The internet has had a tremendous impact on the world today than any different time before. It has been an invaluable source of news, education, and entertainment globally for round 20 years now. However, social media is the most powerful innovation that uses the internet, and it achieved reputation in the past one decade. Twitter, Facebook, Skype, etc. are among the most visited sites on the web. These web sites allow consumers to easily and shortly share messages, ideas, links, and pictures thus fostering social interaction. The social media plays a tremendous role in people’s lives all over the world. However, some feel that it is either crippling or enhancing their communication skills. Spending time behind a computer or a smartphone communicating with online friends can be enjoyable and comfortable but can hinder an individual’s ability to communicate effectively. The paper focuses on both the positive and negative impacts of the social media on people’s lives
Positives of social media
First, social media has reduced the use of verbal communication and expanded the employment of online texting. Folks currently can hold “phone conversations” through their computers. This has been made it possible by the advancement of sites such as Skype. Here, individuals with a connection can converse through word of mouth while seeing each other which is different from Twitter and Facebook which utilizes writing as a communication tool. Besides, many social media platforms have adopted webcams for their users which aids ‘friends’ to hold a one-on-one talk and watching each other at the same time. The type of conversation in this context is more confidential and private and very efficient as subscribers see one another. Webcam conversations have grown in popularity in recent day conversations.
Millions of subscribers utilize Skype, Facebook, and Twitter platforms. It is not easy to find a person without an account in at least one of these social sites. Social media is not only utilized by individual persons but by organizations, institutions, and businesses as well. Almost all websites have a link to their Facebook page. With the explosion of social media networking, firms are utilizing it as an advertisement channel. It gives companies and other business institutions an opportunity to reach millions of subscribers on their preferred platform every day. Organizations and firms get into contacts with a vast populace of users on Facebook by creating their ages and giving promotions and discounts to win fans and a substantial following, thus making it easy and cheap to advertise than the general advertisement on television.
Social media has made communication efficient and quicker. It is fundamental to realize that conversations evolve with the evolution of social media. The technological advancement facilitating social media transforms the way people share information every day. Social media websites such as Facebook remind clients on their birthdays every time they occur. One can, therefore, type a birthday wish to their friends, relatives, workmates, etc. on their pages instead of sending birthday cards, calling or sending written notes.
Almost everyone, both old and young use social media. It has taken communication to another level. It assists social institutions, churches, businesses, and individuals access larger audiences something which was impossible before. Besides, it has been used in politics to keep the citizens updated on what is happening in government and assisting political candidates in marketing themselves.
Some of the disadvantages of social media include cyber bullying of kids and unwarranted exposure. Young children are utilizing social media without realizing its effects. There are many cases where young people have committed suicide because of damaging information posted on social websites about them. Guardian and parental controls are available for access of individuals of an early age to inappropriate sites, but it is hard to shield these young persons from accessing them. Social networking and media as communication channels are frequently used by peers to posts some information with a potential of damaging of others.
Also, the ease and convenience of access to social media result to online addictions which are facilitated by easy access to the social media through cell phones, tablets, and computers. Any person with a twitter or Facebook account can attest that there are users always logged in all the time. Further, some subscribers post every activity they are engaged in which can prove risky. For instance, if one’s page is not private and friends can share everything posted, it makes users aware of one’s location and activity engaged in. If people share that they are going for a vacation for the next few days, it gives potential thieves that information and they can easily break into a home without being noticed.
In conclusion, several merits and demerits accompany the invention, growth, and usage of social media. The central question is whether the advantages are more than the disadvantages. However, it is noticeable that the benefits are more than the negatives. Furthermore, it should be understood that even the finest inventions which have tremendously transformed the world have their weaknesses than their original purpose and social media are not an exception.
Sashi, C. M. “Customer engagement, buyer-seller relationships, and social media.” Management decision 50.2 (2012): 253-272.