The Instigator
haley.debate20
Con (against)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
Cody_Franklin
Pro (for)
Winning
39 Points

Social Networking

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/3/2009 Category: Technology
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 60,191 times Debate No: 9119
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (9)

 

haley.debate20

Con

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

Today, I am against the resolution, Resolved: That, on balance, social networking Web sites have a positive impact on the United States. Social networking sites have had a negative impact on the United States.
My first conjunctions is as followed;
--Social Networking is potentially going to harm to persons using them. One example of this is Megan Meier, who took her life after an old friends mom posed as a boy on myspace and began harassing her.
When a social networking site does nothing to protect users of it's site, we see it as unfit. Just as we would see a mother unfit to raise a child if she didn't protect it from danger.
** I can't wait for someone's reply**
Cody_Franklin

Pro

I'd like to welcome my opponent to the site; to get better acquainted, I figured that I would take this debate challenge, and observe her debating style for myself; not to mention, I wanted to expand my horizons a bit, and talk about something a bit more lighthearted.

To clarify one thing: If it wasn't already known, then social networking sites are things like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, as opposed to dating sites like Match.com, Chemistry.com, etc.

To things manageable, I will make only a couple of opening arguments, and I will briefly refute the Con's.

I - Social networking is beneficial.

Man is, by nature, a social creature; that is, people need people. As technology advances, so does mankind's means of communicating and socializing; for example, we've developed things such as the telegraph/telegram, mail service, telephone/cell phone, video chat, and now, we are looking at social networking sites; thus, we can see that, because social networking has increased the ability of people to communicate and socialize, whether city, state, nation, or even worldwide, social networking sites have clearly had a positive impact on society.

II - Social networking sites balance a child's privacy and a parent's right to know.

A classic clash always happens when pitting the right to privacy of a child against the right to know of a parent; however, social networking sites find a happy medium, so that neither side is overlooked; for example, on Facebook, a teenager may have private conversations with a friend over the private messaging system, but the parent of this teenager will still be able to keep track of things such as posts made to other friends' walls, pictures posted, etc. Social networking sites give parents the ability to keep tabs on many of their child's online postings, such as pictures and personal information, but without having to directly invade on their child's privacy; this again proves that social networking sites have had a positive effect on society.

III - Social networking sites provide a degree of online safety.

While all websites and internet users are vulnerable to some degree, the openness and oversight provided by the staff of social networking sites, give or take a few situations, ensures a higher degree of safety than might be found elsewhere on the internet. While these sites don't have to take direct responsibility for their users, there's still a higher sense of security than would be found in unchecked e-mail services, instant messengers, and chat rooms full of shady characters; so, to some extent, social networking sites provide all the benefits of other services, such as IM and e-mail, but without the fear of being stalked by a predator or serial killer [though I can't account for the harmless creepers that tend to accumulate on some sites. :)].

Now, to move on to the Con's sole contention.

1. Social networking is potentially harmful.

a. A lot of different things can be potentially harmful; however, simply because something has the potential to be misused does not mean that it has had a negative effect on society; prescription medication, for example, can (and often is) abused by the people to whom it is prescribed; however, this potential for abuse does not mean that we do away with prescription drugs completely, and it is the same with social networking sites.

b. In the case with Megan Meier, this girl was already reported to suffer from depression, was on several medications, and since the third grade, had been kept under the careful eye of her psychiatrist [http://en.wikipedia.org...]; as we can see, Megan was already in a fragile condition; as we can see, it was not MySpace that was responsible for Megan's tragic suicide; rather, this unfortunate event can be attributed to Lori Drew, Ashley Grills, and the several other people who aided in operating the account and harassing Megan; clearly, MySpace didn't intend for their site to be used in such a way, and this is evidenced by the fact that Ms. Drew, among others, was brought to trial, not the MySpace staff; for example, if someone is shot in a nightclub, nobody holds the nightclub staff responsible for being unaware that the shooting would happen; they hold the shooter responsible, as he is the one that committed the detestable act; in the same way, MySpace cannot be held accountable for the malicious acts of other people, and this instance, while tragic, is not a negative effect of social networking sites, but merely the misuse of them.

