For instance, the users should remember to use certified web-sites and keep information private, let children view overt images or videos (p. 30), avoid paying attention to persuasive techniques in contemporary advertising (p. 149), and the last, but not the least, take information from reliable sources only. The culture of journalism suggests that “in a world engulfed by media outlets, we may be producing too much information” (Campbell 2007, p. 190), which signifies that the Internet is flooded by fictional information. Nonetheless, it promotes “deliberate democracy” through the freedom of speech (p. 190). The best way out is to rely on licensed experts by using correct directories from educational and non-profit organizations, which avoid obscenity and follow the models of expression, censorship, following all the laws, such as copyright, libel, the right for privacy (p. 219).
To sum up, the World Wide Web is a global social media, which can be a friend, if used with caution and expedience, or a foe, if in hands of a neglecting person. Social media enriches with entertainment, communication, merchandize and information. However, there is a chance of becoming a victim of security problems, intervention into privacy, explicit content and false facts. Awareness about these issues is not a mere precaution, but a protection against a real threat, which resides on unprotected directories.
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