In today’s world, almost every individual cutting across all the generations use the internet daily. It is almost impossible for most people to do a thing without keeping an eye on the Internet. The booming and growth of social media platforms are believed to be one of the essential aspects of today’s world of technology. In essence, social media entails the use of computer-based technology to facilitate the establishment of virtual networks and communities for interactions. Users of social media use computers, tablets, smartphones through web designed software to interact with each other. Some of the common social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram among others. The use of social media has been on a steady rise for a long time. Statista estimates that come 2020 there will be around 2.87 billion users globally an increase from 2.46 in 2017. With such numbers, it is evident that social network influences several lives worldwide on a day to day basis. This can be both in the positive and negative. This paper will examine both the positive and the negative impacts of social media on society with a well-reasoned argument based on scholarly sources.
In a great extent, social media has in itself helped businesses grow, centralize data, improve research and laid a foundation for the fourth industrial revolution. The advent of proper technological innovations has brought about sufficient knowledge around the world. Social media being one of the technological changes have brought sufficient knowledge amongst many people in society. It has brought about empowerment amongst people through unrestricted information flow. Many are now able to access desired information, keep up with the trending fashion and even get a chance to connect globally. It has played a huge role in cultural impacts as well as diversity. Cultural promotion, as well as multiculturalism, has improved since people from different fronts interact on a common platform that unites them together (Colombo et al. 37). Communication barriers are no longer a problem because social media has created. Secondly, social networks provide business owners with excellent opportunities to connect with current customers, sell market their products. By having an expanded customer base, business owners together with other types of professional organizations reap more profits. Lastly, social networks are a form of general fun and enjoyment to users. Most people turn to social networks to kill boredom when they catch a break from their routine tasks.
The defense for the First Argument
It has adequately influenced h ow people communicate with others in time of disasters and crisis. Besides, for better or for worse, the changing media landscape has provided people with channels to liaise more effectively in a disaster situation. For example, during Hurricane Sandy, after a blackout was experienced, most relied on social media for updates of what was happening. Due to power blackouts, News stations used social media platforms to liaise essential information before the storm and its aftermath. This in a way ensured people are relieved from the mental torture of not knowing what was happening in the country. The most obvious way in which social media impact psychosocial consequences in the right way is by expressing positives thoughts about the incidence. In the wake of disaster or crisis, social media may provide terror victims with a platform to express if they are fine or not. This by itself is an easy way to relieve family members and close friends from worry.
Social media has become an avenue for companies to market their brands. Both new and old companies can now target a particular market and market extensively. Corporate companies can introduce their new brands to their long term clients, (Boslet 57). Both the young and the old are on social media and to get more sales, companies need tocontinually remind their customers continually. For new products in the market, social media provides a cheap means of getting the word out to friends and families. Since the results and impact are instant, most business people find it to be a haven for product introduction. When a seller has many followers, they can sensitize them about a new idea or service that they can access. With a third of seven billion people on earth on social media, the sites have an advantage in terms of convincing buyers about a product. According to Kelleher, Facebook is visited by 2 billion people a month. The company is now the third largest company in the world and currently valued at 541 billion dollars.
According to Shirky, (2011), most Democratic countries do not have a government by the majority rather a government by the majority who actively participate. Social media has taken this participation into a higher level by bolstering democratic principles needs to increase civic engagement. Politicians are using social media platforms to ask the public on their views regarding specific actions and policies within their communities. For instance, using a social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook, politicians frequently ask their constituents on their views on specific topics such as the best location for a refugee center, propose ways through which security in their region should be enhanced, propose community-based projects to raise the living standards of the citizens, among other topics. Politicians see social media as the best platform to promote civic participation and engagement.
As much as social media has been and is still resourceful for people, there are some dangers associated with uncontrolled and excessive use of Social media. There are also some pitfalls associated with the use of Social networks. Firstly, many people believe that the use of social networks exposes people to cyberbullying. When one becomes a target of cyberbullying attack, in most cases they become stressed, experiences anxiety and even depression (Maier et al. 2015). Besides being exposed to cyberbullying, children may also be exposed to age-inappropriate content like phonographic videos. Secondly, the use of social networks has exposed a considerable number of users to risks of fraud and or identity theft. Most of the information posted by people on social networks are available to almost anyoneis intelligent enough to access it. Whenever thrives are successful in stealing one’s identity, it cost users dearly.
