The Instigator
sorc
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
brian_eggleston
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Resolved: That, on balance, social networking Web sites have a positive impact on the United States.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,948 times Debate No: 6670
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

sorc

Pro

Unless my opponent has any objections, the parameters for this debate will be as follows:
1. "Social networking websites" are defined as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

2. "The United States" will not be contrained merely to a body of government or a geographical region, but to society, businesses, people, etc.

One last note: I would urge the consideration of anecdotal accounts to be considered in a logical rather than emotional fashion.

Social networking is a thing of the future, a revolutionary concept that will transform the current world. Social networking has evolved from not only a place to meet your friends and mingle, but to a place where businesses are run, deals are made, and contracts are completed. In addition, the networks enhance communication and encourage people from different parts of the world to converse and interact. Also, the network has its educational benefits as well. Students who use social networking learn important skills to help them survive in the 21st century such as managing websites, editing videos, making use of other technological skills.
The use of social networking tools as part of everyday working life has led to an increase in efficiency in the workplace. According to Dynamic Markets, Of those employees using social networking tools in the workplace, 65% say that it has made them and/or their colleagues more efficient. And 45% say that it has sparked ideas and creativity for them personally. Businesses use SNS for collaboration sites on intranets, internal forums within the company, company-produced video material shared on intranets, online social networks like LinkedIn and external collaboration sites on the Web and internal blogging sites. Benefits include increasing an individual's knowledge; giving access to products to problems; harnessing the collective knowledge of employees, customers and suppliers; stimulating team building; and better internal collaboration. In addition, businesses like Best Buy who use social networking increase their employee retention rates by making employees feel like they belong.
There are far-reaching educational benefits of social networking. Christine Greenhow, researcher at the University of Minnesota, explains that "[S]tudents using social networking sites are actually practicing the kinds of 21st century skills we want them to develop to be successful today." Also, according to a study conducted by Childnet International, teachers and students alike could set-up online "study groups" and students can use them to collaborate together on group projects and assignments. Social networking helps to encourage student engagement and increase participation, encourages online discussion amongst students outside of school, and provides students with a sense of ownership and engagement which often leads to an improved quality of work.
Furthermore, Social Networking sites may increase an individual's self-confidence. As BusinessWeek says, "When people are bullied they often don't feel confident about speaking to people face to face about what is going on - whereas doing it online is quite easy." Social networking Web sites can help shy people come out of their shells by teaching them how to interact with others in a safe, online environment.
Social Networking has substantial benefits that greatly outweigh and hindrances there might be. Because of this, I ask you to AFFIRM the resolution.
brian_eggleston

Con

I would like to extend my thanks to my opponent for challenging me to debate this interesting topic and I duly accept his parameters for the arguments.

As my opponent pointed out, there are some limited benefits that may accrue from social networking sites and I certainly agree that under the supervision of a teacher, forums can be set up within which students from geographically remote locations can exchange ideas and knowledge.

What is more difficult to accept is that employees accessing these sites for personal use during working hours makes them more efficient. Would an employee who spends their time chatting on the phone to their friends instead of getting on with their work be considered more efficient? I doubt it. That is why many companies limit the use of both phones and computers for non-business reasons.

http://www.net-security.org...
http://mashable.com...

I must also disagree with the Businessweek journalist's assertion that these sites help shy people to increase their self-confidence within a safe environment.

The best way to increase one's self-confidence is to go out and actually meet real people and talk to them in person. In addition, getting out and about is much healthier than sitting indoors in front of a computer screen!

As regards security, social networking sites are much favoured by paedophiles who use them to "groom" their victims.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

Shall we consider Debate.org, for example? It can act as a quasi-social networking site through its forums. This site is, I hope, safe from sexual predators as it is very well moderated in that respect.

However, there are no age restrictions and many members are younger than 18 years old – although I'm not. As it happens, on my user profile I quote my real name and age and display a recent photograph of myself, but there is nothing to stop a sex pest from setting up an account and lying about his age and name and using a photograph of someone much younger than himself in the hope of luring one of the younger and more impressionable members into a face-to-face meeting. It would be hard to do on this site, but Facebook and MySpace provide ample opportunities for computer-literate kiddy-fiddlers.

