What exactly is social networking? In their simplest forms they are friendship circle. Circles may spin around a hub idea such as reading or baseball, or they maybe amoebic like MySpace and Facebook. In our highly technical and digital society, social networking allows us to form friendships globally.
Social networking sites can be divided into two broad categories: Subject specific and general.
Subject Specific Social Networking
A rigorous worklife, rural isolation, or the demands of raising small children often make it difficult to connect with others of similar interests. If you are an ardent quilter or woodcarver, a social networking site devoted to your hobby can connect you with like-minded people and relieve your social isolation. To find a social networking hub connected with your hobby, simply google your hobby plus the words “social networking.” Some examples of subject specific social networking sites are: WriteFace.com (for writers), Digthedirt.com (for gardeners), and baseballnetwork.com (for baseball enthusiasts).
General Social Networking
General social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace allow you to stay connected with friends all over the country and the world. Think of it as an endless coffee shop that everyone you have ever known frequents. You bump into them from time to time and catch up on each other’s lives. You can develop and maintain deep friendships, and keep up on casual relationships.
Dangers of Social Networking
Wherever humans gather (in person or in cyberspace) dangerous situations can arise. The real danger in cyberspace is that we are often accessing social networking sites from home where we feel safe. Too often we let our guard down. Common sense and caution should be the bywords of social networking. Use care in posting pictures and sharing intimate and potentially embarrassing information. In addition, be aware that not everyone is who they say they are.
When the proper safeguards are observed, the benefits of social networking far outweigh the dangers. Social networking can improve your skills, your sense of well-being and even your business.