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Social Impact of Innovative Technology, Research Paper Example

Pages: 3

Words: 770

Research Paper

Technology has undoubtedly taken a firm and important place in the life of every contemporary person. The modern society is living in the period of rapid digitization and innovation that redefine the ways in which people conduct some basic activities. For instance, people used to communicate via mail and later – telephone, while now they can write an e-mail, establish a video conference, or talk with a person in virtually every corner of the world by means of using their mobile phones. Among the most disruptive and influential technologies, the Internet network should obviously be named, since the Internet has changed the communication, information sharing, learning, entertainment, and other kinds of human pastimes fundamentally. One of the newest innovations connected with the Internet use is the introduction of social networking that changes the ways people communicate, get acquainted, and establish social relationships.

Initially, social networking was accepted as a revolution in communication and self-presentation; people now can provide all information they want at their social networking pages, can get in contact with people around the world, can share videos and photos of themselves, can find people with similar interests, etc. As Fraser and Dutta (2010) admitted, people can establish multiple selves in virtual worlds; this way, humble men or women having hardships with getting acquainted with others face to face can establish romantic relationships or friendship with many people being protected by the computer screens, and getting rid of their debilitating shyness. People who moved to other cities or even countries after school or university completion may get in touch with their friends, neighbors, classmates, and group-mates after many years of being separated by long distance.

There are many concerns about cyber-communication being shallow and unnatural; indeed, many people establish false identities and false selves in the social networks to fulfill some dreams and wishes that are unapproachable for them in real life. Hence, many social network users may be misled by the personalities with which they communicate, as in real life, they may appear to be fundamentally different from those who seemed so appealing in the Web. Qualman (2010) commented on this criticism by stating that social networking is still an inherently positive phenomenon of the contemporary society, since it enables people to involve in contribution, collaboration, co-creation of content, multi-tasking, etc. that used to be unavailable to people due to certain physical limitations. However, nowadays, people have received the virtual access to the global community online, and searching for new friends or co-thinkers is becoming much quicker and much more convenient – it is enough to fill in the search form indicating some specific criteria like “dog lovers”, “cross-stitching”, “skiing” etc. The present opportunities produce a highly beneficial social impact on the humanity, since some people are physically disabled, and cannot leave their homes to communicate with peers and friends. Approaching social networks, they can live a full life, and communicate freely and fully with the rest of the world.

Nevertheless, one should keep in mind that there are some negative influences that social networking brings about to the society. For instance, Gorman and McLean (2009) noted the threat of cyber-bullying as a social networking-enabled activity. Indeed, bullying is a universal negative aspect of human communication, and it can be transferred to the digital plane as well. People are harassed by abusive mails or messages, and receive spam in their social networking pages, which is cyber-bullying. Fraser and Dutta (2010) also warned about the privacy paradox, when people tell about secret things and show private photos and videos in their social networking sites, which can embarrass their parents and spouses, their employers, their educational institutions, etc. The concerns of privacy and security of confidential information rise enormously in the cyber-space, especially under the condition of the wide spread of hackers and cyber-criminals.

As evidence suggests, social networking is both a positive and negative innovation that has nevertheless produced a transformative impact on the human lives, and enables new modes of communication. However, all people should remember to distinguish their virtual lives from real life, and should not forgo face-to-face communication for the sake of digital communication. Moreover, privacy of information should be paid increased attention to because of cyber-threats and hackers.

References

Fraser, M., & Dutta, S. (2010). Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work, and World. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Gorman, L., & McLean, D. (2009). Media and Society into the 21st Century: A Historical Introduction. (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons.

Qualman, E. (2010). Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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