Social media has made our lives fairly easier than they used to be. People now use social media to do everything from building relationships to simply announcing something. It is safe to say that it has completely changed and revolutionized the way we communicate with each other.
Besides, social media has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, especially ever since 2006 its growth has been unexpectedly high. Twitter and Facebook, in particular, have done much better than other social media platforms and have garnered millions of users and followers in just a few years. And with the growth of technology more and more people are coming to terms with the benefits of social media. Social media has been very beneficial for society, playing a major role in spreading awareness about social issues and political problems happening all over the world. From underdeveloped countries to developed nations, everyone is utilising the power of social media to get their message across and to work for the betterment of the people.
However, while social media has its advantages it also has its fair share of disadvantages. Just like anything in the world can be used for both good and bad reasons, social media is also being used for both positive purposes and negative purposes, simultaneously. The advantages and disadvantages of social media have been quite the debate for the past years and we have decided to give our two cents about it as well. Keep reading to find the 17 most surprising pros and cons of social media for both students, parents, businessmen, and celebrities.
The Benefits of Social Media
1. Information and Updates
Social media has to be the biggest source of news and updates right now. You can find hundreds and thousands of pages and accounts dedicated to just posting the latest news happenings all over the world. Apart from television, newspapers, radio, and other sources, social media keeps you in the loop by providing correct information supported by accurate resources and pictures. It has helped in showcasing the real face of the world globally for many years and it continues to do so.
2. Increases Connectivity
One of the most important benefits of social media is the connectivity it offers to people. It connects millions of people from different places at any time. People can share important information, exciting announcements, and build relationships just by a few swipes and touches. Social media is the key to developing worldwide connections. Plus, it creates a feeling of bond and closeness amongst people.
3. Raises Awareness
Social media also acts as a platform for people to access information to help them do innovations and achieve success. It creates awareness about topics that many people are uneducated about and enhances people’s knowledge and skills. So, if you want to be aware of anything happening anywhere at a certain moment, you need to get yourself on social media platforms.
4. Promotes Education
Social media has revolutionized the world of education. It has made teaching easier for teachers and learning easier for learners all over the world. Both experts and students love it equally because it helps them improve their skills by tapping into their creativity and knowledge. Social media provides flexibility in the learning process that is preferred by educators and learners because they get to connect with each other at their own pace of time.
5. Promotes Noble Causes
Social media is used as a medium for doing noble deeds and motivating people to take part in as many noble deeds as they can, for their own betterment, personal development, and peace, and the betterment of the people suffering around them.
For example, you can run campaigns on social media that focus on collecting funds for people who are suffering from Thalassemia or cancer and they need funds to cure their disease or to keep a roof above their head. Social media is indeed the best way to promote social welfare campaigns. Many people use it to help other people as it is the quickest and easiest way to reach out to the people that live miles away from you.
6. Enables People to Share Stuff With Others
Social media is the best way to post about your feelings and share memories with other people. You can share anything from pictures and recipes to poems, songs, artistic creations, and even a new dress that you just got. The options are endless. You can use social media to market your talent by meeting millions of other people online or you can just showcase your creativity and enhance your skills. With social media, you never know how you are paving the way for your success by sharing your artistic abilities or a talent that you have.
7. Helps With Mental Health Problems
Social media is one of the best ways to relieve mental stress. It acts as an amazing stress buster by connecting people with other people who have the same experiences that they have so they can build positive relationships with them and talk about their feelings and inner conflicts to relieve their stress.
You can find a lot of diverse support groups and communities on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that are designed to help people fight their depression and stress issues, and other mental problems that they might be going through. People can have healthy and supportive relationships with people living far away for a more positive vibe and happier mood. All in all, social media improves mental well-being if used in the right way.
8. Plays an Important Role in Building Communities
We live in a world full of diverse people that come from all types of areas and all types of ethnicities. You find different religions, different communities, different backgrounds, different ages, even different shapes and sizes on Instagram. Social media acts as a unifying factor that plays an instrumental part in the unification of people, the building of relationships, and the development of communities.
For example, entrepreneurs can join a community made for businessmen, food-loving people can join a community made for food lovers and food bloggers. So and so, gamer’s can join groups that focus on the latest games and different technologies and gadgets.
The Disadvantages of Social Media
When discussing the pros and cons of social media it is impossible not to discuss the disadvantages it has. Let’s dive into the negative aspects of social media
1. It Can Cause Distress to Someone’s Feelings
It is extremely sad to see people using social media platforms to hurt the feelings of other people. Social media platforms are full of unnecessary trolls and haters who like to leave unsolicited feedback and hurtful comments about people under their posts. Why is there the need to harm others? Is this the reason why social media exists? No, but people still use it for negative purposes.
It is surprising to see that where people are working for the good of the world and taking part in noble deeds, there are other people as well whose main goal is just to hurt others. People post on social media not to hurt others’ feelings, they just want to share their point of view, but some people don’t like their posts and instead of channeling their anger somewhere else, they decide to spread hate. This hate sometimes also ends up causing disputes in friend circles, family, and business.
2. It Impacts Social-Emotional Connections
Social media has now become a big hurdle in the way of developing social-emotional connections. From birthday wishes and congratulations to hearing important news and expressing one’s feelings, social media has restricted everything to textual content. This has resulted in a complete absence of personal connections and feelings.
