If you are just like the majority of people, I mean you have been using at least one platform of social media, yet you may still have several questions regarding social networking. Are social media really helping or obstructing our life? Is it safe? Can it increase our productivity and build brand awareness on various issues around us? Or is it only a place to waste a great amount of time? To help you find the answers, let us have a look at how social media have affected the way we live and the way we think.
The Advantages of Social Media
To begin with, social media boosts rapid worldwide connectivity. No matter whether you are looking for former college roommate, your primary school teacher, or your international friend, no faster or easier way to make such connections but through the internet. Even though Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are perhaps the most well-known social media communities, new websites are appearing regularly that let lots of people connect and communicate over the internet. With each of these sites, individuals can make new friends, build some business connections or just extend their personal base by interacting and connecting with friends of a friend, which will result in multiplying effect.
Also, we cannot ignore the commonality of interest. As you decide to take part in social network community, you can choose and pick up individuals that are similar to you and whose likes and dislikes are similar to those of yours. This will aid in building your network around those similarities. For example, if you are chess aficionado, sport lover, or have certain political stance, you can find and connect with those that share your interest.
Just as how rapid internet connects every one of us, social media also have the power to provide real-time information sharing. Many social networking sites incorporate instant messaging feature, which actually lets people exchange information in real-time manner via chat. This is indeed a massive feature for teachers to use for facilitating classroom discussions as it lets them make use of vast store of information which is available over the internet. That can be great time saver for instructors as students no longer have to visit library to do research.
The other benefit of social media is related to targeted advertising. Whether you are non-profit organization which needs to get the word out about certain upcoming fundraiser or certain business owner that markets new products or services, there is apparently no better way than relying on social media to get your messages to millions of people throughout the globe 24/7.
The Adverse Impacts of Social Media
First off, make sure you not ignore the backlash impacts of social media. A joke cracked among friends is one thing yet a joke with the whole-world is much different. When presumably offensive content is posted on the internet, the amount of comment and feedback can be really excessive and is oftentimes brutal as well aggressive. This is particularly true with highly commented subjects, such as religion and politics. This backlash can also pose long-term impact on person’s future, particularly in world which has fallen prey to excessive sharing. Even senior high school students are learning that statement they post on social media may impact whether college approves their application.
As what many of us have witnessed, crimes and cyberbullying have occurred through social media. The use of social media networks may expose people to other forms of harassment or perhaps inappropriate content. This can be true for teenagers and young kids. Unless parents filter the web content which their family views, kids can be exposed to pornography or some other inappropriate content.
In addition to unleashing age-inappropriate content, the digital age gave birth to social phenomenon, cyberbullying. It is oftentimes levied more seriously against young ladies than males and, different to traditional bullying, it is not limited to the casual physical interaction. Cyberbullying can take place 24 hours per day, every day of the week.
Next, there is also the risk of fraud or identity thievery. Whether you realize it or not, the information that you post on the internet is made available to everyone that is clever enough to access it. Most thieve only need few vital information to make your life a true nightmare. If they manage to steal your identity, it can cost you dearly. A report posted on Bankrate unravels Millenials are one of the most rapid growing groups to be victims. This is associated to the group’s convenience with sharing things online.
Have you ever thought of your spending too much time on the internet. Business Insider informs that social media is the most popular us of internet, and smartphones and other mobile communication devices seem to the driving force affecting this trend since sixty percent of the traffic is from a mobile device. The GlobalWebIdexpoll has showed that 28% of the time which is spent online is on social media. With these kinds of figures, some of the time spent on social networking also takes place at work. When these surfing are not related to work, it can cost companies money through the loss of productivity. Report on Forbes claims that 89% of respondents admitted that they wasted time on social media while they are at work.
The possibility of corporate invasion of privacy. This is apparently the last obvious adverse impact of social media. Social networking invites lots of corporations to invade your private details and sell them. Have you ever posted comment on Twitter, only to notice advertisement appearing with content related to your posting? A year ago, Facebook gained an estimated 16 billion in ad revenue. That is not bad for free site. If Facebook and other social media site do not charge their members, however, then how on earth do they make so much bucks? They do that by selling the ability to target advertisements specifically. On social networking sites, this website is not the product, but the users are.