We live in the digital age. Today, you don’t need to go to the nearest postal office to send a letter via snail mail or use a telephone to get in touch with loved ones or colleagues. Building and maintaining connections, personal or professional, is done over the Internet via social media.
What is social media?
Social media is a cluster of cloud-based applications that allows people to connect with each other online. It not only promises creation and exchange of information, but also ascertains real-time interaction with people.
In addition to this, social media allows people to easily access and share different kinds of content, like simple text, graphics, videos, and other audiovisual presentation. It has definitely changed how people around the world share and consume information.
Some examples of social media are Internet forums, online magazines, social networks, blogging, podcasts, photographs, and social bookmarking.
Access to social media is made even more convenient through social media apps found in mobile devices.
Social Media Pros
- Social media is a boon to businesses and organizations. Private businesses and government agencies are able to create online services for their customers all over the world through this popular tool. In fact, social media also brought about the rise of micro businesses that use it for product display, marketing, and payment.
Moreover, writers, journalists, and other media practitioners find it both convenient and expedient to broadcast and publish their works over social networking sites.
- Social media makes it easier to reach the people we love. We can just say hello to our Facebook friends via the site’s messenger to know how they are doing, or just view their profile in their social media accounts to see their timelines.
- Social media gave unknown talented artists the opportunity to show the world what they got without the help of conglomerates. Justin Beiber is just one of these artists. Even the fans of musicians and actors can easily connect with their idols through social media.
- Social media made it easier for teachers and students to collaborate through chat rooms and forums. Education is made more dynamic through social media as forums and chat rooms make scholarly discussions possible, even if members of the class don’t meet personally. The use of a basic business phone for transactions may soon be obsolete, as technological advances like social media allows easy and free information, and convenient feedback exchange.
Social Media Cons
- People can be addicted to social media. Notable universities report different addictions associated with the excessive use of social media. The “addicts” opt to spend a lot more time logged into these networks rather than have actual personal interaction with family and friends. Extreme Internet log-in hours can also have adverse effects on health. Exercise, the right diet, and even proper eye care measures may be neglected because of social media addiction, resulting in serious illnesses.
- Social media undermines privacy. A Huffington Post article talks about the link between divorces and the social media culture. The post cites various divorced couples who separated because of too much social media immersion.
- Social media makes it easier to steal identities. The more you share personal information online, the easier it is for cybercriminals to steal your identity. By simply posting your kid’s name on your tweet, you could be giving hints about your account passwords. It’s also possible to allow someone else to reset your password and thus gain access to your personal email, banking or other online accounts by posting too much information online.
Image Credit: Justin