Technology and media have greatly changed the way we view our friends and peers.
Social media and networking have altered our ways of interacting and engaging with others. The Internet provides adolescents with a place to explore their identity, experiment with intimate issues beyond the confines of face-to-face communication, and to find information and social support regarding developmentally sensitive issues. It creates the space for self-exploration and self-assessment, which are essential components in an individual’s development, particularly in adolescence (Trepte, 2011).
And the Internet is not just for young people. Social media use among elderly individuals has dramatically increased and is expected to gain further importance in the future. Asking for advice, giving advice, discussion with other members, building new relationships, seeking a dating partner and meeting people online were important motivations for the elderly (Trepte, 2011).
so what’s the catch?!
Of course, the effects are not all positive. Social media and networking have also changed our digital persona-identity and raised privacy concerns. Cultural analysts have argued that privacy is less important to the younger generation, a generation that grew up with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and texting. As a result of this careless distribution of personal information, adolescents and elderly are seen as easy targets for commercial and identity fraud, as well as adolescents for emotional and sexual abuse (Trepte, 2011).
Overall, the effects on individuals and society at large are a mix of positive and negative factors.
Trepte, S., Reinecke, L. 2011. Privacy Online. Perspectives on Privacy and Self-disclosure in the Social Web. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-21521-6