The Instigator
Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

is social networking sites really a boon or bane

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/27/2012 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 20,738 times Debate No: 25309
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




A cartoon doing the rounds on Twitter on Wednesday compared the way we listen to music, watch films and read the news 15 years ago to today. Now, of course, those are all things we do alone while plugged in to a computer. Beyond the punchline, is there some truth in the assumption that despite our hyper-connectedness, we are potentially more isolated than ever?

Research by Pew claims that online social networks do provide genuine emotional support and well-being, including advice, information and companionship. Using an established system of measuring well-being, Pew found that internet users felt it provided significant emotional support for them, particularly through social networks and particularly through Facebook.

There's an important distinction there; it was not that they found that users of Facebook were better supported emotionally, but that they reported that they felt they were, and in two key categories of emotional support and companionship. Pew described the sensation of well-being as equivalent to around "half the boost in total support that someone receives from being married or living with a partner".

The average American, Pew found, has 634 social ties from family and close friends to colleagues and acquaintances. But the average internet user has 669 compared to 506 for those who do not use the internet. Nearly half of all US adults, or 47% of the population, use at least one social network, and 56% of those are female.

Facebook is by far the most dominant, used by 92% of people who engage with online social networking, with 29% (still) on MySpace, 18% using LinkedIn and 13% on Twitter. In the popular imagination MySpace might appear to be dead, yet according to Pew's research it still has more than half the user accounts of MySpace.

But in terms of frequency of use, the majority of Facebook users said they used it several times every day, compared to the majority of MySpace account holders who said they never used the site any more. For LinkedIn, 35% of users said they used it less than every few weeks, while 20% of Twitter users accessed the service several times each day.

Pew also found that Facebook users reported having more close relationships and friendships and of being more trusting of others than non-Facebook users, with heavy users 43% more likely than other internet users to trust other people. What this doesn't reflect, though is the likelihood that more socially engaged and outgoing people are likely to join Facebook in the first place. If you're suspicious of the internet and social networking, or introvert and not interested in socialising, you're not likely to be drawn to Facebook.

"The likelihood of an American experiencing a deficit in social support, having less exposure to diverse others, not being able to consider opposing points of view, being untrusting, or otherwise being disengaged from their community and American society generally is unlikely to be a result of how they use technology, especially in comparison to common predictors," concluded the report. "A deficit of overall social ties, social support, trust, and community engagement is much more likely to result from traditional factors, such as lower educational attainment."


I accept the debate. For reference, all of my opponent's previous statements is taken from the guardian ( so I assume out of grace they were not trying to win a debate through plagiarism and giving a summary of the debate as it currently is. I await my opponent's first round when they present it in the second, and hope it is just not going to be claiming that it already has been made.

I also wish to ask for no plagiarism at this point in the debate. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


Rupali forfeited this round.


Seeing as my opponent forfeited (and I feel they shall again), I shall not put too much here.

1) Social Networks allow us to connect with all our old friends and family that we lose contact with.

2) Social Networks gave way for the innovation of "social gaming". Gaming like Farmville could only come about through social Networks.

3) Social Networks allow New social movements (NSMs) to form. NSMs are political movements which put huge pressure on the government in order to act in certain ways, usually reactionary to go against laws. They also work against many corporations as well. For example, the 2009 charts led with "Killing in the Name", which only came about due to facebook campaigns, and the general pro-piracy movements.
Debate Round No. 2


Rupali forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by RationalMadman 5 years ago
IF I go pro am I saying it is a boon or that it is a bane?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Lol forfeit