Defense of Opposing Argument
Social media has led to cultural erosion due to the global connection. Many people are now failing to practice and engage in their initial cultural activities. Because the content found in these social platforms are unrestricted, young children can gain access to content that is unfit for their viewing (Housman par 1). As a result, they will start over thinking and emulating adverse behavioral changes even as they grow. Social dating sites on social platforms such as Facebook have brainwashed many people and have also resulted in mistaken relationship affairs. It has gotten worse because family ties are no longer valued by many (O’Keeffe et al. 801). You come to a household setting and find everyone engaged with their phones, none talking to the other. Social media has ironically turned today’s generation into a very antisocial kind of generation. Many will prefer conversing through texts and chatting online; to one on one meeting (Housman par 1). Social media platforms have replaced our human interactions. “I am afraid when technology surpasses our human interactions; the world will have a generation of fools,” Albert Einstein. This famous quote by Albert Einstein is coming true because our human interactions have been significantly affected by social media. Children gain access to mobile phones and tablets at very tender ages with no restrictions from parents.
According to (Antonakaki et al. 2017), social media has some negative psychosocial consequences impact during a crisis or any other period. The unfortunate thing about social media is that there is no truth filter. Most social media post are purely people’s opinion not supported by any reliable facts. They are never 100% reliable. Believing in such information may live people traumatized to a great extent. Many people have been involved in various instances where they propagate fake news regarding specific people or situations (Shin, Jian, Driscoll, & Bar, 2018). The use social media to give false information t o confuse, disrupt, and or otherwise hinder hindering social, economic, or political progress has been prevalent in the past few years and politicians are no exception to this @@@@@@.
Social media has become the primary conduit through which online hate in the spread. According to Patchin 2015, approximately 34% of students interviewed said they had experienced cyberbullying in their lifetime. Such bullying took the form of; mean comments, spread of rumours and offensive comments. Such acts often lead to low self-esteem and depression among various groups of people with youths as the most affected. Even suicides resulting from reckless online comments have been recorded in the recent past.
Analysis of the Reasoning
For better or for worse, the changing social media landscape is in one way or the other affecting people’s lives. How one is affected, differ from a person to the other. People who support the use of social media have reason to support their claim. I believe that advancement in technology and the internet of things have revolutionized people’s lives in a significant way. People find it easy to use social media than any other media to reach out to their, peers, colleagues, customers. Without any doubts, were it not for social media, human interaction would be shallow. Users of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter caton keep close on each other irrespective of where they are geographical. This enables sharing of day to day experiences through posting pictures, comments and videos. These sites have enabled someof people to find romance, find jobs, find assistance, access scholarships, conduct businesses as well as access worldwide news in real-time. In this regard, iI am of the idea that the benefits of social media usage noted by different people are so true. It is a fact, and it will remain as the fact that social media is a less costly way to reach out people; it’s convenient and easy to communicate; the spread of information is fast.
Nonetheless, as much as social media has significant benefits, it is also evident that the use of social media has some drawbacks. No one can dispute the fact that the Internet leads to social isolation and abandonment of families. Children usingthe social media platforms excessively have being reduced to being part of several online communities. Through social media platforms, children develop a close friendship and sometimes intimate relationships with different far distant individuals. To maintain these online relationships, children often abandon their physical, social life with family members and peers to spend more time trying to keep in touch with their online communities. Insomnia or sleep deprivation is an issue for most children who are addicted to social media usage. Children who use the internet excessively can fall victims to cyberbullying. Unsuspecting internet users can like children always become victim to criminal elements. These criminals may hack their emails or do something nasty with their credit card information.
Analyzing the two sides, it is evident that the benefits of social media outweigh the drawbacks. The use of social media benefits all people. The only problem with social media is in addiction or excessive and uncontrolled use. People, therefore, need to use their social media platforms with cautious and limits.
This paper has argued for the use of social media and shown how it improves relationships. In the last body paragraph, the argument used by antisocial media is well presented. Social media platforms connect people and allow them to remain in touch regardless of the distance. Social media in considerable ways are affecting the way we communicate do business get our daily news and so much more. Social media provides a couple of positive as well as negative influences on our lives. However, the effects if social networks depend on the users as well as how they are being used. It is, therefore, imperative to use social media platforms in the right manner as it can drastically improve the quality of the relationship. Everybody should understand that technology is here to stay and therefore it is their responsibility to put it into good use.
Social Media Outline