Networking has emerged as a very popular concept in the past few years. The idea of networking as a social tool, however, has been around for a long, long time.

Networking, as a social tool has definitely been used by many, many people even before computers and the internet was a round.

What does this mean, you ask? Well, let me enlighten you. Long before there were computers, people have been meeting friends, correct?

How do you think they meet those friends? Oh sure, you may reason out that they have had childhood friends. But, sooner or later, they have to get sick of their childhood buddies, right? So they get to meet all new people.

How do they meet those people? By other friends of course! As you can see, long before the term has been coined, networks already existed. And people have already been using networking as a social tool for a long, long, time.

The use of networking as a social tool is still observable today in forms other than web logs or Friendster. The fact is, despite these advances in technology, some people still get to meet new friends via their own circle of acquaintances.

Networking as a social tool can be very effective. Why, you ask? Well, first of all, if you use networking as a social tool and not any other method, you can at least be sure that the two new acquaintances have something in common. What’s their connection, you ask? Well, the network, of course!

What’s so brilliant about using networking as a social tool is that you can actually go out and meet someone whose interests may be similar to yours.

One disadvantage of using networking as a social tool, however, is that this takes away some of the excitement of finding out “who” someone is.

After all, where’s the mystery when someone’s already told you all about a person you’re about to meet.

Although, one could certainly argue (and argue very well) that this eliminates the awkward phase of the early stages of friendship. Using networking as a social tool can definitely help two new acquaintances to get down and start forming a bond of friendship… or, perhaps, something more.

In using networking as a social tool, some people definitely need to be careful. While in the past people found within one’s network needed to be well-known, nowadays, social networking works more in an environment of anonymity.

This means that you cannot really be sure that the friend you are meeting is actually a friend of your friend. Complete strangers now meet through the social networking services provided by the internet and carelessly place their trust on a perfect stranger.

This can be, and has been, the cause of a number of crimes committed daily. The fact that you place your trust in a complete stranger does not really bother anyone, until it’s too late.

In using networking as a social tool, one has to be careful that the person they are meeting actually belongs in a person’s social network.

Some people tend to forget that there is a lot of bad out there, mixed among the good. We also tend to forget about how deceitful the human heart can be. We always need to be cautious about who we’re meeting.

After all, it is so much better to be safe than sorry or worse.

Joshua Shoemaker

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