Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media
Social media is one of the main vessels of information and communication for most people today and there are several social-media platforms arising today and its upon you to get an account on any of these social-media platforms or not. On top of that, social-media feeds are usually updated every second with new data from regular users who are in most cases sharing experienced-events, news, gossip, photos and the latest hot-topics. So, people who are passionate with social-media will always strive hard to keep up-to-date with every little thing that happens in their lives or web-community thus keeping these social-media platforms flowing with information at all times. All in all, social-media has its own advantages and disadvantages which I’m going to be listing below and I think they can be of great help to people who love or hate using social media.
#Advantages of Social-Media:
- Global connectivity: Social-media platforms can help you connect with any person around the world in real-time easily and faster than ever before.Some of the common social-media platforms that will help you reach anyone around the world easily include; facebook, whatsapp, twitter, snapchat and LinkedIn. Cross boarder communication has become cheaper – simply because a person will just load MB’s (internet bundle) and start calling or texting friends and families in different countries. Here in Africa, it used to be very expensive to call our relatives in USA & EUROPE – however today all that has been changed by Whatsapp. For as low as 7 cents, I can make a call to USA and that call used to cost me $2.74 before the invention of WhatsApp.
- Real-time information sharing: Most social-media platforms like facebook and whatsapp incorporate an instant messaging feature that helps people exchange information in real-time in form of text, images and videos. In fact, real-time information sharing can be a great time-saver for social-media users and this actually makes social-media platforms perfect for use by business-people when interacting with clients and can also help teachers and students to interact in real-time when they are not in class-rooms.
- Perfect for targeted-advertising: Since social-media platforms enable you to reach a larger audience, you will be able to advertise your services or products on them inorder to reach more potential customers. Some social-media platforms like facebook offer business with customized and targeted advertising services thus enabling them reach the right audience which in-return improves on their sales and return on investment (ROI). Facebook offers both free and fee-based advertising options and it’s actually upon you to select an advertising-option that works best for you – though a paid package will give you more sales than a free one.
- Improved access to news: Social-media platforms have revolutionized how people access news and even increased on the speed of the news-cycle. In fact, most news organizations today are relying on social-media platforms to collect and share information in real-time. For example social-media platforms like; facebook and twitter are steadily becoming mainstream sources for breaking-news and this implies that a person will be able to know what’s happening around the world in real-time.
- Increased use of Smartphones: Social-media platforms have actually led to an increase in the usage of Smartphones today. In fact, today most people access social-media platforms via Smartphones and this has actually led to the growth and development of the Smartphone industry.
- An income source for some individuals: Social-media platforms are enabling a huge number of people earn a living by simply running advertisements on these platforms. Some of the social-media platforms that have helped people earn a good amount of money include facebook and YouTube.
- Great source for entertainment: Social-media platforms can actually be a great source of entertainment and refreshment to some people inorder to help them get back into their moods. In fact, social-media platforms offer entertainment content like funny-videos or clips, humor news, gossip and a lot more information that will help you feel excited and happy again.
- Good for reporting crimes and criminals: Social-media can help people identify and report criminals so that they can be easily get caught by authorities. Social-media platforms have helped in the eradication of several criminals around the world which is actually a great thing to our communities.
- Act as dating platforms: Social-media sites like facebook and whatsapp work as dating platforms for some people. Many couples started dating on social-media platforms and ended up getting married.
- Free and affordable: Social-media networks are free of charge; whereby you just have to create an account inorder to begin using these networks. All you need is an internet connection to access social-media networks thus saving you a lot of money and time compared to making a phone-call or travelling to see someone.
- Help in finding people with common interests: Social-media platforms enable you choose individuals/groups whose interests are the same as yours so that you can be able to build a network around those interests. For example, if you’re a game-lover, book-lover or political-learner then you will be able to find and interact with people who share the same interests on a social-media platform hence keeping your life away from boredom.
NOTE: All in all, social media platforms are just like communities where family and friends gather inorder to exchange information and to get updates on different topics around the world. In fact, social-media platforms have helped to change the way people communicate around the world because they facilitate for quick, easy, affordable and real-time information-sharing than ever before.
# Disadvantages of Social-Media:
Although social-media platforms offer a lot of advantages, they also have some disadvantages which have greatly affected our communities today especially amongst young people and these include;
- Cyberbullying and child crimes: use of social-media platforms can actually expose someone to different forms of harassment and inappropriate contact. This is very common amongst teens and kids who love using social-media networks whereby they could be easily exposed to pornography or any other inappropriate content without the knowledge of their parents or guardians. Additionally, cyber-bullying can also happen between young females and males who may be threatening to expose each other over social-media networks. In fact, cyber bullying happens on a daily basis and it can greatly affect the individuals experiencing it especially if other person posts negative comments.
