Are social networking sites a good or a bad thing?

Once upon a time I had to dial up my internet and wait for it load whilst making sure no one was on the land-line at the same time. How times have change! Now thanks to technology we can get the internet up in matters of seconds. Milliseconds actually… When I turned 12 I had my first MSN (MircoSoft network) account I rushed home to speak to my friends on it every day. EVERYDAY the same people I just left 15 minutes previous. It was then I realised I was obsessed with the internet but is it a bad thing?

I organised a group interview with Brunel students asking them about their thoughts about being born in the new age of internet and technology. And for this task I have ask them to put their phones away to have their undivided attention. Below are the views of the students that stood out for me:

Juliette Smith, 19, Politics and History student said “Well the first thing I do when I wake up is check the time which is on my phone then twitter. Twitter before anything else. To be honest there’s no need for me to any news outlet as I follow them on twitter. It’s so easy to access everything. Like yesterday I found out Margret Thatcher died on twitter. Not CNN nope twitter *laughs*”

Anisa Singh,19, Sports Science student said: “I don’t think I have been a day without my phone or checking twitter. It’s hard not to check my twitter feed it’s I have missed out of something! Maybe something important. But I do wish the internet and social networking sites did not exist or have like a special lock on it during exam times it’s so hard not to go on them! Even Facebook and I hate that site”

Sebastian Ngi Lei,19, Industrial Design and Technology student says: “I think social networking sites are pointless to be honest and the fact people are obsessed with it is frightening especially for our future. I mean I do have a Facebook account which I rarely go on. I mean why would I want to update everyone what I had for dinner “hey guys I’m having a subway” pretty useless”

Michael Sakutu, 20, Maths student says: “you must stalk at least someone on Facebook Sebastian don’t lie?! I part of the reason I love social networking sites is to stalk people. Also to make my ex-girlfriends jealous. I am being honest! *laughs*. I use Twitter the most really its very addictive. I have posted 12,000 tweets and I have only joined last year. It’s easy to communicate with my friends so it’s not all bad and I can talk to my family from African on Facebook. There are positives!”

Kay Olaleye, 19, Maths student says: “I agree with Juliette I found out Mareget Thacther died on twitter. I think the internet and social networking sites are amazing. Last week I did my essay. I didn’t even leave my room to go to the library. Go my quotes from Google scholar. The internet is a good friend of mine but its true there are negatives like the other day I was googling how tall Robert Pattionson was. Because that’s very useful?”

Being bought up in the digital ages means we are glued to our phones. Its very rare for someone aged 18-35 not to have a phone actually anyone. I saw an 9 year old with a blackberry. Everyone is is on them. sort of like a drug?

But it seems the only people gaining from social networking sites are the creators. The creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg net worth is £14billion.

The web allows you to reach every corner of the world and has become the biggest source of information . As time went by, technology itself has evolved: nowadays it’s hard to imagine life without a computer or smartphone. I personally think twitter is great. I get to follow all my friends and favourite celebrities. How else will I know that Stephen Fry went to Greece on the 13th of Apirl…

I challenge you to spend a day without your phones, emails, Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp and go back just a few years when none of this madness really existed. I tried this yesterday and caved. Caved three hours into the challenge.

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