Are there boundaries for behavior on social networking sites?

A sociologist argues that social networking sites have all sorts of deviant behaviors because of a lack of boundaries:

“Society’s sometimes obsessive use of social networking sites has led to the development of several long term social affects stemming from the idea that these virtual communities often minimize the importance of face-to-face social interaction, while enabling a tendency for users to be inherently comfortable with isolation,” said Coleman.

Coleman goes on to point out that society’s widespread use of social networking sites has also contributed to the creation of virtual worlds and online communities in which there are no boundaries, and often no regard for truth or the regulation of behavior.

“Offensive and threatening language becomes normalized, while photos of and statements by people engaged in dehumanizing acts are not condemned, but instead encouraged, ‘liked’ and commented on.”

I would agree that this negative and deviant behavior happens online but I would be interested in seeing some data. Some data I’ve seen from emerging adults suggests there are plenty of rules and norms governing SNS behavior. These emerging adults were well aware of these issues and most suggested they didn’t violate the boundaries.

One issue here might be what SNS we are talking about. Facebook, for example, is fairly regulated both by the platform and by users even as users can express a wide range of opinions. Other SNS offer more latitude. Other areas of the Internet, such as comment sections or personal blogs or chat rooms, offer all sorts of opinions and actions. Yet, many of these Internet places are not SNS in the technical sense.

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