Believe it or not, most of our lives are slowly governed by social media platforms. People these days consume more content on social media than on news websites and blogs.
Although social media is a big thing that happened in the last decade, we all need to be aware of the pros and cons.
Social media platforms are interactive digital technology that aid in creating and sharing information, ideas, interest, and communicating virtually through online communities and networks.
Social media was introduced with such a pure intention, that is, to bring the world closer, but as time went by, many flaws came forward. Instead of making a good connection with people, social media has started drifting us apart.
It all began in 1997 when Andrew Weinreich launched the world’s first social networking site, sixdegrees.com, inspired by the “Six degrees of separation” theory by Stanley Milgram.
This was the first step toward the long journey of social media platforms today. In the early 2000s, Friendster and Myspace began to dominate the social media market.
Modern social media sites allow us to call, message, video call, share our pictures, videos, and whatnot.
There are many types of social media in today’s world, and a few common ones are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, TikTok, and Instagram.
No one can deny that these platforms have made life much easier, but these benefits have come at a cost. So, below is the list of pros and cons of social media platforms.
Table of Contents
1. Helps to stay in touch despite the distance
Before social media, everyone depended on telecom services and emails to stay in touch with loved ones.
An expensive trunk call and email service were the only way to communicate with people outside the country.
After social media became popular, everyone got connected with just a touch of a button on the platform.
2. It allows us to re-connect with people
As life continues, we lose connection with people and catch up with new ones. We cannot carry all the connections as we grow, but social media has made this possible to re-connect with our old friends and contacts.
3. A good source of entertainment
The write-ups, short clips, memes, photographs, and so much more! Social media gives you direct access to all these contents.
So, if you are tired, sick, bored, or agitated, social media is one of the things that could brighten your mood in a few minutes. Making it one of the best sources of entertainment in this age.
4. Information from around the world
Except for North Korea and some parts of China, widely used social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., are available in all parts of the world.
We can discover news and events worldwide on our feed without effort based on our interests and preferences.
5. Helps to understand the latest trend and events
As mentioned earlier, people from around the globe can freely publish their content on such platforms. This makes it easier to understand the trends of other nations as well.
6. Can be used to raise a voice for a cause
In a democracy, freedom of speech is a fundamental right. Social media has given the liberty to speak and reach out to millions of people at once.
Before the social media era, there weren’t enough platforms to raise voices and speak for good causes so that it could reach a wide range of audiences.
7. Discover and connect with new people
Social media is a large platform with a wide range of people from different ethnicity, nationality, and culture.
In this global space, social media allows us to connect and meet new people virtually from around the world.
Even if there are no people to introduce, there are various communities and groups to engage and meet new people in modern social networks.
8. A good platform for advertising
The products we see on Facebook and Instagram are very eye-catching; many people buy them without a second thought.
There were times when businesses paid a hefty amount for advertising their products on television and other forms of media.
But, on social media platforms, you have control over the cost of advertising. If you have many people following on social media, it will be easy for you to introduce and sell your products and services.
9. Helps people organize collective activity
Modern social media sites offer groups and event features on the platform. Whether a fundraising event or preparing a team for a flash mob, social media gives us an excellent opportunity to stay in touch and virtually prepare for the events.
10. Platform to showcase talent to the world
Anyone can be a star overnight, thanks to various social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
Anyone can be a content creator and show their creativity to the world through video making, singing, dancing, and many other art forms.
11. Business networking
Social media platforms like Linkedin and Facebook can be the best stage to explore for entrepreneurs and investors looking for opportunities.
One can join various business groups and communities based on the interest in connecting and networking with like-minded people.
12. Job opportunities
People looking for employment had to go through hectic newspaper advertisements looking for employees, but social media has made this a lot easier.
If a company is looking to hire, they post vacancies on social media platforms like LinkedIn, and those interested can discover easily and apply quickly.
13. The platform for learning new skills
There is a way when there is a will; therefore, if you are keen to learn about something, you will do it anyway. However, various hurdles are sure to come your way.
But today, social media has made it so simple that those who know about a topic can make a video and post it online, and the learners can quickly learn from the content.
