The Roles & Future Of Social Networking Websites– by Roberto Drilea, student at Mihai Viteazu National College, Bucharest
We live times when time is one of our most valuable resources, and we tend to save hours by simplifying everything we do. One of the most important activities that we take daily is communication, under all its forms. That’s why social networking sites have arised lately – they unleash interaction for the lazy humanity. Nowadays, social networks have become the most active part of the Internet, places that reunite, at the distance of a click, people from all over the world and keep them up to date with their friends’ and relatives’ lives. But, what are the roles, all the purposes of these sites? And, as evolution happens imperceptibly, what will be the future of social networking sites?
These days, it’s not all about simple communication – we have our voices, mobile phones, mail and messenger for that. It’s about ‘coolness’, it’s all about the trends – and social networks are, and will continue to be for a while, a trend. It is ‘cooler’ to share your life with friends on Facebook or Twitter, not only by text, but by pictures, videos, applications, and so on. After gaining their trust through thousands of millions of people, social networks have now a very powerful marketing tool – people enjoy games and apps on Facebook, for example, and companies, besides paying for advertisements targeted by age, location or interests, are willing to pay millions to develop new addictive applications. What other steps could follow in social networking’s future evolution?
It’s not that hard to guess – the future is bright, both for users and mostly for social networks owners. The most realistic changes that will happen in the close future are that there will be a single identity for most of the websites, that could unleash usage – this already started to happen, because more and more websites allow their visitors to log in with their Facebook details. In the future, social network accounts will be verified, to ensure that users are real – Twitter already does this, at least for celebrities. Social networking sites will become great markets for ‘cool’ products – for companies, they are gold mines, as they could manipulate users to buy everything they would sell under and eye-catching brand and image.
Could the future be darker? Yes, somehow, it could, especially for users. Not all the accounts on social networks are real, and there are known cases of people faking accounts, and fooling people to meet with them. Because people trust such websites, they are willing to expose their lives fully, with their contact details, addresses, and so on – but not all the users are good-hearted. Also, if a social network’s owners would decide to use all the information with bad purposes, just think what could happen. Last but not least, there could be another danger – maybe a Third World War could start on the Internet, and as the news spread with the speed of light, people could find out about it from Twitter; also, why couldn’t we talk about Facebook, Twitter and hi5 armies?
All in all, besides being a trend, social networking is a mass phenomenon that we cannot doubt. It’s up to each of us whether we’re keen to share all of our lives, or just a bit of them; whether we accept friendship requests from everyone, or just from real friends. Whether we are easy or hard to manipulate. It’s our choice if we want to live for real, or move with our lives into virtuality. It’s up to us.
Acest eseu este castigatorului unui PREMIU special in cadrul 2010 Shakespeare School Essay Competition, grupa de varsta 15-19 ani, avand ca tema “Discuss the role and future of social networking sites hi5 and Facebook“. Premiul a constat intr-un discount de 25% la orice curs intensiv de vara de limba engleza la Shakespeare School, precum si in carti si alte cadouri de la Diverta si Fischer International. Dorim sa il felicitam pe Roberto pentru faptul ca s-a evidentiat din peste 3100 de eseuri trimise la concursul national de creatie in limba engleza organizat de Shakespeare School si ii uram mult succes in continuare!