I will stand down for the moment, and allow my opponent to chew on my opening arguments for a bit. Good luck, Con!
Debate Round No. 1
haley.debate20

Con

Good Morning, and thank you for welcoming me. To begin the second round of our debate, I will first demolish my opponents case, then move on to my own.

I- My opponents first conjunction what that Social Networking Web Sites are beneficial to Americans. I do agree with my opponent that people need people. But long before we had social networking sites we had other ways of communicating. We picked up a phone, or wrote an actual letter. Have Americans become so lazy that they can't do this?

II- The second conjunction of my opponent's case was that social networking is a balance between child's privacy and the parents right to know. Every parent wants to think that their child is smart enough to know what to post and do online. Unless you plan to sit with your child every time they use the computer, and watch their every move you can't insure they are doing exactly what they say. Another fact is that, if you don't allow your child access to the internet at home, they may be getting online and using social networking sites at friends' houses.
--As my opponent brought up, a child can receive private messages online from anyone. On facebook and/or myspace, you don't have to have a person as a friend to send them messages.

III- My opponents last point is that social networking provide a degree of online safety. As many people seem to forget, social networking sites allow you to search any name, place, or group. It is a lot easier for you to search a random name, or look for a person in your area on a social networking site because they give you results. As for IM, you have to know a persons complete address to add them. You can't just type in a name and get their email. So social networking sites allow easier access to persons information. While we are talking about gaining persons information, social networking sites have many categories that you fill out, along with name (first and last), age, and where you live/hometown. This allows shady characters to find you, and follow you. And they could potentially steal information about you.

Now to move on to my case.

I- Social Networking Sites effect children's education.

With more and more social networking sites being created, children are using them more. When children get home one of the first things they do is log into their "space" or profile and begin chatting. This is effecting their school work, because they aren't spending enough time or giving their all. Along with not spending enough time on work, students are spending time at night online and not sleeping. Without the sleep required by their body, they have a harder time paying attention in class or do not complete work.

II- Social networking sites allow sexual predators easy access to persons' information.

With over 250,000,000 users on Facebook a vast majority of them are sexual predators. In the year 2007 Facebook deleted 90,000 sexual predator accounts. Those being the ones reported to traced. And since May they have deleted 5,585 accounts. These sexual predators use social networking sites because they are easy access and you can lie easily on them. You don't have to put your actual name, age, or picture. This makes it very convenient to gain trust from somebody and use it against them.

III- Social networking sites can harm your computer and cost money.
Both Myspace and Facebook (along with others) have disclaimers telling you to beware or odd friend requests and about opening messages from people you don't know. They can harm viruses, and other computer glitches. Unmarked emails can hold trackers that allow the sender to hack your account, take information, or use the information against you. Trackers may also allow that person to follow what you do online, like visit the website of your bank. Which gives them more access to your accounts and passwords.

IX- Social networking takes massive amounts of time.
Like any hobby, social networking sites need to be maintained. Constantly updating your account, checking to see which friends are online, and seeing what everybody is doing takes a great amount of time. This can cut into time used to do something more productive or beneficial, such as exercising or reading a new book. We need to face the fact that Americans (some) are along the most obese persons. Although this is important (maintaining health), it is not one of my mom important points.

X- Social Networking sites allow simple information to be used against you.
As talked about on HLN this morning, information you post can be used against you. Simply saying that you are going on vacation can allow others to take advantage of the situation and break into your house. Not only are you losing your possessions, but you will lose money replacing them.

I would like to apologize to my opponent for taking so long to reply, I've been working on my boxes for extemp.
Good Luck Aff.
Cody_Franklin

Pro

To keep things oriented, I will proceed in much the same fashion as my opponent, starting with my contentions, then moving to hers, and then covering the new arguments (which, to my knowledge, weren't in the constructive, and probably shouldn't be included, but will be covered by me regardless).

