I mean, I wouldn’t be working on vis.social if I didn't think there were any benefits to social media (or potential ones), but let’s be honest — this is all very new to humanity and we are figuring it out as we go. Please no foregone conclusions and forecasts predicting that any new thing will only be a “force for good” or otherwise.
@scott it would be interesting to see a long term sentiment analysis on social networking in general. I imagine that it overall correlates with the various large news stories that have come out about abuse.
There's probably also interesting generational based attitudes that are different. Perhaps older people didn't understand it, so assumed it was a good change more?
@ted Indeed! Pew has some of this research, but not what you're suggesting (attitudes toward social media services over time).
@scott I did some grad school work in the Dept. of Geography, and one clever thing a Prof. said was when ever we change how we travel or communicate, the whole world changes.
Granted, telegraph, FAX Machine, and eMail aren't that different, but social media is. It's a transportation and communication revolution. Distance = 0 here, and before I mainly met people cultured in the same environment as me, now I meet people routinely that had it very different than me. A new melting pot if you will.