Nowadays, social networking sites have become an essential part of the Internet age. In fact, a lot of people think that regularly logging into these sites are as important as checking their e-mails. This is because your friends and acquaintances can easily send you their messages through networking sites instead of using regular e-mails. With the emergence of the digital age and social networking services, users can now access more advanced Internet features like news updates, web blogging, online video streaming, chatrooms and realtime webcams.How does social networking influence contemporary social interactions?Social sites have definitely changed social interactions. There are some who think that the digital age has made people introverted. Instead of engaging themselves in face-to-face conversations, people started to resort to using these sites. There also some cases wherein family members living in the same house choose to communicate with each other through online messages instead of having “real” conversations.However, social networking sites have bridged billions of people around the globe. It provides people with accessible ways of communicating with each other. Even people who have started to lose communication, like old classmates or distant relatives, can engage in social networking to start having constant communication.The need of getting back in touch may have been one of the precipitating factors in the invention of social networking sites. Classmates.com, one of the first sites, probably had the same goal in mind. This type of networking allows people to regenerate their friendships. Once you find an old friend through a social site, you would immediately be able to exchange phone numbers to have a more personal means of communication. If possible, you can even plan reunions in order to meet your old friends.You can also use search engines to find long lost friends. Just type the name of your friend in a search engine and hope for it to find a match and a personal homepage. However, social networking sites are more efficient than search engines. You can even create your own account in networking sites in order to have your personal home on the web. Old friends can also easily find you if you are a member of a networking site.Are there threats and dangers involved when people use these online networking sites?Some people have also started to worry about security and privacy when it comes to joining social networking sites. Once your homepage, pictures, and other confidential information are already posted online, wouldn’t it be possible for about any stalker to find you?Similar to other forms of media, online networking also has threats associated with it. There are instances wherein online sexual predators have used information on these sites in order to find potential victims. This is why users like you must always be aware of the risks involved in social networking and how to avoid these risks. Actually, these sites have plenty of safeguards designed to keep its members safe. You also decide which information you will disclose to the rest of the world, so do your profiles wisely.Always remember that it is important to learn how to make full use of the digital age and social networking services without exposing yourself to potential dangers. After all, the benefits of maximizing the use of these sites can become very rewarding.