- Worrying time statistics 5. Different opinions
- Hidden dangers 6. The best social networking site
- New communication opportunities 7. Time eaters
- Communication problems in real life 8. Prospects in education
A. The popularity of social networking sites such as Vkontakte, Facebook, MySpace, and Classmates has risen more than four times from 2005 to 2009. Many users say these sites are good for our society, but others are sure that there are more dangers in them than benefits. Your attitude to such websites depends on your age, job, interests and way of life.
B. Social networks promote communication with friends and family, they give people necessary and useful computer skills and teach them to express their ideas in a clear way. Another thing is that the sites let people create new relationships and reconnect with old friends. In every way, more communication, even online, makes connections stronger.
C. Social networking sites make people spend more time online and less time communicating face-to-face. The sites have many time-wasting activities. You stay online longer than you planned and do nothing serious or important. Experts say that teenagers spend about nine hours every week on social networking sites.
D. A big risk about social networks is that teenagers are careless. They don’t worry that their personal information and photos could be open to lots of people. Also the sites don’t guarantee that their registered members are who they say they are. If a person says he is James Burns, a college student, we have to believe him. We cannot check his real name or occupation.
E. Psychologists say that social networking sites can have serious disadvantages. It is hard for children to have real conversations and make friends. They become selfish personalities and lose interest in real life. Parents spend less time with their children and all members of the family spend less time with each other because they are using the Internet instead of communicating in person.
F. Internet users spend most of their time on social networks and blogs. Users in the USA spend about five and a half hours every month on their favourite site. And the number is growing. Russians spend 6.6 hours monthly on social networking sites. It is more than people in any other country. For example, in Europe it is 3.7 hours a month.
G. New research shows that social networking sites can be used in schools. Teachers should find ways to use them in class. It would help students to learn how to get information from Internet resources and share it with classmates. Students would also be able to express themselves creatively and present themselves better.