To Keep or Not to Keep: Students should explore pros and cons of social networking

Blogging, tweeting, and updating.  The ways people express themselves through social media sites are innumerable.  While this type of socialization serves as a great window for communicating with the larger world, it can also cause those who participate in this type of socialization to forget about the real world around them.  Therefore the question must be asked about the social media networking – to keep or not to keep?

“All my pictures and memories are on there!”

 Not to Keep:

A common defense of social networking is the fear that if an account is deleted, memories and pictures will disappear along with it.  This excuse portrays the reluctance many have for looking towards the future, though pictures and memories can remain through scrapbooks and videos.  Dwelling on the past is a common repercussion of social networking and often results in negative effects such as wondering ‘what if?’.  The allowance of a person to have the instant ability to ‘check up on’ old friends, exes, or co-workers often prevents them from moving on, which they would be forced to do without social media.

To Keep:

However, the albums and memories on social media sites do provide a unique way to share with friends and family the times which have passed. The ability to post pictures onto a page where it can be viewed by others allows for a way to share a laugh and document the time without the hassle of keeping a scrapbook.  Not only can photos be shared, but videos can be used to document as well, something users could never do with a scrapbook.

“I don’t want to be disconnected.”

 Not to Keep:

There usually is a valid argument for this aspect of social media stating that they act as an excellent source of knowledge of world happenings.  However, there are many other sources of news that do not include social networking sites.  Often, online newspapers or magazines provide the same if not better news which cannot be found on Twitter or Facebook.

To Keep:

A benefit to being connected to the world through social networking is that ideas and opinions of world events can be distributed from person to person very easily.  Commenting on posts of news stories or ‘liking’ a post can show to others where you stand on certain issues and can allow you to unite with others who have a similar stance on those issues.

“I can express myself through my profile and posts!”

 Not to Keep:

It is no surprise that the ability to post and upload pictures onto a social site provides the perfect way for an introvert to express themselves in ways they cannot during their daily lives.  This may seem like a good thing, but it can also serve as a very false view towards a person.  A false boldness can be established online, resulting in an awkward opposite self in person.  If someone wants to be as fearless as to express their beliefs and opinions online, they must first be sure they can take the same stance in the outside world.

To Keep:

While it can be a bad thing that a boldness which is expressed in social media does not match boldness in daily life, it can be a good thing.  The ability to express one’s self through social media can serve as a safe way to gather like-minded opinions and ideas of peers which may be more hidden through daily life.  In addition to this, friends can be made easily through social networking as well through the expression of opinions and beliefs.



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