During the last decades the number of individuals, that use the World Wide Web as a necessary tool of communication, has increased dramatically. Indeed, much more persons communicate with each other through the internet. It has been a worrying trend for those who enjoy the face-to-face interaction However, others have seen it as a positive change. Social media has revolutionized our lives and has turned the world into global village. 85% of the world now has access to mobile phones. Mobile access to social media has increased dramatically. Facebook alone boasts about 900 million users and includes about half of the population of the United States and a third of those living in Europe and Australia (Sandra M.DeJong, 2014). Social media has indeed bridged the geographical gap and made the whole world a small community. The bonding with our friends and relatives has become much better and stronger. Electronic-mail or instant messenger is a way of communication that has increased the speed in which responses are handled in personal and official life throughout the world. As Broadbent observes, social media such as webcams are immersive modes of communication as users can access each other’s rooms, can move, see what the other user is doing, and sometimes even have dinner ‘together’. Skype, for example, communicates the physical context in which conversations occur: the spaces around the face-to-face interaction. While communicating, family members and partners are showing each other significant domestic contexts, objects, and important objects via webcam.
However, in the process of being connected, we are actually being disconnected with our family and near and dear ones. Face-to-face interaction has taken a hit as we communicate on the social networking sites but fail to physically interact with our family members and neighbours. People who spend too much time on the Internet become obese. Moreover, this obesity might be a cause of diabetes in the future. Another drawback is that the internet users have lack of face-to-face interaction, which leads to lonely personal life without having a partner and children. Privacy threat is one of the negative effects of the Internet. Teenagers exchange their picture, private information or personal chat every day in social networking. They are not fully aware of the risk privacy threat that their information can be easily approached by strangers and be misused. Their privacy stands a risk of being disrupted and hindered. Youngsters often get pressured by peers, relative, romantic relationship which can cause social comparison, jealousy and health issues like depression. Parents also worry about the time their children spend online and the possible isolation they might experience by being ‘addicted’ to gaming or social network sites. They are also concerned that children will be exposed to aggressive commercial targeting, sexually explicit material, and violence on the Internet (Alters and Clark 2004; Cassell and Cramer 2007).
Work-wise too we are moving and connecting at lightning speed. This has made us more decisive and more productive. We are no longer tied to our job-desks. The concept of work from anywhere and anytime has caught up to a great extent. Moreover, all the information in the world is at our fingertips because of the internet. We can lead our lives very comfortably as we do not need to waste our precious time to queue up for mundane chores like banking, shopping, booking travel and entertainment tickets etc. However, certain key Internet activities are becoming more uniformly popular across all age groups, including email, online searching, and seeking healthcare information. Social media in study and research gets students more excited about learning because Internet activities are often hands-on and interactive, students get the chance to directly engage with information actively and creatively rather than passively listen to lectures. Doctors, including psychiatrists, are increasingly using blogs and Twitter to promote their practices (Handelman, 2011; Speller & Korkosz, 2010). The Internet itself is used to diagnose illness and even provide psychotherapeutic treatment (Yager, 2001). Increasing evidence suggests patients and doctors are communicating or having some kind of contact online and through digital media. All our tasks can be accomplished from the safety of their homes with a few clicks of a mouse. YouTube and other video-sharing sites are increasingly used for both networking and marketing purposes. AMN Healthcare, a health-care staffing and recruitment firm based in San Diego, CA, surveyed 2,790 health-care professionals and found that 29% used YouTube for professional networking (the most common reported medium for networking was Facebook, with 41% of responders reporting it as their first choice. LinkedIn came third with 23%). Twitter has fostered an active ambient news environment with many forms of journalism emerging (from professional to citizen journalism). However, it should be noted that news production and consumption on Twitter remain a socially stratified practice. Marginalized populations often lack or have limited net access in their households (Witte and Mannon 2010), and even amongst children – a demographic which is painted as a digital native – digital divides based upon class and other socioeconomic factors continue to exist (Livingstone and Helsper 2007). E-marketing helps businesses reach their customers in a wide variety of different ways. Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple have all expanded their products so technology hardware, operating systems, browsers and navigators, email service, and social networks can all be accessed through a single provider. At decreasing cost, consumers can now rent computer time and lease server space “in the cloud.” Indeed, huge server farms are springing up across the world.
Unfortunately, professionalism violations in the use of electronic and online media are common. In one study of the Facebook sites of medical students and doctors, only one third had appropriate privacy settings (Thompson et al., 2008). In another study of medical school teachers, more than half reported having to discipline medical students for professionalism violations online (Chretien, Greyson, Chretien & Kind, 2009). Tweets regarding breaking news, disasters, and public health epidemics can be misleading, incorrect, or even fraudulent (Goolsby 2009). In the case of the 2009 swine flu pandemic, tweets tagged with #swineflu often contained false or misleading information. Similarly, during the 2011 UK riots, misinformation on Twitter perhaps created further tension and problems (Geere 2011). For instance, Geere (2011) observes that a widely circulated tweet which linked to an image of tanks and soldiers was claiming to be proof of the British army assembling in central London. Rather, the image turned out to be of an army presence in Egypt. Geere (2011) also gives the example of how a set of tweets “even claimed that rioters had attacked the London Zoo and set free a selection of animals, including a tiger.” Digital communication needs synchronization in synchronous modulation. It is not confidential and can often be misinterpreted, forwarded, copied, pasted, human error, leaked or hacked. Nowadays prospective employers use social networks more than ever to check out job applicants and employers refuse to give an applicant an interview because of their posts on social media. However, digital communication is permanent and easily tracked. Older content can get horrifying and the employee can lose a job, perhaps even postings or photographs they hoped never to see again. The information is not limited to the professionals’ own postings. Photos can be “tagged” by others, or made available by others in a whole variety of ways. For those wishing to remove online material about themselves, the job can prove very difficult. Short of successful legal action, website owners generally will not remove content.
In contrary to the above topic social media causes both pros and cons to an interpersonal and professional relationship. We have the intellect to make smart choices and should not allow the internet to distract or disturb our mind. We should use it in a way that brings harmony in life.