Information Technology and its effects on Families, as well as the ethical issues associated with using Social Media

by Anup Maurya

It’s the second year of 21st Century and each person on the planet Earth has access to a device which gives them access the vast knowledge acquired through decades of intensive research. The notions of space and time are no longer relevant, since numerous people living thousands of kilometers apart can exchange opinions and thoughts in a matter of seconds. A decade ago, such technological marvels would have been viewed as an invention of sci-fi writers. In the meantime most of humanity makes use of technology to debate with strangers, and to share photos that show their pet.

The information technology revolutionized the globe through the process of enabling globalization in business and opening the way for multinational corporations. But at the same time it created a multitude of social issues that impact families, individuals and companies negatively. The goal of this paper is to study how technology affects the family, eldercare, and parenting, and to explore privacy and ethical issues that are associated with the advent and popularity of social networks.

Social Media and its Impact on Families

Platforms for social networking, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are being developed to increase the quality of communication among people around the world. Yet although they are able to connect with family and friends in a constant manner our generation of today feels more isolated than ever. As per Savci as well as Aysan (2016) the social media as well as other forms that are made of technology on the internet have become an alternative to real-world interactions, leading to an increase of depression and loneliness among young people. This affects relationships within families, too, since children interact and interact with parents more frequently on Facebook than they would in real life. This causes a decrease in social abilities is seen and contributes to feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

The use of social media for entertainment impacts family relationships in different ways. McDaniel Drouin as well as Cravens (2017) say that the spread of social media and the sharing of private information led to the rise in divorce rates, since couples would be at odds over controversial pictures of their female and male acquaintances, and a picture of a hug or a smile, in a different context, could be interpreted as adultery. Social media can have an impact on the population of older people.

Khosravi, Rezvani, and Wiewiora (2016) have concluded that even though social media does have an impact on loneliness in older people who have mastered information technology However, the vast majority remain in a state of isolation. This is made worse because everybody is proficient on Facebook.

Ethical issues with Social Media and Information Technology

While many organizations and companies make use of social media to gather data about prospective customers, and then provide them with personalised advertisements, personal information accessible on social media platforms could be misused to harm others. For example, photos as well as videos and thoughts posted online can be used as a weapon for cyberbullying. [1]

A few of the ethical issues that arise from social media are the impediments to freedom of speech as well as the potential use of the platform to expose large amounts of people to inaccurate and unfiltered information. The potential that social media has had was evident in the recent US election, in which bots that automated tweeters along with Facebook pages were employed to influence the public’s opinion. 2] To summarise the ethical concerns regarding information technology and the use of the use of social media is as (as follows) (Turculet 2014):

  • Privacy concerns of users;
  • Use of IT to relay fake information to conceal motives;
  • Distinguishing the lines between the freedom of expression and cyberbullying.

Social Media and Organizations

Social media platforms are used by companies to interact with employees and customers as well as collect data about preferences of individuals and their buying habits. Websites that make use of cookies earn profits by providing big corporations with huge amounts of amounts of data. The data is analysed and processed by the information technology. But, the use of social media creates a number of obstacles and hurdles for companies. Chaganti, Sruti, and Satyanarayana (2017) have found that the accessibility of technology and information in the workplace can lead to a lack of focus and lower productivity at work. This was previously proven through Elon Musk as well as numerous employees of lower rank, the public release of personal opinions and company information can impact the company negatively.

Conclusions

Social media are a significant element of our daily lives. While it’s extremely beneficial both on a personal and corporate level, it can lead to a variety of ethical issues pertaining to privacy and the security of data. In excess exposure to social media could result in a range of adverse effects, which can impact both adults and children. IT professionals should understand these concerns to make sense of how social media can be used as a part of a company’s communication strategy.

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