There is no denying the development that social networks have had in recent times (just think that Facebook currently has an average of 600,000 members per day) and their impact on such a large section of the population. Although it is believed that the average user of these services is an adolescent or a young adult, more and more people are making use of these new means of communication for the most diverse reasons: companies advertise, to post homework and lessons , to organise events, and numerous sites are specialising in the search for soul mates, even for those who are no longer young.
The first great merit of social networks is that it facilitated the communication: all you need is an Internet connection to talk real-time with people on the other side of the globe, thanks to webcams you can even see their faces. We can maintain contacts more easily over time and in this vast network of virtual social networks, information travels at the speed of light and ideas circulate and change constantly. This also allows the dissemination of ‘unofficial’ information. To clarify, any kind of information is accessible to anyone.
Despite the merits of social networks, it is also necessary to talk about the problems they conceal. Many people have succeeded in gaining their much-needed fifteen minutes of popularity in the virtual marketplace, even at the cost of ridiculing themselves or shining a spotlight on their private lives. Secondly, although social networks encourage the development of virtual relationships, they also lead many users to isolate themselves from real social life, as online friendships are easier to manage, a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly widespread. Who can guarantee that what we read in a blog we happened upon is true and not just a hypothesis or a lie?
Finally, too much time spent in general on the computer causes physical damage such as eyesight problems, joint disorders and the so-called overinformation stress, a mainly psychological condition caused by the continuous flood of information that continuously overwhelms us. In conclusion, social networks are a great resource if you know how to use them properly and know the risks, without obviously abusing them.