It is no doubt that the invention of the internet has triggered a communication revolution
by allowing the users to share information across different platforms regardless of the
distance (Johnston et al. 24). Social networking has taken the world with
a twist making it a center of attraction for researchers. There are different types of social
networks. However, the most important thing to note at the moment is that these networks have
problems and benefits alike which understanding makes us better evaluate them.
There is more on the brighter side of these social networks. First off, these networks
allow the faster exchange of information thus enriching relationships between individuals.
Secondly, these social networks also create social capital. Social capital describes the resources
that accrue from diverse relationships (Johnston et al. 25). Social capital
has the key advantage of being used as a forecast for various social problems and social
arrangements such as mental health, school attrition and performance, child development and
economic development among others (Johnston et al. 26). Essentially,
low social capital alludes a great social disorder as well as distrust among the members of the
community in question (Johnston, Tanner, Lalla, and Kawalski 26). On the other hand, when the
social capital is positive there is connectedness among the members of the group and thus
commitment (Johnston, Tanner, Lalla, and Kawalski 26). The network also allows the creation of
bonding relationships that are healthy for emotional well-being. Furthermore, these networks also,
permit the bridging of social capital such that there is an exchange of pertinent information
and new ideologies. The social networks help solve the tussle of finding friends. In this case, the
There is also a dark side to the social networks and the whole communication process
that uses the network. First off, people have an avenue to delineate between enemies and friends.
For instance, the same social capital might result in hate groups as those seen on Facebook
through binding the in-group and excluding the out-group (Meltzer). Such a move create not
only free binding problems but also limits individual freedom and undermines the cohesiveness
of a group (Johnston et al. 26). These networks also offer a platform for
people to propagate their harmful deeds. For example, most teenagers are pressured through
some sites through such things as cyber-bullying, self-harm, and happy-slapping (Meltzer). As a
matter of fact, the calls made to ChildLine continues to record an annual increase of 10%
(Meltzer). With such pressures comes the risk of mental problems such as depression (Meltzer).
Adults aged between 18 and 34 years and who are depressed due to social networks account for
53% being that they spend too much time online (Meltzer). Some of the factors that exacerbate
the depression include the fear of loneliness, being single and worrying too much about the
quality of relationships with their kin and friend (Meltzer).
In conclusion, social networks have advantages as well as disadvantages. Nonetheless,
the role of social networks as a tool of communication is unimagined. Noteworthy is the fact that
despite the problems created by these networks, the network offers various avenues that solve the
Johnston, Kevin, Maureen Tanner, Nishant Lalla, and Dori Kawalski. " Social capital: the
benefit of Facebook ‘friends’." Behaviour & Information Technology 32.1 (2013): 24-
Meltzer, Tom. " Social Networking: Failure to Connect | Media | The Guardian." The Guardian.
Guardian News and Media Limited, 7 Aug. 2010. Web. 12 Jan. 2016.