Impact of Social network on Social welfare

31 October Print

Impact of Social network on Social welfare

Social network is a system of social structure comprising of individuals, groups and / or organizations often inter-related, or inter-dependent. Social network can be established through family ties, friendship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationship, beliefs, knowledge or prestige. Social network is mostly complex operating on different levels. It determines one’s social contacts and the value of one’s social capital. It can be developed through internet sources such as facebook, hyves, skype, linked in; it can also be developed through business network, sports activities, church associations, funeral gatherings, social clubs and pubs among others.

 

Furthermore, developing a social network is a necessity and can be useful to every person because it ensures recognition, relationship, shared resources and enhances the possibility for a referral. For many individuals, social network plays a critical role in determining how problems can be solved, the way and manner through which organizations should be run, or the degree of individuals’ success in achieving a set of goals. Again social network can help to maintain marital relationships; it can be used as an advice network often solicited for broader or wiser views. Some also develop social network ties to address larger variety of needs. This shows that without one’s social network, an individual become alone.  Social network reinforces beliefs and help to endure life’s challenges.

 

Among the migrant community in The Netherlands, there exist different platforms and network of inter relationships; where migrants are engaged with one another to share ideas and broaden their horizon. For instance, among the Ghanaian community within The Hague, there exists the Asanteman club which seeks to involve all Ashanti’s in Netherlands. Again Recogin is a platform organization operating within a social network for Ghanaian migrant organizations in Netherlands, although its office is based in Amsterdam.

 

Some of these social networks could operate with very few members while others operate in a bigger team. Smaller higher network can be less useful to members than network with loose ties. Also weaker ties can be developed to create awareness of new possibilities. Even when searching for a job, social network can be used to enhance people’s chances for better employment. Social network is highly requisite to establish professional skills and academic qualifications.

In terms of personal development, many young people go beyond the local family ties to build a social network in tune with values while exploring new things. It can also be used to enhance human development support. It creates new opportunities and impressive use of modern technologies.

 

The outcome of social network can be invisible. Nonetheless, it could be instrumental leading to power gain, innovation, learning outcomes and job performances.

In addition, maintaining social network of relations can be expensive or costly. This is because it may involve the personal use of one’s resource, which could be time or money.

Social network relationship can be positive or negative. Networks based of friendship and advices are often positive while adverial relations are negative. This means that an individual operates better and much effectively if surrounded by positive thinkers who are motivational and encouraging. In contrast, there exist adversarial relations which can be negative to the individual’s performance. Adverial relations often involve negative exchanges. This can lead to emotional distress, anger or indifference. When social network is built on adverial relationship, it contradicts the individual’s basic objective and can be damaging or detrimental to one’s academic, work or social performance.

 

Social network can have a direct or indirect linkage on our social welfare. An important question for consideration is why are individuals involved in a specific form of social networking?

An observation made shows a rapid move of people from one group to the other. But do people take time to establish the objective for being part of such network? As a reader, I would presume you may be engaged in a social network within your community? Why are you engaged in that particular social network?  Recently, most people are very busy wanting to be everywhere. Such persons are members of different social network. This may sound funny, but it is real. It is important to point out that it is not how many groups you are engaged in. Rather, what matters is the impact one makes or the contributions a person makes within a social network.

 

Research shows that social network can be used to benefit its members. Individuals within a social network need to fulfill their objective for joining that social network. But it is also interesting to acknowledge that social network do generate conflict of interest among exist members within the network, and all efforts should be made to solve emerging conflicts amicably, so it does to over ride the organization or groups basic objective.

 

Furthermore, social clubs and organizations that are part of existing social clubs should focus of supporting the welfare of its members. Many social groups are now emerging, but how active are these social clubs? How does it affect or impact on welfare of the individual members? It’s about time people took bold steps and utilized their social networks to explore available opportunities. Social clubs need to take into consideration needs of individual members and should be ready to support whenever necessary.

 

Social network should be developed into a system of partnership, welfare of inter-relatedness and interdependence. Individuals’ or groups’ part of a social network can explore possibilities of developing business partnerships, sharing business ideas, enhancing oppositions. People can use their social network to better their social welfare. There is a possibility of combining resources and funds to establish a business through one’s social network. Individual groups and associations should motivate and encourage one other. Social clubs should be ready to identify and develop capacities of it members to enhance its operations.

 

The network of relationship needs to be strengthened; it should be geared toward a common good. Now that the world population has reached seven billion, we need to expand our horizon to help the poor and needy in society; to be that role models that the youth can look up unto for advice and support. It is about time we stopped thinking just about ourselves and looked at the common good of the society for a better future. It’s about time governments and policy makers looked beyond colour, race, age and explore potentials that have the capacity and capability of contributing towards developmental cooperation. The government should also not discourage social networks. The government or policy makers need to support operations of social networks. Now in Netherlands, a lot of organizations and groups are being closed now due to tight rigid policies of cutting down cost. These may have long term conserves and it could be negative on growth and development.

 

Social networks need to be encouraged to grow to develop into a social capital which can create wealth and feed populations. Also migrants should be ready and show strength of supporting one another. If migrants can generate or raise funds when a person dies in a funeral gathering, then migrants should move a step further to support one another and contribute towards a better social welfare. We need a social network of relationships that cares deeply about the welfare and health  of its community, not a network based on rigid rules with fixed or remote implementation system. We need a social network established with a listening ear,and is ready to make a positive impact and change when necessary.

 

Written by: Abena Bemah

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