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!