Social media has become an indispensable part of our lives that it is tough to imagine life without social platforms these days. Smartphones have revolutionized the social media. According to a survey by eMarketer, the number of smartphones’ users has surpassed the 2 billion mark in 2016. Smartphones have made it easier to access the social networking sites, as a number of applications can be installed on them and used. The world has come closer, and everything is just a click away. Now a person sitting in one part of the world can easily find out how his friends are doing in another part of the world. Telegrams, letters, National and ISD calls have been replaced by Skype, BBM, Hangouts, etc. These apps not only allow people to make long distance calls but also enable them to see their friends and family while talking through video chat facility.
The internet has surely made our lives easier, and the social media has allowed us to connect with our friends and relatives in a better way. The advantages of social media cannot be neglected, as it has helped people to stay connected, but despite all the benefits the disadvantages of social media cannot be ignored. Social media networking has given rise to some concerning issues; cyber crimes have been increased rapidly. Youth is the most affected amongst all, as young people are the most active audience of social networking sites. Youngblood is occupied with the idea of social networking that most of their productive time is spent on posting pictures, updating status on social networking sites. In this post, we shall take on social media with a holistic approach.
- Stay Connected- Social media networking sites provide a common platform to people to stay connected to their friends and relatives. Life has become so fast that it is almost impossible to take out time to meet people, in such time social media is a saving grace as it let others know what is happening in their lives. Facebook is the most widely used social media network where people can share pictures and update their statuses. Amongst all the active Facebook users, 76% visit the site daily.
- Good educational source- Social networking sites can be used in numerous ways, and different individuals can use these websites according to their interests and preferences. A student can find fellow students having similar interests, and they can form their groups where like-minded people can connect and share their opinions. 59% of the students who access social networking sites have used these sites to discuss educational topics with others.
- A great source of employment- Social media has not only provided a platform for discussion and exchange of information, but it is a great source of employment as well. Not only social media jobs have been generated, but since social networking sites have wider accessibility, so the recruiters use this medium to identify and attract new talent. LinkedIn, which has more than 450 million user profiles is a social networking site created for people to connect with each other for professional purposes.
- New social connections- Social networking sites not only help in catching up with our friends and relatives but also provide a great platform to meet new people. Since there are millions of active users, an individual can connect with others very easily if the other person allows them to accept their invitation to connect. New friendships blossom on these networking sites, some of them even go to higher levels, and many people have found their life partners and soul mates on these sites as well.
- Loss of Privacy- Posting every update on social networking sites all the time is a bad idea. Earlier, people have control over their lives, but social media has taken away that control from them. Posting every little detail has become a trend and youngsters at time post even the sensitive information that may be used against them. More than 75% of the time spent on social media platforms happens over mobile phones.
- Distraction- Social networking sites are so tempting that at times it becomes hard to resist and students spend more time than required on such sites, which eventually result in loss of productivity and waste of time. 35% of the Instagram users have admitted using the application several times during a day. More than 400 million pictures are shared in one day on Snapchat.
- Incidents of cyber bullying- Bullying has gone to another level with the arrival of social media. Stalking and pestering have become common as some anti-social elements use abuse social networking sites and use these sites to bully others. Cybercrime rate has also gone up with the increase in the use of social media platforms.
- Causes loss of personal interaction- Though social media has brought the world closer, at the same time it has created a lot of distances between people sitting in adjacent rooms. Instances have been witnessed where every family member is busy using their phones that they have no time to interact with those who are sitting next to them.
Excess of everything is bad. Judicious use of social media is not immoral as it helps one stay connected with what is happening around the world. Spending more than required time on these sites, or hopping social networking sites while working will be of no use as it will decrease your efficiency and productivity. With power comes responsibility, if we have got power to remove the obstacles it has become our duty to ensure that the power that has been given to use is not misused at any cost.
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