Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Online Identities

In today’s world, the Internet holds vital importance and one of the many facilities provided by it would be social networking. This is rapidly gaining popularity in our era due to the fact that it is an inexpensive and fast mode of staying in touch with family and friends despite the distance. Individuals who have an account in major social networking sites such as Orkut, Twitter or Facebook are now using more of their time to socialize with other people amidst the distance and lack of time. Networking sites serve several advantages as well as disadvantages.

Users of networking websites may interact in several ways and can share their thoughts, views, opinions and expressions online. This has hence brought the world closer and did not require any large expenses. Social networking websites enables users to socially interact with one another. Additionally, people  who share similar interests, beliefs or other common concerns may befriend each other. Some companies are known to even browse through their employee’s online profiles to learn more about them and their personality traits. 

However, every coin has two sides and there are disadvantages to these sites as well. In spite of age limits and barriers set on many sites, people still take advantage by entering an incorrect age or age group and creating accounts on these websites. Many people are addicted to these websites and spend valuable time updating their social network. Cyber bullying and stalking of profiles are rising issues that affect many users and threaten their privacy and security. Very often we hear of reported cases of hacked accounts and disapproving changes made to profiles. The consequence of these actions are severe and may damage one's social reputation among their peers. It also causes a great amount of grief and humiliation to the victims of this form of bullying.

Social networking websites therefore play a very important role in enhancing one’s social identity or image and may influence, to an extent, their reputation socially. Hence it is important for one to create an account in a social networking site keeping in mind the cause, use and effects of creating an online identity. Kindly publish articles raising awareness of the uses of social networking sites and the possible effects of doing so as those readers who are active online may gain benefit from them.

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