So, although these sites do have some positives and access to them certainly shouldn't be restricted (except, perhaps, in some workplaces) on balance, social networking sites do not have a positive impact on the United States.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
sorc

Pro

Thank you for your acceptance of this debate.

To begin, I would ask for consideration of the actual impact of any negatives of social networking.

My opponent contends businesses are negatively affected by social networking sites because employees use working hours to go onto social networking sites. However, if one looks at the sources my opponent has presented (http://www.net-security.org... and http://mashable.com...), it will become apparent that it is very easy to block such undesirable social networking sites, *reducing their impact to negligible levels* (a statement which I assume my opponent agrees with based on his sources).
As I presented in Round One, rather than being harmfully impacted by social networking sites, businesses have benefited. Companies like Comcast, Best Buy, and IBM have been successfully using social networking to increase their customer satisfaction (thanks to the ease of personal care and more readily available help with social networking forums) and increase their employee retention rates (since employees are more inclined to feel like they "belong" when interacting on social networks). In fact, according to Graham Jones, an "Internet Psychologist," Best Buy has seen its turnover rate drop to a mere 8% after implementing their employee social networking system (compared to the 60% industry average turnover rate seen previously in Best Buy).
In addition, I would like to reiterate that of those employees using social networking tools in the workplace, 65 percent say that it has made them and/or their colleagues more efficient, and 45 percent forty-five percent say that it has sparked ideas and creativity for them personally.
As such, far from being detrimental to businesses, social networking sites have far-reaching benefits.

My opponent also mentions that social networking leads to an increase in sexual predation towards teens. However, according to Michele Ybarra, the founder of Internet Solutions for Kids, "There has been a recent concern about the risks posed by social networking to young people, but we found that instant messaging [and chat rooms were] more frequently cited than social networking sites as places for unwanted sexual solicitation and harassment." According to Harvard.edu, 43% of unwanted sexual solicitations occurred via instant messaging and 32% occurred in chat rooms.
In addition, social networking (and even the internet as a whole) is *not* the catalyst for a rise of sexual predation. According to Time Magazine, "only 2.4% of arrests for sexual assault are against Internet predators." This translates to only .6% of arrests for sexual assault being caused by social networking sites. Evidently, have little impact when considered in the big picture.

Contrary to my opponents belief, many experts in the field advocate social networking as beneficial towards self-confidence levels. Emma-Jane Cross, Beatbullying's CEO, explains that "[t]hrough this technology, so many young people, ripe for bullying at school, have found a community they can call their own and have benefited so powerfully to become emotionally resilient young people with renewed self confidence and greater life chances." BusinessWeek writes that "[w]hen people are bullied they often don't feel confident about speaking to people face to face about what is going on - whereas doing it online is quite easy." Social networking Web sites can help shy people come out of their shells by teaching them how to interact with others in an online environment.

Also, I would like to note my opponent agrees with my "educational impact" contention that I explained in Round One.

In summation, social networking sites have a positive impact on the United States because
1) They are great tools for businesses to reap large rewards
2) They provide substantial benefits in the education of America's youth
3) They allow an increase of self-confidence among Americans

4) Sexual predation is extremely uncommon on social networking sites, ergo having minimal impacts
5) The impact of the few amount of hours lost at work thanks to employer's blocking undesired social networking sites is far surpassed by the other benefits provided to businesses by social networking sites.
brian_eggleston

Con

Reflecting on my opponent's arguments, I consider my position is untenable and I feel I must concede this debate and duly urge the voters to Pro.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
sorc

Pro

Thank you.
brian_eggleston

Con

brian_eggleston forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by sorc 7 years ago
sorc
Of course
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
Hi there and welcome back!

I have just posted a couple of debate challenges but I would like to take you up on this if I have time - probably at the weekend, if that's okay?
Posted by sorc 7 years ago
sorc
(This is the same person as before if you remember) Sorry for the re-challenge, my account got closed because I had made multiple accounts (which I only did because the validation email wasn't coming through)
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by stormchaser221 7 years ago
stormchaser221
sorcbrian_egglestonTied
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Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 7 years ago
Derek.Gunn
sorcbrian_egglestonTied
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Vote Placed by KyleLumsden 7 years ago
KyleLumsden
sorcbrian_egglestonTied
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