With the proliferation of technologies that are able to overcome the obstacles of time and space (e.g., airplanes, cars, the Internet), one would think that these tools would be used to gain an understanding of other cultures, meet people all over the world, maintain and strengthen familial relationships, communicate effectively with others, and help people to become more socially adept. However, some technological advances cause people to be distracted, overly stressed, and increasingly isolated. Many people are involved in an abundant number of relationships through technology, but sometimes the quantity of these associations leaves people feeling qualitatively empty. Obviously, technology has had a profound impact on what it means to be social. The use of social networking sites has both positive and negative consequences. It is amazing how someone can find a long-lost friend through a social networking site, enabling them to reconnect. In a society where people have become quite mobile and family and friends are often geographically separated, it is convenient to keep in touch through technology. However, one need not look far to find problems associated with social networking sites. There is a lively debate about whether Internet addictions are real. To me it appears to be a real problem (perception is often reality in a social context) with which people have to grapple. Some assert that these Web sites contributed to cheating on significant others, often leading to divorce. People have been fired from their jobs or put under pressure because they use these sites at work or because something is posted on a site that undermined the person’s professional standing.
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