The Contribution of Informatics to the Development of Social Networks and Their Impact on Society
Using a social network nowadays is something that has become a part of our every day activities, a part of our every day life. Surveys carried out around the world show that the number of people who use a social network is increasing on daily basis. It has become very easy to share one’s ideas, opinions, beliefs and interests via the social networks. Communication with friends and relatives on distance through chatting boxes and e-mails can keep us updated with the latest events, news and photographs. Going online by a single click of the mouse and at a touch of the screen on the mobile phone owes a lot to the development of Informatics.
The study that combines the behaviour and the interaction of computing systems and the transformation of an information is called Informatics. In the age of information, computing technology is changing the ways we work and play. Informatics is even changing the way we think. The development made in the field of Informatics for the past fifty years, has led to the formation of the social networks, used by people of all ages everywhere around the world. The first contribution of the Informatics for the development of the social networks is seen in the availability for everyone to have a personal computer at home. If we go back only fifteen years ago, we will find out that the personal computers were very expensive and only a small number of people could afford buying them. Nowadays, when there are a lot of different companies producing computer hardware and software, people are left with a choice to buy what do they exactly need, what do they really like and finally to make a decision of which brand to buy. Having a computer or computers in each home makes the use of a social network a part of peoples’ every day activities. After having carried all the everyday duties, people can relax in the comfort of their homes in front of their own computers, chat with their friends, share and comment on photos and discuss the latest happenings around the world.
The second contribution of the Informatics becomes clearly visible in the thing that all the computer programmes used nowadays are simpler than they used to be before. There are no more things such as dull “if… then” commands. We give the commands to the computer by scrolling the button on the mouse up and down the screen and confirm from our keyboards or by clicking on icons which have already been prepared for us. Information Technology specialists have simplified the tools, the icons, the options and the menus, thus making significant improvement to the look and the way all the programmes are used and applied. Working on a computer has become very easy and quick. These simplified things were also applied to the Internet by the creation of a large number of search engines and websites. They give an opportunity to the user to search easily for any kind of information and choose which website to trust or not. If we need to search for an information, we simply type one or two key words and the information appears on our screens in a fraction of a second. The social networks function in the way that, once you’ve registered, you can search for people by typing their names and surnames. Soon their personal information such as education, hobbies and interests and photos become available to you. A person can make groups of people who can see a particular information and share things only among them by choosing that option.
Finally, the third contribution of the Informatics refers to the creation and use of the new and improved version of the computers, the lap top computers. They can be taken around everywhere because they are lightweight, portable and they don’t take up a lot of space. A lap top could be used practically everywhere, thus providing the user to use the social networks on the move. While travelling to work or from one city to another, you stay connected with your friends, chat and exchange information, post and change statuses, send messages to the co-workers, even playing games. However, social networks are not only used by ordinary people. They have their own impact on society, too. Companies also use these networks to advertise themselves and tell their customers if there is a new product coming soon or to inform the public about some events to attend or activities taken by them. Therefore the social networks have an impact on society by providing information and updates on daily basis. Companies send invitations to people to join their activities and its their own choice if they accept these invitations or not.
With so many applications, variety of social networks and opportunities to communicate available nowadays, we can find and connect easily to some of our old friends, schoolmates or relatives that we haven’t seen for a long time. It is true that people communicate from the comforts of their own homes, but spending so much time in front of the computer can have its own disadvantages. For example students use these social networks for a rather longer period of the day. While chatting, they use a number of abbreviations which later they use in their written work at school. Another negative aspect of the constant use of the social networks is socializing. Instead of going out, some people prefer to stay at home and chat with their friends. Primary school students are so addicted to the use of social networks that they have even forgotten to play their favorite outdoor games and do a sport. Whether these social networks will exist for a long time or they will cease to exist in future remains yet to be seen.