If you go back in time you will notice that our ancestors used to go to each other’s place to congratulate them or wish them on their special days. However, now people find it easier to just drop a text. It is impossible to convey your feelings or understand someone else’s emotions via a text message. So, social media has rendered an absence of social-emotional connections among people.
3. Social Media Glamorizes the Use of Drugs and Alcohol
One of the most dangerous disadvantages of social media is that it glamorizes the use of harmful substances such as alcohol and drugs. People, especially the younger generation, start following other people who are famous, wealthy, and addicted to drugs. Such people also share videos and pictures of them doing drugs like weed, cocaine, and pot, and drinking alcohol. This eventually inspires the younger audience who also aspire to be like them and get addicted to alcohol and drugs as a result.
4.Reduces Quick-Witted Skills
Social media has lowered the real-time face-to-face conversations that we used to have with our friends and family. People now rely on text messages to say something to someone. This is the reason why people who use the internet have become slow, they are not quick-witted like people who used to have face-to-face conversations. Internet users take their sweet time to think and then reply to a message which, by the way, is not a good thing.
Think of all the things that are missing from our lives nowadays. There are so many elements that we lack including peace, enjoyment, friendship, fun time, love, and so much more just because we are always spending our time on social media, knowingly and unknowingly.
5. Causes an Absence of Understanding and Thoughtfulness
Understanding someone or conveying your own feelings is not possible through social media. To effectively get your message across a channel, you need to be present at a location and talk face-to-face with people. A message that you share through a video will have a different meaning and impact when you share it physically because your way of speaking and body language will also come into play, thus strengthening your point.
Social media has replaced real-time conversations. People would rather spend their whole day chatting with others online than get up to go and meet someone in person. As a result of staying behind the phone all day, people have now become incapable of understanding and conveying feelings like love, happiness, and empathy to others. Being busy in the virtual world also means that people can’t form emotional relationships anymore.
6. Hacking Can Occur Frequently
Hacking is one of the most common and popular threats of social media. People can easily hack anyone’s account and get access to their personal data. Hacking has resulted, on many occasions, in serious issues in people’s lives. From their relationships getting exposed to their social security numbers being misused, people have had to face a lot just because of hacking.
It is extremely important to keep your privacy settings up-to-date and your profiles private to avoid facing such worrisome situations in life. If you want to stay on social media and you also want to stay safe, then you will have to be smart when dealing with these problems. Apps like Instagram and Twitter allow you to keep your account private or locked for your safety and privacy.
7. Leads to a Lack of Family Quality Time
Social media is responsible for causing distances among people and hindering their relationships. Back in the day, our ancestors used to spend quality time with their friends and family. They used to sit together, have meals, celebrate important events, discuss their problems, and watch movies, etc. But if we look at ourselves now, we do not do any of that. We just spend our time behind our phone screens and do not appreciate anyone disturbing us.
This has caused distance in relationships and friendships. It has reduced the closeness and love we used to share with our relatives. We have now drifted away from everyone. There is close-to-none or very little love and closeness among us.
8. A Cause of Distracted Mind
Have you ever noticed how attached you are to your phone? What is the very first thing you do as soon as you open your eyes every morning? Do you check your messages and notifications right before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up? Well, that is one of the side effects of using social media. Social media is extremely distracting. It hampers both your important time and work. All the time that we spend scrolling on social media is nothing but precious time wasted. Everyone has become so engrossed in the race, trying to win, by attaining the most number of followers or subscribers on Instagram or YouTube respectively. So much so that people have become negligent of their strengths and capabilities to achieve something good in life.
Try to take a look at students and people working in offices. Everyone is talking less to each other and texting people and liking posts more instead of doing homework or projects, respectively. People have completely forgotten the importance of refreshment, peace of mind, and daily entertainment. Students are bunking classes, going live, commenting on posts, instead of submitting their assignments on time, or interacting with their family members even though they are living under the same roof. In conclusion, social media is not only distracting our mind but it is also reducing the close bond we used to share with our families.
9. Social Media Can Result in Death
Yes. You read that right. It is not just a made-up thing. Social media has actually caused deaths in certain cases. People often get inspired by crazy stunts that other people share on social media and they try to follow them to appear cool. For example, you can find a lot of pages dedicated to just stunt videos such as bikers riding in wells, people jumping in front of trains, or climbing towers that touch the sky. There have been a lot of cases where people had injured themselves gravely while trying to copy a video of a stunt they saw online.
One such example is of a 14-year-old kid hailing from the city of Mumbai who was trying to do stunts on a running train and that stunt ended up causing his death. And that is just not it. There are many similar examples on the internet. The only reason why youngsters try to recreate these stunts is because of the success and the number of shares certain videos have received on social media platforms.
The Final Takeaway
You cannot deny the pros and cons of social media. However, we believe that despite the benefits of social media and its surprisingly bad aspects, it is completely up to the users on how they want to use it and what they want to do with it.
Therefore, the advantages and disadvantages of social media are all dependent on our use of it. Everyone hopes that they get to enjoy their time on social media instead of becoming victims to trolls and dangerous addictions. So, use it carefully.