The Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media

Social media talks about social network platforms that allow individuals and organizations to communicate in a very fast and efficient manner. You see it everywhere these days: people accessing social network sites using their cell phones even in the most inappropriate situations. People on the extreme end of the social spectrum, from shut-ins to socialites are usually posting their public life through these sites. They post relevant to the non-important information like what they ate to news updates they heard from the grape vine. With these factors, there is unlimited potential in what social network sites can do. Unfortunately, this potential also turns foul when in the wrong hands. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages social media can bring you.

Advantages

We’ll start with the advantages first, since this is why millions, or even billions of people use these social network sites and other forms of social media on a daily basis.

Easy Communication

Even if you live in different continents across different time zones, communicating with friends has never been easier. You can easily send a message to them without thinking about the costs or if they are sure to receive it or not. It’s easy as using an application on your phone or using a website and then sending your message using that website. The world has indeed become smaller. If messaging is not your thing, you can even opt for the more personal video call to be able to personally see as well a converse with them. In a business point of view, this is also ideal for having a conference with different CEOs across different countries. Gone are the days when meetings have to depend on flight details and weather conditions. Meetings can be held in the office, regardless of where your other member is located.

Share Information

The internet has proven to hold a wide array of information from everything you need to some things you better didn’t know. With social media, it’s possible to send links to these information or websites to your friends without having to copy or email the entire content to them. They can simply click on your shared link, and view the website with ease. Aside from sharing the latest trends or juiciest gossip, this method can also be used by employees to discuss ideas, post news, and ask questions that are related to work.

Business Usage

For the business side, the unlimited potential of social media works in its favor. There is a huge prospect for widening your business contacts. It only takes a few clicks to create a social profile and meet like-minded or similarly qualified individuals to create a business network for your future business or for job referrals. For job hiring, it is also a very useful and effective recruitment tool because of its wide audience. All that, considering the minimal use of advertising needed in social media.

Freedom of Expression

On the cyberspace, it’s much easier to express yourself by showing off your favorite TV shows, movies, or song lyrics. Since you’re not there in person, it’s much easier to share your likes without having to worry about embarrassment. A lot of people even share their life stories like their triumphs and trials in social media. Aside from simply showing off, venting your feelings can help with your mental stress. It’s also a great way to keep you entertained after a busy day to boot.

Disadvantages

Now comes the darker side of social media. With all that freedom and all that playing around, there’s sure to be malicious people trying to twist that into something they can use against you without you knowing it. Here’s a short list about how social media can affect you negatively.

Cyber Bullying

Over the internet and on social media, anonymity is easily achieved. Some people abuse this power and lambast other people or students. In fact, such ridiculing has reached to new heights when students were driven to the point of suicide just because of bullying. What makes this also harder to stop is that everything is done behind a computer screen, so it’s hard to trace each and every bully out there and stop them.

Time Consuming

Visiting all those links about trends, gossips, and quirky information can be a good way to waste time. So good in fact, that people don’t realize how much time they spend on trivial stuff. It’s estimated that 70% of a person’s day is wasted through mindless chatter, and with the advent of technology – through visiting useless sites. This makes work or study very difficult when people visit social media just to unwind, but unknowingly spend a few hours in a totally unrelated task.

Relationship Wrecker

Social media has been praised to keep relationships together even across oceans. However, it has also been known to break relationships apart easily. One partner can easily get jealous when the other partner is often exchanging messages with someone over a social network site, and in the worst case, there are even cases of cheating over social network sites with someone that they just met. Experts suggest that this phenomenon is because communication over social media creates a small feeling of danger due to the anonymity, so people feel more ‘thrilled’ or ‘alive’ because of it.

Illegal Business

Business transactions done over the internet can be very fast, seamless, and effortless. Unfortunately, that is also the reason why cyber criminals like hackers prey on unsuspecting victims over the internet. These malicious elements employ various techniques that trick you into giving up your credit card information or even your social security details which they use for identity theft. The identity theft happens when they take out a loan or another credit card without your information – you only know about it when the bill comes. Lots of cyber businesses have taken appropriate measures to prevent this, but criminals will always be looking for ways to outsmart the long arm of the law.

Unwitting Scandals

A lot of people post their everyday life on social networking sites so much that everyone can easily know what they have done and what they are about to do. For these kinds of people, they are setting themselves up for an even bigger problem: identity theft and harassment. There have been lots of cases already when their identities have been stolen or their pictures have been downloaded and modified to create false stories. In these cases, the outcome isn’t always good and the unsuspecting owner of the account ends up being harassed to the point of being cyber bullied.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of social media that will affect you in one way or another. Whether it’s a security leak or a software update, it’s sure to affect you at one point in time. Knowing your limitations and being private even in the cyberspace will help you maintain your privacy yet still allow you to enjoy your freedom in the cyberspace.