In the modern day, social media has become more popular, eclipsing traditional blog posts. Social media platforms, also known as social networking sites, are internet-based programs that allow people to connect with family, friends, pen-pals, and strangers online.
As you may already know, email was the first type of social networking, having been developed in 1975. Since then, social networking has evolved into a profile with a variety of capabilities, including email integration.
Nowadays, online networking is transforming social interaction and has supplied the world with many invaluable tools.
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Social Media: The Never-Ending Debate
Since social media is accessible worldwide, businesses use these platforms for marketing their products, reaching a wider audience, and getting feedback on their products. Sites such as Instagram and Facebook are highly popular among brands.
Advantages of Social Media
The number of people using various social media platforms is growing steadily. Here are some reasons why:
Social media boosts interactions on a global scale
Social media enables people to communicate, remain in touch with friends and family, and meet new people. Individuals across the globe can utilize these platforms to locate others who share similar interests and with whom they can develop connections and get to know one another.
Platforms are free to use
All social media platforms only require users to have an internet connection and a device! They don’t have to subscribe to access the services most of these platforms offer. And as such, anyone can use these sites.
Social media spreads information easily and widely
Platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow people to remain up to date with happenings all over the world. In some cases, social media breaks the news before it even reaches local broadcasting stations.
Platforms help ordinary people create and launch brands
Sharing content about oneself and what one does daily has helped people amass followers interested in this type of material. In time, content creators build mutual trust with their audience, and they can then utilize this bond to monetize their pages through product promotion or affiliate marketing. In today’s day and age, you no longer have to hail from Hollywood to be famous. You could use your social media following to make money online for free in the UK, Asia, or Africa.
Disadvantages of Social Media
As is the case with everything else, there are two sides to the social media coin. In spite of bringing people closer, being so informative, and earning others a living, social media has its downsides. The following are some of these disadvantages:
Social media is a distraction
According to multiple credible sources, people who were formerly excellent at their jobs tend to perform abysmally on account of an unhealthy relationship with social media. Affected workers may attend work every day but fail to pay attention, with their minds wandering to whatever they conceive is happening online. Others may go as far as surfing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms during important meetings, losing out on crucial details. Why wouldn’t such a pattern lead to poor performance?
Excessive scrolling leads to a lack of sleep
As most studies have shown, being online just before bedtime can be detrimental since it causes a lack of sleep and other sleep-related problems.
Social media exposes children to inappropriate content
As you very well know, most social media platforms give a disclaimer on the age requirements of their users. Unfortunately, these sites trust the users to be honest and lack checks and balances to verify an individual’s actual age. The apparent gap exposes minors who bypass this step to access inappropriate content and may promote immoral behavior.
Platforms are a breeding ground for cyberbullying
Cyberbullies lurk around social media platforms to harass others simply because they can’t confront or see people. Bullies can bring mental health issues to their recipients. Bullying can come in the following forms:
- Threatening others
- Impersonation for malicious intentions
- Fabricating targeted lies about others
- Sharing humiliating photos and videos of others to embarrass them intentionally
In most circles, bullying is perhaps the most significant social media disadvantage owing to the mental toll caused.
Social media negatively impacts emotional bonds
According to recent studies, being on social media interferes with the emotional connection between family members, friends, and partners.
These days, you’ll find most people on their phones, computers, and other devices when they should be nurturing their relationships. In truth, normalizing this behavioral pattern causes a disconnect among loved ones.
If and when used appropriately, social media, as discussed, has numerous irrefutable benefits. Millions earn a living from the multiple sites available, while countless others use the platforms to socialize, shop, and remain abreast with current events.
Unfortunately, the ugly side of social media occasionally rears its ugly head to detrimental effect. To avoid potential mishaps, we should all be avid promoters of social media safety.