14. Opportunities Despite the rural geographical setting
If you have access to the internet, you can access the whole world’s contents. So despite geographical hurdles, people can quickly grab opportunities in any corner of the world.
Cons of Social media
1. Isolate people from the community in which they live in
People are willing to spend hours in the virtual world of social media, then spend some time with the near and dear ones in the community or even the family. This isolation of people from the community is slowly but surely creating a big problem.
2. Lack of trustworthy information
Everyone is allowed to post everything (unless it follows the social media guidelines) due to a high chance of fake data and information. The rise in fake information creates confusion and a lack of reliable data.
3. Addictive and obsessive behavior
Anything that, when done for excessive time, can create an unhealthy obsession. Social media is fun, and people stay using this media for an inappropriately long time.
4. Online security breaching and privacy issues
Protecting our data and privacy is uncompromising these days because most of us post all our information on social media platforms. Hackers can easily access our private information.
5. Impacts kid’s education
It is believed that the attention span of humans has become 2 seconds less than the attention span of a goldfish, all thanks to social media!
These days, kids are easily distracted, and most are addicted to phones, eventually hampers their education.
6. Exposure of kids to age-inappropriate contents
Age inappropriate content is found all over social media because of the considerable variation and range of users.
Unless kids’ computers and phones are secured, there is a high chance that they get exposed to such content.
7. Facilitate the spread of terrorism and criminal activities
As mentioned earlier, many social media users are responsible for spreading different good and bad ideas.
There are accounts on social media that preach views on terrorism and criminal mindset, and millions can get influenced through these accounts.
8. Stalking on the platform or even physically
When personal data like a home address and contact information are present on the internet, it becomes straightforward for people to stalk anyone whenever they want.
9. Online Bullying
Bullying and cyber breaching laws have become very popular on social media. Such harassment has resulted in lots of teen suicide.
The comments sent by strangers on social media are pretty harsh and are filled to let the other one down, which is a severe problem on social media platforms.
10. Spread of radical views
Through social media, people with a radical mindset get the chance to share their harsh and cruel opinions. These viewpoints can affect a large mass at once and cause serious havoc.
11. Affects the physically and mentally development of kids
Kids, these days, prefer to stay inside their homes and rooms to use social media. Even when it comes to sports, many kids show no interest as they feel happy sitting and playing online virtual games rather than going to the field and playing outdoors.
12. Easy distraction and procrastination
The trend of procrastination has increased since the popularity of social media. People stay on their phones for hours just watching a few random videos on the internet leading to a severe trend of procrastination.
13. Fear of Missing out (FOMO)
FOMO is a serious problem today. Many youngsters stay on social media to an excessive extent because they fear that they may miss out on trends online. This problem has resulted in severe anxiety and stress.
14. Self-image issues, depression, and suicidal tendency
Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook have raised an alarming amount of unhealthy competition amongst users regarding who looks better and who gets more likes.
Due to this, many have developed self-image issues and a feeling that they are not enough, resulting in many cases of depression and even suicidal tendencies.
|Helps to stay in touch despite the distance|
|Reconnecting with people|
|Good source of information|
|Understand the latest trends and events|
|Platform to raise a voice|
|Discover and connect with new people|
|Excellent advertising platform|
|Organize collective activity|
|Showcase talent globally|
|Acquiring new skills|
|Opportunities despite remote setting|
|Addictive and obsessive behavior|
|Security breaching and privacy issues|
|Impacts kid’s academic dedication|
|Age inappropriate contents|
|Facilitate criminal activities|
|Spread of radical views|
|Mental anxieties for kids|
|Fear of missing out (FOMO)|
|Distraction and procrastination|
|Self-image issues, depression, and suicidal tendency|
Social media has raised an alarming and unhealthy rate of dependency amongst its users resulting in depression, FOMO, and even an increase in suicide rates.
By using these platforms correctly, many people from different backgrounds and rural locations have grabbed many opportunities from around the globe.
Therefore, social media has both pros and cons. It depends on the user as to how they use this platform.
(Last Updated on August 22, 2022)