Table of Contents
In the modern world, wireless technology enhances people’s ability to connect and communicate anywhere and anytime, that is, at home, roads, offices and workplaces. There are billions of users of social networks and other wireless technology thereby intensifying data usage and rates, especially, in intensive data applications like two-way video-talks and various streaming media that enable social networks. Most people have social groups at family, professional, gender, and age levels and use them to pass their views and conduct multiple projects relating to wireless networking.
There are safety measures to take care of in order to protect and safeguard the interest of the groups and ensure vital information is secure (Kaufman, 2009). The main focus of the article is to guide towards reliable, robust, spectrally efficient, higher data rates, and secure network architecture and services designs. The topics for study that aids to the achievements mentioned above include; resource allocations, medium access control, mobility control, full-duplex wireless connections and communication, cellular networks, wireless LANs, sensor and actuator connections, cognitive radios, cross-layer design, wireless security and scaling laws (Kaufman, 2009).
The article Introduction to Digital Literacies by Bowles (2013), the author highlights important features of particular social networking platforms, for instance, Facebook. Over two decades ago, the concept of connecting to one another was unheard of. Today, most connections occur online, using numerous applications connected through social networks. Social networks enable families, friends, and colleagues to connect. Moreover, new friendships begin, some of which have never met in person, via social media, and are not constrained to physical boundaries. To sign into a social network, we use personal details and leave them online. Increase of social networks increases the availability of personal details online. Therefore, there are negative implications of social networks due to the potential attacks and threats to review important information.
In his article, Bowles (2013) identifies Facebook as the most common and popular social network in use today. Facebook is an application that allows people to institute private networks, blog, advertise, and locate friends, and share photos and videos. Bowles (2013) highlights that without friends; Facebook becomes a quiet and lonely platform. He goes further to explain how people can expand their friends in their Facebook network to share with them various information. Facebook has special features, for instance, timelines that allow users to share significant milestones, such as, anniversaries, birthdays, et cetera. It also has new feed allowing users to update their feelings and thoughts with the people in their network. Moreover, Facebook enables users to track their activity records through activity log feature. Despite all the positives in using Facebook, Bowles warns against its negatives and gives precautions. Regardless of the freedom to share posts with friends, coworkers, and family, people must be careful of what they post. He warns against posting anything private regarding oneself, friends and work mates as it endangers the people whose private information are exposed.
Some example of social media networks includes; Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Reddit, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram (Jayson, 2014). Facebook allows signed up users to create profiles, networks, upload, videos, and photos, send messages, and maintain contact with colleagues, friends and family. Twitter is a gratis service that allows members to make short broadcasts or tweets, upload videos, and pictures, and follow other users. Wikipedia is an open content encyclopedia on an online platform, created through the effort a collaborative community of users. Any registered user on the site can create articles for publications without editing. Moreover, LinkedIn engages professionals in a business community. Members establish connections with other registered members who they trust professionally. Reddit is a social news forum/website where users share their stories and are ranked depending on the frequency a story is shared. Reddit has sub-communities divided into categories of politics, technology, music, education, et cetera where members cover particular topics. Finally, Instagram allows users to freely upload, edit share photos online through Facebook, Twitter, email, websites and other social networks (Jayson, 2014). The articles mainly highlight: understanding social networks, privacy, and ethical issues.
Social Networks, Privacy, and Ethical Issues
A Huge amount of information from social networks provides private companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Twitter various insights of numerous aspects of life. The audience in social media is bigger than a user may know. Every move on a social networking forum leaves behind cyber footprints which ultimately become a research fodder without realizing it (Gerstenfeld, Grant & Chiang, 2003). Online communication mining recently helped to establish that women are at higher risk of postpartum depression compared to men. Facebook was as well able to know how parents and children interact through personality and social psychologists. Therefore, caution on word use in social networks is coming from people and experts all over. Social networks platforms are spaces that are watched as put by Ilka Gleibs, a psychologist and an assistant professor at London School of Economics. His journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy draws attention on social networking cautions (Marturano, 2011).
The world is a commonplace where organizations use web technologies to establish communications tools. There are society structure metamorphosis and behavioral standards in the cyberspace. The change is regarding concept, language, thoughts, and values. Social networks are currently the key components of the information technology (IT) society. Social media allows for collaborative activities through blogs, forums, video and photo hosting, and networking. Social media allow direct involvement, unlimited collaborative communication, media content transfers, maximum feedback speed, and user personalization (Scott, 2012).
Regarding ethical understanding, we need to know that social networks engage many cultures and subcultures hence networking must upkeep values permissible across cultures. Also, there are those who conceal their identity or use false names with an intention to cause harm and spread impunity without being held accountable. Also, social network information may be replicated, reproduced and disseminated quickly regardless of their authenticity and reliability which are often difficult to identify. Lastly, there are challenges of imposition and lies regarding age, culture, morals and intellectuality of social network users. Permissiveness occurs due to the absence of control in social networks (Gerstenfeld, Grant & Chiang, 2003).
There is a need for social control as well as moral requirements in social networks. Examination of network processes by experts will help in the prevention of the growth of the society’s moral crises. Cyber ethics control conducts on the internet. Adherence to standards and principles established for cyber use makes the internet safe and exciting. Online information space makes it possible for people’s works to move freely even without permission. The increasing use of social networks such as Facebook, emails, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, websites and other forums has recently offered a leeway for hackers to access information of companies, individuals, and groups and use them maliciously (Scott, 2012). This situation flourishes hacking, piracy, network viruses, information gathering destruction and destructive computer programs.
