PHIL Course Project : Research Essay

Abstract

This paper discusses the manner in which social media, web sharing and/or similar trends in the internet can result in different positive and negative effects on social personal behaviors of individuals. In regard to the issue background, the paper emphasizes the statement, which claims that ‘people are the product of the environment within which they live’. In regard to effects on social and personal behavior, the paper considers both the positive and negative effects of both social media, web sharing and other similar trends in the internet. The paper, also, strategies that should be embraced to eradicate negative influences of social media, web sharing and similar trends in the internet on personal and social behavior of individuals.

Thesis statement

Social media, web sharing and/or similar trends in the internet will result in different positive and negative effects on social personal behaviors of individuals.

Introduction

Over the past few years, there has been a prolific growth on the Web that has been influenced by the changing trends regarding the utilization of Web 2.0 technology whose objectives entail increasing information sharing, self-expression and interconnectivity (Mazurek & Wenstrup, 2013). These web sharing and social media trends have influenced evolution and development of virtual services and communities that include video and photo sharing services, social sites for networking, wikis, folksonomies and blogs. These web technologies, also, led to the development of capacious user-generated info in the form of videos, images, texts and many more. Although web sharing, social media and other similar trends in the internet have brought changes in the manner in which people communicate, the established principles of social interaction and human behavior remain in control of the underlying social processes.

Issue Background  

It is in everyone’s knowledge that the environment has superior modifying effects on human behavior. Human social and personal behavior is largely influenced by circumstantial influences, surroundings and events in life. Web sharing, social media and other similar trends in the internet have already taken much of the influence on human social and personal behavior both in negative and positive ways. In respect to web sharing and social media, there is a lot of truth in the statement, which claims that ‘people are the product of the environment within which they live’. Information sharing through social media has already significantly influenced issues such as relationships, education and purchasing habits. The findings of most researchers indicate that majority of the social networks do support the already existing social relations (Kanai, Bahrami, Roylance & Rees, 2012). The truth in this research findings has been demonstrated through Facebook. The main purpose of Facebook has been ensuring congeal offline connections or existing offline messages are maintained, as opposed to helping users meet new people.

It is normal for people to imagine that they largely control the activities in their daily lives without realizing that the foods they eat, the things they do, the way they feel, and the people they interact with, is essentially influenced by the surrounding i.e. the people their surrounding and several others around them. People’s actions can have significant influence on the health, beliefs and behavior of the people they have never met and interacted face-to-face. Elusively web sharing and social media can produce epidemics of substance abuse and smoking, obesity, alter voting patterns and many other things (David, 2011). Web sharing and social media can contain a stream of generally undesirable things like unhappiness, sadness and anger. In the same way, it can, also, contain a stream of desirable things such as valuable information, altruism, love, and happiness. The spread of desirable things through social media and web sharing is what justifies the entire reason people prefer living their lives within networks. This way, if people get violent within the network, they will cut ties with one another and this would lead to disintegration of the network.

Proposal

There have been a lot of developments in social networking since the inception of AOL instant messenger. Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ are some of the major social media and web sharing developments and latest trends that seem to have a lot of influence on human social and personal behavior (David, 2011). The main aim of developing all these media outlets was to ensure that family, friends, colleagues, and classmates remained connected all the time irrespective of the physical distance that existed between them. The present generation possesses great adaptive capabilities to social media, web sharing and other internet trends and can somewhat appear abnormal if access is denied. Facebook and Twitter; for instance are the leading worldwide phenomena of social media trends.

Positive Effects

Social media, web sharing and similar trends in the internet will affect a range of positive effects on the social and personal behavior of the people who engage in it. For instance, the findings of research indicates that children, adolescents and adults who engage in different forms of social media enhance their technical, social connection and communication skills (Bolton & Solnet, 2013). Different social media options such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter provide limitless opportunities for different people to connect with their families, friends, colleagues, classmates and any other people whom they share similar interests with.

Negative Effects

Most people, especially children and adolescents possess limited capabilities for self-regulation and this makes them susceptible to peer pressure. As they navigate and perform experiments with various forms of social media and web sharing, children and adolescents get exposed to a lot of risks that impact negatively on their social and personal behavior. The findings of research demonstrates that the internet is a hub of a lot of offline behaviors like clique-forming, sexual experimentation and bullying (Bolton & Solnet, 2013). This offline behaviors have led to the introduction of problems such as sexting, privacy issues and cyberbullying. Other problematic issues that qualify awareness in this regard include concurrent sleep deprivation and internet addiction.

Proposed Solutions

In order to eradicate the negative effects of social media, web sharing and other similar trends in the internet, everyone in the society will have an essential role to play. Parents and caregivers should improve their awareness about the way their children use social media and web sharing so that they can know how to navigate such technologies (Chelliah & Field, 2014). They should, also, engage their children in family discussions about the risky behaviors that are likely to be encountered online. For the community to have an effective role in addressing this issue, more resources should be allocated to community organizations, libraries and schools, to facilitate adoption of risk management strategies by providing more information about online safety. Technological solutions are, also, essential in addressing this issue (Chelliah & Field, 2014). Social networking sites like YouTube, Facebook and others, and providers of internet such as Yahoo and Google should work in collaboration with policy makers and parents to develop approaches that can help teens and adolescents to stay safe.

Conclusion

This research paper discussed the manner in which social media, web sharing and/or other similar trends can positively or negatively affect human social and personal behavior. People’s actions can have significant influence on the health, beliefs and behavior of the people they have never met and interacted face-to-face. Web sharing and social media can contain a stream of generally undesirable things like unhappiness, sadness and anger. In the same way, it can, also, contain a stream of desirable things such as valuable information, altruism, love, and happiness.

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