Social networking is the rage of this age. Social networks are formed when people sharing certain interests including hobbies, religion, politics, etc., coalesce into groups or communities.
In modern times it refers more to online communities because this is where most social networks tend to exist. To facilitate such social networking, there are many websites. These social networking sites include Face book, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, Fropper, etc. Such sites help people to keep in touch with each other and also connect with long lost friends from school and college.
Though it began as a craze among the youth, people of all generations have caught the fad now. Membership can only be gained through existing members who will admit you into the circle as their friend. People can upload photos and videos through these sites and share them with their circle of friends.
Sometimes they try to initiate action on some issue. For instance, in the sensational Aarushi murder case (Noida), friends and classmates of the dead girl, Aarushi, launched a campaign on Face book against the media and the Noida police for slandering the girl’s character. The campaign also called for a Proper investigation to nab the real culprits.
Social networking sites also have a troublesome side. One has to be careful about revealing personal information and sharing photographs with strangers. These can be used for sinister purposes and may lead to dangerous situations. There are many examples. In Mumbai, Adnan Patrawala, a wealthy youngster, was abducted and killed by some friends whom he met on Orkut.
The motive was ransom. Similarly, Kaushambi Layek, an employee of TCS, met a married man on Orkut and got involved with him. She was later lured to a hotel and shot to death. Sometimes men try to blackmail women by using their photos. So youngsters and women especially have to exercise extreme care when using such sites.
Social networking comes in handy when one needs a job. We can use our contacts to learn of good job opportunities. Advertisers also have found social networking sites a useful tool to get feedback on their products as people tend to believe their peers’ opinions on certain products rather than an advertisement. This has led them to use such sites to promote their products.