How does Social Networking Affect Socialization

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Let's face it, when it comes to smartphones arguably the top two leading brands amongst today's youngsters are RIM's Blackberry and Apple's iPhone. Just walking through my neighborhood every other handset I see is a Blackberry, and for those of you who uses one, can understand the reasons why. They are simply very addictive to a young and inquisitive mind. The effect of this social trend has undeniably changed the way we as society communicate.

There is a perceived view that users of Blackberry's are Corporate Managers or Executives, this could be true many years ago, but no so today. With the development of Blackberry Messenger (BBM), RIM has captured a much younger audience as well as gained market share through those who what to stay connected with their buddys during the day. BBM enables the users to "chat" remotely. The other contributory factor is the lower cost of smartphones, which promotes this growing trend.

Coupled with the hugely popular growth of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter the natural progression to the next phase of our cyber community are social websites for Blackberry users. As we search the web for such an offering we will come across a websites called - which unlike some of the other Blackberry website does not require you to enter your BBM PIN (for those who prefers to choose and select who to connect to). It also allows the user to share photos and music, much like Facebook.

As an example, purpose is clearly to connect BBM Users and keep the momentum of the social forum alive. Is this such a bad thing?

While it can be argued that traditional methods of communicating via correctly written and spoken words, promotes the correct use of grammatical forms, there is increasing evidence, that we as a society have become lazy in our written and spoken words. This was mainly due to a limited number of characters permitted in the early days of mobile texting. However, the use of acronyms and abbreviations have long continued even though this limitation has been, by in large, lifted. Blogging sites such as Twitter, which limits the number of characters allowed in each micro-blog, encourages "short-hand" writing. As a society, we have evolved to integrate the use of "short-hand" into our lives and any attempt to reverse this trend would be a step backwards.

Whatever your views are on this, we can safely say that as we progress through the "technological age", we strive to become more efficient in our daily lives, those of us who uses "traditional" methods of communicating are going to be few a far between. This is a shame.

More about this author: Alan Tran

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