Through social networks, cyber criminals thrive due to poor security controls of our networks. Ethical controls and strong implementation of computer network security technology will efficiently mitigate cybercrimes experienced through social networks (Gerstenfeld, Grant & Chiang, 2003). Global information platform has created impunity in people, especially the younger generation. Defiant human has created viruses and programs that can access people’s information and cause harm. There are many cases of stolen credits and funds by anonymous people on online platforms.
When social networks lose ethical controls in communication, members risk more. Therefore, we require specific guidelines, principles and evaluation methods on computer technology, associated with the requirements of the information space needs. The current ethical research involves network ethics, virtual ethics, computer ethics, corporate ethics, and internet community and cyber ethics (Kadushin, 2012). The diversity of the research on ethics and social network will ensure robust and reliable connections and protect users. Cyber laws were created to protect people’s privacy, information access, intellectual property, communications, and other uses connected the internet use, such as email, websites, and other social networks.
There are many issues associated with computer networks, for instance, a large number of multicultural populations, inability to use most of the non-verbal cues in communication, anonymities, et cetera. These attributes require development of internet etiquette, recognizing that virtual communication is different from real life interaction. Netiquette is regulations regarding behavior in the internet communication and internet community culture and traditions shared by most members. Some of the rules to follow in social networks are adherence to real life standards in the internet space, upholding the cyberspace laws, taking caution and remembering that you are in a cyber-platform, exchange experience and prevent conflicts without flaming remarks, and respecting private correspondences rights (Knobel & Lankshear, 2008).
Social network encourages people, companies, and brands to interact through online tools and websites. Celebrities, journalists, and other people create communities where they can create, publish and share content. Nevertheless, a study by Charles Kadushin (2012) on social media and inequality highlights the variation aspect of social networks. The article claims that bringing people together paradoxically creates social inequality and subdivisions. He states that social media are exclusionary and operate on the principle of love-of-the-same (homophily or colloquially). He quotes that ‘birds of the same feather flock together (McPherson, Smith-Lovin & Cook, 2001).
In my conclusive statement, much of the work done through both formal and informal online network platforms is unavoidable. Social networks serve three core functions: delivering personal information, allowing people to access diverse sets of skills, and helping in power creation as many businesses make advertisements through online social networks platforms (Knobel & Lankshear, 2008).
Social network analysis (SNA) is significant to systematically examine the effort and structure of social groups within a social network. The major reason to conduct SNA is to show informal connections between members. It is applied across many fields to understand the composition of social networks. SNA can be carried out either directly or indirectly. In a company setting, indirect analysis involves analyzing the employees emailing one another, how often and who replies the other. Another approach is to observe a group find out how the members engage and who is approached and for what purpose (Cross & Parker, 2004). Moreover, from nonintrusive technique, social networks may enable identification of who regularly work together. On the other hand, direct SNA involves asking people questions through surveys. SNA helps to reveal trusted personnel in decision making, advice seeking, and innovativeness. Nevertheless, direct SNA is more targeting and may be seen as an intrusive activity. Special expertise can work peripherally and independently without directly engaging social networks members to analyze the strength of network ties.
The security issues experienced in social network connections in Facebook, LinkedIn, et cetera is due to privacy exposures issues. Many users including the people we do not know connect through social media making our information more visible. The reduction can be conducted through upholding ethical concerns, cyber laws, common laws applied virtually, and software application robustness. The improved security in cyberspace enhances world’s social revolution. For instance, the more central the business is, the more powerful it becomes. In the Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding how work gets done in the organization, Cross, and Parker (2004) the closer one is to more people, the more influence he has. Effective social networking improves communication and diffuse innovation within the organization by effectively putting individuals and departments in touch with one another (Cross & Parker, 2004).
- Bowles, D. M. (2013). Introduction to Digital Literacy. Kendal Hunt
- Cross, R. L., & Parker, A. (2004). The hidden power of social networks: Understanding how work really gets done in organizations. Harvard Business Review Press.
- Gerstenfeld, P. B., Grant, D. R., & Chiang, C. P. (2003). Hate online: A content analysis of extremist Internet sites. Analyses of social issues and public policy, 3(1), 29-44.
- Jayson, S. (2014). Social media research raises privacy and ethics issues. USA Today.
- Kadushin, C. (2012). Understanding social networks: Theories, concepts, and findings. OUP USA.
- Kaufman, L. M. (2009). Data security in the world of cloud computing. IEEE Security & Privacy, 7(4).
- Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (2008). Digital literacy and participation in online social networking spaces. Digital literacies: Concepts, policies and practices, 249-278.
- McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., & Cook, J. M. (2001). Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks. Annual review of sociology, 27(1), 415-444.
- Scott, J. (2012). Social network analysis. Sage.
- Sparrowe, R. T., Liden, R. C., Wayne, S. J., & Kraimer, M. L. (2001). Social networks and the performance of individuals and groups. Academy of management journal, 44(2), 316-325.
- Marturano, A. (2011). The Ethics of Online Social Networks–An Introduction. International Review of Information Ethics, 16, 3-5.