I - Lazy Americans

a. Though people don't write letters nearly as much anymore, this is more for convenience than anything; though letters might take days to arrive, a message sent through a social networking site such as Facebook allows nearly instantaneous transmission; and, despite what my opponent would have you believe, social networking has not erased the postal service or the phone companies; many people still retain home phones, cell phones, and, as far as I am aware, I still get bills, reports, and other things through the mail each day; there are some things that you simply can't ship through a social networking site, so we can clearly see that networking hasn't made us 'lazy'.

II - Privacy v the Right to Know

a. My opponent has misunderstood my argument. What I was referring to was not the parent sitting over the shoulder of the child every waking moment; I was referring to the fact that, on these sites, many parents will create accounts and add their children as friends; this allows them outside access to the account, which allows them to see the personal information posted, the pictures posted, and anything else on the outside that would seem insecure; thus, I stand by my statement that social networking sites allow parents to maintain their child's safety without the necessity of a direct invasion of privacy.

b. As far as private messages are concerned, if a child receives anything that seems a bit strange in the inbox, then it is the child's responsibility to report this to a parent, or the site staff, or some other responsible adult; if they insist on keeping this a secret, then this is only the fault of the child, since no one else was alerted to these happenings (the site staff obviously can't take action against a possible threat that they don't know exists).

III - Online safety

a. My opponent fails to understand that, with chat rooms, a person can seem cool at the time, and so it seems fine to give away an e-mail or IM address; after that, it's far easier for a person to harass someone over an IM conversation, since, when the window is closed, the conversation magically disappears, leaving no evidence behind; with Facebook or MySpace, the messages clearly remain in the inbox, and posts will remain clear on the wall or otherwise; I'm not saying that IM, e-mail, etc. are bad; I'm simply saying that networking sites streamline the benefits of these services while also providing a bit more oversight; remember, the security of social sites can always be bolstered; IM, on the other hand, is generally left out in the cold.

b. Look back to argument II a; as I've stated, social sites allow parents to create accounts, and oversee the pictures, personal information, etc. that is posted by their children, which allows parents to regulate it; this means that children are still allowed to socialize with friends, while being better protected from predators; the only harm here would be the children deliberately keeping secrets from parents, and in this case, the fault is entirely the child's for choosing not to report something suspicious.

On the flip side with Con's case:

1. Education

a. The problem is, the children ultimately have the choice to log in, or to do their school work; it is the child's responsibility to get this work done, as I'm sure my opponent and I can agree; the child knows full well that the work isn't getting done while on Facebook, and so the child is consciously shirking responsibility; however, this is entirely non-unique to social networking; the same could be said for hanging out with friends, or online gaming, or playing outside, or whatever recreational activity you choose; ultimately, the blame for not completing the work does not lie with the sites or the other activities; it lies with the child, who gave into temptation as opposed to carrying out his/her responsibility.

b. Many teachers are taking advantage of these sites, and are creating accounts for themselves so that they might hold their students accountable for actions, and also update them on assignments, tests, etc. In fact, one particular open-source networking site, Elgg, allows students and teachers alike to create profiles, blogs, and is entirely intended to enhance the educational experience by giving students a place to go outside of class to contact teachers, keep current on assignments, projects, and quizzes, and to ensure, to the best of their abilities, that they don't shirk responsibility; if anything, the adaptability of networking sites is doing more good for education than anything.

2. Sexual Predators

a. The fact is, these accounts, as my opponent tells us, were deleted; this proves that many of the oversight measures were effective in dealing with threats; further oversight would include concerned friends, and a watchful parent; again, if a child is being sexually harassed, somebody needs to be told for action to be taken; after all, police and ambulances aren't going to show up if you don't call 911 first.

3. Computer and Financial Harm

a. As my opponent points out, many of these sites have trouble with viruses, bugs, glitches, phishing, etc.; however, my opponent also unwittingly points out that these sites have DISCLAIMERS that WARN users about these kinds of dangers; obviously, if a site has taken the time to put out a warning about this kind of danger, users would be far past incompetent not to heed those warnings; any risks taken against the disclaimer are at the user's own risk.

