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Is facebook a time waster or a wonderful tool for communication?

Dissertation : Is facebook a time waster or a wonderful tool for communication?. Recherche parmi 236 000+ dissertations

Par   •  7 Octobre 2017  •  Dissertation  •  1 442 Mots (6 Pages)  •  173 Vues

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News and Views Around the World

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Is Facebook a time waster or even a dangerous obsession and an attack on privacy or a fantastic tool for communication with your friends, and sharing your latest pictures etc.

Can you think of any potential dangers of social networks?
Do you think it is ok to discuss political opinions on Facebook?



Maud Lavalou

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Today, the internet is omnipresent in our lives, and, of course, so are social medias. There are many debates over whether internet is the greatest tool that ever existed, or whether too many bad “side effects” have happened as a result to its overuse. Social medias have a huge impact on almost everyone’s lives, especially on youth. When talking about social medias, let’s focus on Facebook. The Facebook users keep getting younger and younger, and we cannot help but wonder is Facebook is a time waster? a dangerous tool or a great one for communication? This essay will discuss these questions in addition to the potential dangers of social networks and whether or not, political opinions have a place on Facebook.

        Firstly, let’s state a few Facebook facts. It was created in 2004, in September 2012 they announced over one billion active users across all platforms. In 2015, the average age of Facebook users was 41 years old. In 2017, the now 2 billion users average age is 22 years old. The average time spent on Facebook per month is 6 hours and 45 minutes. But what do we actually do during those roughly 7 hours?  According to the Huffington post, a real social network cannot be virtual. Indeed, we could state that Facebook is a waste of time and productivity, as productivity is defined as “having the quality or power of producing especially in abundance; effective in yielding results, benefits or profits”. [1]  Facebook can be used poorly, like posting selfies constantly, playing games or maintaining shallow relationships with people they barely know. We could even say that Facebook is an excuse to actively do nothing as nowadays, people do not put in the effort to actually go out and catch up in person with the people they are chatting online, they wind up spending time behind a screen, rather than socially interacting. Furthermore, the risk of loss of privacy is increased when you use a social network extensively; as the sites store personal data which is then used by several agencies including advertisers, market analysts, social researchers and sometimes, hackers. In addition to the loss of privacy, there is a strong lack of anonymity as all your vital information are out on the internet including your name, location, age, gender etc.

        However, social networks, but especially Facebook is a double-edged sword. Of course, it depends on how you use it. Some may use it to discuss serious matters, progressing social causes or even finding long lost friends. In addition, Facebook is a very useful program on different aspects, the first one being socialising. Indeed, it provides a way for people to socialise in a fast and easy way and allows people to find other like-minded individuals and then decide later whether they want to socialise in real life. Moreover, it is a good mean to expand one’s contacts in the world of work even though LinkedIn is now the social media that is dedicated to work and career. Likewise, Facebook can be used for political organising. Political parties can have groups to reach out to people who may not have even been aware of their existence in previous times. It allows them to reach a new target. Finally, an aspect that we all tend to forget is autism. Facebook is a great stepping stone for the ones who suffer from this mental illness, and Facebook allows them to gain valuable social skills. While people touched with autism tend to have a hard time socialising in real life, the virtual world and all kinds of social networks allow them to learn about interacting with people; it could even be the catalyst that could make the difference between a lifetime of loneliness and a successful and independent happy life.

        Secondly, there are a few dangers that come with social media. We all know fake news can travel faster, thanks to sharing posts on Facebook, Twitter etc. Whatever is written on the internet can be around forever and follow you throughout your personal life, but can also affect your career. Craig McGill, digital communication expert states that “comments do not need to be seen by millions to have an impact. People have lost their jobs because a boss spotted something. Some companies now trawl through 10 pages of Google search results when looking at candidates, so that can involve some far-flung material from the past.” [2] 


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