Overview In this age of digitalization, the cyberspace of social networking media has taken the world by storm. It has influenced humanity in all spheres of life. Right from connecting to your distant friend to buying the perfect prom wear - everything is available at just a click. You now, no longer need to fret about your tough science homework or about DIY natural face masks you had always wanted to learn - social media provides you more than what you want.
Every morning when the clock strikes 9, we wake up to find ourselves bombarded with pictures of seemingly happy people sharing their perfect summer beach holidays and tan-free selfies on our social media accounts. But what exactly is social media? Why has it driven our lives to such a large extent that one of every three individuals we bump into at the morning cafeteria has either a large fan-following or is some sort of an influencer?
Putting it in simple words - Social media sites are online apps that help people stay in touch with one another no matter how many oceans apart, promote businesses across continents, capture the best moments on a spring vacation, share photos with friends, listen to a playlist of favorite songs, explore news and even check live stories of events occurring around the world. The most popular social media platforms to name are-Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, etc.
In this article, we will be discussing both the pros and cons of Social networking platforms.
Let's first discover the advantages of social media and how it can alter our lives for good.
Increases connectivity across the globe It is hard to deny that social networking sites are indeed an effortless means to connect with like-minded people situated anywhere across the planet regardless of their language, background, race, or religion. It has become much easier to revive and preserve relationships with peers, relatives, and near and dear friends as all these incredible people are just a click away. Your uncle who stays in the countryside will now no longer complain about a telephone call you hadn't made to him for a month- all you can do now is simply drop him a message while sitting at a café.
Expand business across peninsulas Yes, this is true. People can now expand their business and let others know about it only through mere advertising on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook. This primary means of expanding business is more economical as compared to the traditional way of advertising as information can reach a relevant group of people at the lowest cost. The trend of online shopping has considerably increased in recent years. Nowadays, people are more inclined towards online shopping even for the most basic necessity be it handbags, footwear, or even accessories.
Tool for education Social networking sites have acquired an indomitable place in the sphere of education. They have gained validation over the years as an authentic source of information where educational organizations can interact with a large audience. Students now no longer need to struggle with their chemistry assignments or physics numerical- Social media has a solution to it all. Whether students are working on a group project or an assignment, they can now easily extract instant beneficial information on any particular topic, engage with experts to clarify their doubts, and also broaden their perspectives on various subjects.
After carefully looking through the advantages, we see that social media and technology aren't all bad. They bring connectivity, ease, and information, all into our lives. But maybe considering putting our devices down for a while a little bit more often may be a good idea.
Let's now see the disadvantages of social media and how it has harmed people's lives: -
Means for cyber bullying Modern tools such as the Internet and social media can undoubtedly aid students in understanding concepts and getting online lessons, but they have also opened doors for bullies.
Cyberbullying occurs when a student teases, blackmails, humiliates, or taunts another student using electronic mediums as a means. These acts often include posing as another individual online, spreading fake news or rumor-mongering about another student, posting private photos or information without the victim's knowledge, tricking other students into revealing personal information or forwarding malicious messages to rupture a student's reputation.
The constant and pervasive nature of cyberbullying frequently results in victims suffering from depression and low self-esteem, often leading to drop-in grades and morals. In extreme cases, relentless cyberbullying has even prompted some individuals to commit suicide.
Addiction in youth Checking feeds on Facebook and scrolling through Instagram has become an increasingly popular activity over the last decade. Although usage of social media is not much of an issue for a majority of users, there is a small percentage that becomes addicted to social networking sites and engages in unnecessary excessive and compulsive use.
Addictive usage of social media will look much like that of any other drug effect including mood modification (i.e., engagement in social media leads to an unfavorable swing in the emotional state), tolerance (i.e., the ever-increasing use of social media without being concerned about time) and withdrawal symptoms (i.e., experiencing undesirable physical and emotional symptoms when social media use is restricted even for a short lapse).
Adverse effect on Health The excess use of social media can unknowingly affect our physical and mental health in a big way. People often complain of becoming lazy, obese, red eyes, and lots of stress issues after excessive use. There's no point in denying the fact - social media does affect our health. Be it physically, mentally, or a dangerous combination of the two, our addiction to our illuminated screens can have dire consequences on our health if left unchecked for a long time. The health effects of social media range from couch potatoes too much more frightening possibilities like disfigured brain structures etc. Looks like we all need to get a standing desk for ourselves.
Conclusion We have millions of users around the world who use social media on a day to day basis throughout the day for several activities. There is a mixed bag of reactions regarding it. It does have a lot of importance and advantages but also brings some hazards which cannot be avoided. We have witnessed an overflow of information and data in the last few years and cannot deny the power of social media in our mundane lives.
We are the children of this planet and our future generations will follow into our footsteps; thus it is the need of the hour to make this world a better place to live in where our children can find time for one another, communicate efficiently, and learn to use social media positively.
Is social media a boon or ban? This question will always be there in our minds. Many of us will be spending our time in these areas. A matured mind may understand up to what level we can involve ourselves in these activities. But the problem comes with college and school going students. They don't know where to say yes and where to stop. This is only leading to many problems.
Every coin will have two sides. We should see both sides. There are many advantages. We will be flooded with information. We will come in contact with many of our old friends and we may know many unknown things. Even there are chances for marketing ourselves on these sites. But there are problems like getting addicted to this media without giving priority to other important issues is a major problem. Another point is that we don't know whether the news coming in this media is correct or not. Sometimes fake news is also spread here. Before believing the news coming from here we should confirm the news through other sources also. Many times we will be misguided.
Roses are very beautiful. When we see them on the plant, we wish to have one. We will go for plucking it. At that moment we should remember that there are thorns also in the plant. We should pluck the flower carefully without touching any thorn. That is the art and that is the way we have to deal with social media also.