Thursday, December 5, 2013


It has transformed the way we meet people, the way we interact with each other, our relationships and it have even effected changes in how business are run these days. An attempt by Wikipedia(An Online encyclopedia) to define the social networking service reads thus: "A social networking service is a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections." 

The social networking service did not start today or with Facebook like many people think. It dates back to the early 90's with sites like, Geocities(1994), amongst others. These were followed by Friendster, Myspace, LinkedIn and Facebook in the early 2000's down to the numerous Social networks that are obtainable in our world today.

Social Networking have undoubtedly revolutionalised human interactions over the years and its effect have been felt both positively and negatively. For example, the Arab spring of 2012 which lead to the protests that saw about three countries remove their unwanted rulers was reported to be possible through the use of Social networks. The Microblogging site - Twitter was instrumental to the #OccupyNigeria protests of January 2012 which made the Federal Government rescind its decision to remove fuel subsidy. I lost contact with some of my childhood friends for over 10years but all thanks to cascading system of facebook, I have been able to reconnect with a good number of them as meeting one would lead to meeting another and it continues. In recent times, most business success could be attributed to the extensive and effective use of Social Networks.
Scholarly researches have been conducted through the use of demographics on social networks. For instance, students have been asked to look at the impact of social networks on youth culture, privacy, social capital, education, etc. The aid of social networks in investigations by the police is another advantage of the tool which have seen criminals apprehended and have helped Law courts prosecute them. 

But sometimes, the use of Social networks comes with a price which could be sometimes devastating as there have been extreme cases of death. In Europe and America, there have been cases of Social network bullying among high school and even grade school students that had sadly ended with the bullied students committing suicide. A friend told me how an ordinary facebook 'like' of his Ex-girlfriend's picture on Facebook ended his relationship and that is just one example of its effect on relationships. It has ended several as well as initiated some. Many have also argued that it is gradually taking the place of physical human interaction. Also, some unsuspecting people have been swindled on social networks by fraudsters posing as friends, relatives, potential partners, celebrities, men of God, etc. We all woke up to the news of the murder of a young, hard-working woman by name Cynthia Osokogwu around July last year and her killers were said to have met her on a social networking site. 

Social networks have come to stay, even when some people worry about or are concerned about it numerous effects, newer versions of the existing ones are being introduced while new ones spring up every now and then. As long as Technology keeps advancing, social networks would still be pretty much around.


Twitter: @Victorikeji