Social Networking Sites-Boon/Bane

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Social networking:
For years, social networking sites didn't exist, but yet people kept in touch. These days, with social networking sites becoming a part and parcel of our daily lives, there are advantages and disadvantages that come along with them. For example, you can make a friend from Timbuktu and on the flip side your account can get hacked and you can find yourself in a big mess.

A recent research revealed that teenagers tend to hide the real stuff by using code language you may never understand. Teens are basically using them to stop parents and employers from judging them on the basis of their social activities such as partying, drinking and drugs.

Instead of writing they are drunk, teens post 'Getting MWI' or mad with it',
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Another user promptly replied with a prescription: "Ignorance is bliss." The conversation was then interrupted by a user who accused the two of being undeserving "beggars" who had cornered seats in schools, colleges and government offices. Soon, the thread was ablaze with hundreds of responses in a free-for-all mudslinging competition and a crash course in the choicest Hindi expletives.

Social networking sites Orkut and Facebook have become a fertile ground for scores of groups based on ethnicity and caste. Key in the word 'caste' into either site, or indeed others, and up pops a cascading list of virtual caste colonies, some of which aim to unite members and some which spew venom. Orkut has thousands of these communities — for instance, 'Brahmins Culture and Tradition' , 'I Hate Intercaste Marriage' and 'The Great Maratha' — which have hundreds of members.

Interestingly, participants of these groups are increasing rather than dying down. A study by Sunil Gangavane and Urvi Shah, researchers at PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research) found that 32 random Orkut communities based on caste showed an increase of nearly 30,000 members in just three months. Gangavane and Shah, who joined these communities to keep tabs on them, primarily wanted to document the involvement of

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