4. Time and Obesity

a. Exactly; every hobby takes time; however, this does not mean that a person has to be on their account "constantly", as my opponent would have you believe; social networking is simply like many other hobbies, nothing more; my opponent doesn't see the fact that, for the person using the site, being able to easily socialize with friends online and plan outings is beneficial to them; plus, as my opponent also unintentionally reveals, any hobby would take away from the possible time needed to exercise or read a book; this is entirely non-unique to networking sites.

b. Obesity, as far as I am aware, isn't directly caused by social networking; it's caused by things like a poor diet, slow metabolism, gross lack of exercise (even people who use Facebook can take 20 minutes from their day every once in a while), and pure genetics; so, the argument about obese Americans, while true, doesn't really correspond to social networking.

5. Harmful information

a. This is not the fault of social networking sites; a lot of information can be taken from a lot of places, just because of the internet's open nature; people have things stolen like their social security number, their credit card number, their bank account information, etc. So, with using the internet, there's always an imperative to keep information safe; plus, on most social networking sites I've seen, users are (generally) smart enough not to post direct addresses on their profiles, somewhat eliminating this risk.

b. Users have to exercise a certain amount of discretion when posting sensitive information online; again, look back a point my opponent previously mentioned; these sites have disclaimers warning against this kind of situation; so, as I've proven, the responsibility to avoid these risks and post only safe information lies solely with the user.

*Addendum*

With few characters left, let me remind everyone that my opponent entirely DROPPED her argument from round 1, so this definitely goes Pro.

Now, I look forward to my opponent's response, I again wish her good luck, and with that, I'm off to lunch. :)
Debate Round No. 2
haley.debate20

Con

*raises white flag* I concede, as long as I still get to live. :)
Cody_Franklin

Pro

Well, you've heard it from my opponent folks, an open concession; needless to say, once you flow through my arguments from Round 2, and add that to her recent forfeiture, it's clear who you need to vote for in today's debate.

Sometimes I really wish that I could take trophies off of people that I've beaten, like the way hunters take the head, or the foot, or the pelt of an animal that they kill. We should get one of those.
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 5 years ago
Charlie_Danger
PFD actually stands for "Pathetic form of 'debate'"

Policy is a fun debate, but it isn't for the faint of heart, so to speak.

LD is still the superior debate, though. It combines the best of all of them, without that annoying thing called a partner. :)
Posted by MTGandP 5 years ago
MTGandP
Conduct: Tie - Con conceded but did not "forfeit", so no conduct loss.
S&G: Pro - Her R1 was not formatted very well.
Arguments: Pro - Con forfeited and Pro's arguments were strong.
Sources: Tie - Both sides had very few sources.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 5 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Conduct: Pro - Con forfeited the final round
S/G: Pro - Con had a few grammatical and punctuational errors here in there, mostly in Round 1.
Arguments: Pro - Con forfeited the final round, and Pro had covered both sides well in Round 2.
Sources: Pro - Pro provided evidence to refute the Megan Meier example given by Pro, and Con merely recounted a minor statistic and a piece of news from HLN.
Posted by haley.debate20 5 years ago
haley.debate20
I am getting prepared for any debate, our coach is trying to get more debaters and I think I can fill in where ever. I love LD I just wish the topic would be out so I have more then 4 days to work on it before school starts.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 5 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Yeah, I'm not too fond of policy debate; I myself am an LD debater, so I find these kinds of things to be slightly more... boring, I suppose.
Posted by haley.debate20 5 years ago
haley.debate20
Lincoln Douglas and Public Form will not be released until the 15th of this month. So I'm stuck working on extemp (Feel free to give me a few ideas about what I should research) and policy. This rather "interesting" topic happens to be policy.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 5 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Public Forum.
Posted by mongeese 5 years ago
mongeese
What exactly is PF?
Posted by rougeagent21 5 years ago
rougeagent21
I don't do PF, and have not researched this at all. Are you planning on debating this in PF format? If not, I would be more than happy to accept.
Posted by haley.debate20 5 years ago
haley.debate20
Thanks a bunch meow.
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