- Risks of fraud: Social-media platforms expose all your personal information to other individuals on the network and this actually makes it very easy for fraudsters to come-up with ways of convincing other people inorder to steal money or important information. In fact, rich people on social-media platforms are one of the victims to fraud these days and that’s why its recommended not to share everything especially business-information on social-media platforms.
- Identity theft: since social-media platforms keep your personal-information and all the information you have posted, someone else can easily access this information inorder to successfully steal your identity and this could actually cost you a lot. In fact, a small amount of personal-information into the hands of a criminal can make your life a nightmare because the criminal may create another account in your names inorder to steal or destroy your name before other individuals. So, you should try to keep your password a secret inorder to prevent other people from accessing your account and also block people that make you feel suspicious.
- Time-wasting: Today, different reports have shown that social-media platforms are the most used on the internet and this actually implies that they take up a lot of time for some individuals. In fact, some people working in offices tend to spend most of their time on social-media platforms making non-related work activities and this has actually cost companies a lot of money through reduced productivity by employees when at work. In fact, social-media platforms have led to an increase in laziness amongst the youth because they spend most of their time making chats and viewing updates.
- It has led to the rise of terrorism: Social-media platforms have actually led to the rise of terrorism by simply enabling terrorists to communicate easily with different groups of people and to spread their wrong agenda over the youngsters’ inorder to influence them to enter the bad-groups. In fact, social-media networks have led to an increase in riots, terrorist-attacks and wars in the recent years and that’s why some countries like china have banned the usage of social-media platforms.
- Invasion of privacy: social-media platforms actually invite major companies to invade on your privacy by simply selling your personal information. This can actually be observed when you post something on facebook and then view an advert related to the posted-content a few minutes later. In fact, social-media users are the products because these networks actually keep all the information about them and then use that information to provide advertisements that are related to their interests.
- Social-media has led to destruction of relationships: Today, most people have actually lost their relationships due to usage of social-media platforms like facebook and whatsapp and this is mainly because they spend most of their time on these networks and then give their partners and family less time. In fact, most couples today date on social-media networks and this is actually not a great thing because they don’t get to meet each other more often inorder to build a strong and meaningful relationship.
- They have destroyed physical gatherings and meetings: Face-to-face communication and physical gatherings between individuals have actually reduced in the recent years due to the rise of several social-media networks. This has actually affected our communities negatively because people no longer meet in groups’ inorder to discuss important issues but instead they sit on their laptops or Smartphones and then chat with other individuals far away.
- They have lead to an increase in health issues: Social-media platforms make people lazy because they don’t have to move inorder to communicate with other people in their communities. This has led to an increase in several diseases like back-pain diseases, eye-complications and other diseases related to not exercising because people can actually sit and chat on social-media networks for an extended period of time without even minding their health-status.
- They create a great distraction to students and workers: Social-media platforms create a great distraction to students especially when having lessons in a classroom thus reducing on their concentration and reduced performance. Additionally, most employees working in huge companies tend to spend a lot of time on social-media networks and this actually reduces on their productivity thus placing the company into a gradual loss.
- Reduced time for family: some parents actually spend a lot of time on social-media platforms like facebook, whatsapp and Pinterest whereby this reduces on the time they spend with their children and spouses. Likewise, even children tend to spend less time with their parents because they are always on social-media networks and this actually leads to lack of parental-care thus leading to a decline in discipline amongst young people.
- Social-media platforms are addictive: Most people today are addicted to social-media networks like facebook, whatsapp and Twitter and they actually spend most of their time posting on their lives and reading new information available on these networks. This has actually led to a decline in performance whether at work or school and has even disconnected people living within the same community since they can’t meet and talk in person.
*Some of the practices and tips you should consider when using a social-media networks:
- You should always take responsibility for your own safety by not joining groups or contacting people you don’t really know.
- Don’t place all your personal information over a social-media network because this makes it much easier for criminals to steal your identity and use it for wrong purposes like fraud.
- Avoid spending a lot of time on social-media networks: This can actually be achieved by regulating the time you spend on social-media platforms so that you become more productive in society. In fact, you should give your job or family enough time and then give less time to social-media networks inorder to achieve a healthy lifestyle.