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Tuesday, 22 November 2011 04:37

Positive and negative impacts of Facebook

Society consists of a number of people who interact with each other in different ways and day by day the relations become more complicated.
In the present world dubbed as the world of communications, the spread of mass media has led to the expansion and diversity of social interactions.
Nowadays media experts and researchers offer new ways for interaction which are based on media particularly the Internet. The modern media have managed, via creating a new world particularly in the field of social relations, to create considerable changes in human communications. It can be said that the latest type of human relations have been shaped in the Internet ‘social networks.’ By sharing the private world of their users and minimizing the distance among them, these networks provide an easier impact. In the social networks all users are apparently at the same level and by taking advantage of the Internet capacities they will be able to experience the widespread human communications irrespective of political and geographical borders. The users' increasing tendency to social networks shows that the cyber world has been very much affected by the networks. In view of this, the social Facebook network has been the pioneer and in fact it is considered as the largest site of the world.

Facebook is a social site which started working on February 4, 2004 by its young producer Mark Zuckerberg. He designed Facebook in his room at US Harvard University and started it as a social website for Harvard students. But very soon his site was taken into consideration outside the university and it became so popular that by the end of the second week of its operation, over half of Harvard students registered in Facebook and used it as a way of contacting with each other; and in a short period, millions of people became Facebook members and founded a broad and influential network. Although this social network paves the way for finding new friends or communicating with old friends, it is a site for exchanging views and ideas among the youths. The capability that a youth can communicate with other youths in different countries has turned the social networks including Facebook into a site for introducing and discussing new ideas.

Actually with the spread of social networks, relations have become closer and wider than the past to the extent that the social sites have turned into an inseparable part of our life and its positive and negative impacts affect our life.

Some experts believe that with the help of these sites, relations have entered a new phase and people can become aware of each other better and more quickly. But on the other hand, some other experts are of the opinion that the social sites, especially Facebook have created many problems. Based on the new researches conducted by Professor Larry Rosen a psychologist from California state university, the excessive use of Facebook can lead to psychological disorders including anti-social behaviors, egotism, sever excitement and aggression among teenagers. Professor Larry Rosen believes that Facebook users, whether children or adults, are much susceptible to be infected with psychological diseases.

Based on Facebook's announcement, every day 200 thousand new users enroll in the site turning it to millions strong human network. The increasing popularity of the site has created remarkable commercial perspectives for the profiteers of the Internet and it seems that each of them tries to take the control of part of it. Meanwhile this popularity has been used for pushing forward political and social programs. Social communications sites like Facebook apparently act to create a space for electronic presence of individuals but actually most of them are in the service of news and intelligence corporations.

Although membership in these sites is free of charge; but nothing is really free and in return for the free use of electronic services of these websites, individuals put the major part of their mysteries at the disposal of the networks. The founder of Wiki Leaks Julian Assange says: "Facebook is the most hateful spying tool which has been created so far. Whoever adds the name and characteristics of his friends to Facebook should know that he is in the service of US spying agencies and he completes this data treasure for them.” According to Assange, Facebook is a very large data treasure of names and records of individuals which the users put at the site's disposal voluntarily. But this tool is used by the US spying agencies. The spying agencies’ access to the saved information in the Facebook has turned it into a dangerous means against nations.

In the meantime, a number of experts have pointed to inter group harms and family disintegration, believing that social sites particularly Facebook have created many problems for youths and families. As a recent example of such problems, a number of the American lawyers announced that one fifth of divorces in this country spring from the use of Facebook. Indeed, the extraordinary popularity of this site has caused spouses to find better situation to betray each other. Some of the couples regularly check the page of their spouse in the site to find likely tracks of his or her stealth relationship with others.

Moreover, Facebook creates the possibility for the youth to disclose their personal information to others and to have illegitimate relationship with the opposite gender. Unfortunately such illegitimate relations are often abused by profiteers and have caused much psychological losses for the youth. Based on a figure issued in May 2011, the number of Facebook users has reached over 700 million people 70 percent of whom are out of the US.

American users rank first and Indonesian users rank second. Most of Facebook users are from the American continent. Undoubtedly no one can prevent so many users from membership in these sites but one should act cautiously towards them. How good it would be if we used the positive aspects of Facebook and other social networks to reform the condition of the society? For instance the publication of pictures of Mohammad Bu Azizi the Tunisian 26 year old man in the Facebook, who set himself on fire as a protest to oppression and despotism in Tunisia, made a greatly contributed to awakening among nations. Those Tunisian youths who were experts of cyber space and Internet poured to the streets and declared their wrath and hatred towards the regime of Zain-al Abedin ben Ali.

Over the 9 months after the start of the Islamic awakening in the Arab states, people and especially the youths have used this wide network to announce their protest against dictators ruling over the Arab countries. This has taken place even in the western states and during riots in Britain; youths well used the Facebook to advance their protests. Therefore, some western regimes have called on this social network to suspend its services whenever their interests are threatened and it has been accepted by Facebook officials.

Generally it seems that despite evil impacts of Facebook both in security and morals, now people have gradually realized to use this broad social network for their interests and those of their country.

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