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Pros and Cons of Social Media
  • March 10, 2024
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Pros and Cons of Social Media 

Social media is an interactive web channel fashionable for its multiple features. This platform serves as a medium for fast communication, content sharing and creation, audience engagement, and many other features. Social media is easily accessible through web-based applications that are functional on devices (smartphones and laptops). Most social media applications support the creation of specific profiles and accounts by users.   

According to Statista, there are more than 4 billion social media users globally. These statistics elucidate the numerous engagements on social platforms. Some of the top social media sites are; Facebook with Monthly Active Users of 2.96 billion, YouTube Monthly Active Users of 2.5 billion, WhatsApp, with 2 billion Monthly Active Users, and Instagram, with 2 billion Monthly Active Users. Other platforms are Pinterest, Telegram, Quora, Snapchat and LinkedIn. 

Pros and Cons of Social Media

Pros and Cons of Social Media

The above data demonstrate the number of engagements on the platforms. However, it is germane to note the pros and cons of social media. These are explained in the subheadings below. 

Pros 

   1. Simple mode of communication 

Remember when you had to use corded landline phones? Well, we imagine how difficult communicating that way might have felt back in the day. With the invention of Social media, communication has been made easier. With some internet data and having an account on either of the social media platforms, you can keep in touch with your folks across the world. This is one of the significant pros of Social media. Over a third of the world population has migrated from using Post Offices and Landlines to social media, to send and receive information. This has bridged the gaps between cultures of the world, as many people from different races can now meet, interact, and learn about other people’s way of life, as well as establish lasting bonds between humans. 

   2. Fastest means of information and news 

Since the introduction of social media, news, and other research information have become easy to distribute among users. It has helped in the circulation of urgent and latest news. And you do not necessarily have to buy Newspapers if you are not the traditional type. The benefit of Social Media in this regard is that you can easily subscribe and tailor the news and information you receive daily. 

   3. Good Platform for Global Marketing 

With the world becoming a Global Village and Internet Access, Social media help brands build social awareness, sharing and re-tweeting brand content. It offers the opportunity for businesses and companies to promote, create a market, and sell their products. Social media enables brands to embark on advertising campaigns and track results. 

 Most Social media platforms have Analytic tools to generate data on their advertisement drive. This has created a ripple effect for companies, as they can use the data given to better serve their customers and for future campaigns. Here is the future of social media marketing for your business growth.

   4. For Education Purpose 

Educators and Learners can now easily register on different platforms that facilitate Online Classes. Social Media aids learning and is serving several Educational Establishments, Colleges, and Society, as many, post-Covid have embraced Online Learning or Hybrid Classes for their pupils.  

A major contributor to this positive is YouTube, where a Plethora of Educational Videos populates the platform. A survey by Common Sense Media revealed that during the COVID-19 Pandemic, YouTube contributed to educational resources, for teens and the aged alike. 

   5. Access to paid services 

Content creators, Bloggers, and influencers now enjoy the monetization opportunities offered by these different social media platforms. Notable among them are YouTube, and quite recently X, formerly Twitter. X premium Subscribed Users with at least 15 million impressions on posts within three months are now open to being paid.

In addition, Facebook and Instagram have been rated the best platforms for generating revenue. By enabling Ads on your videos, you can hit a monthly pay of 55% of ad revenue. Another common platform that offers monetary usage is TikTok, with the TikTok creator account. 

   6. Networking 

A major contribution of Social Media is making networking at webinars and virtual conferences easier. Presently, professionals adopt Social Media platforms to network and connect which helps to reduce the strain and cost that comes with networking physically. 

Pros and Cons of Social Media

Cons 

   1. Social Media Addiction 

Social media can lead to behavioral and psychological addictions. These addictions can be a result of the constant release of dopamine when you are overly active on social media. A recent report found that social media addiction is common among teens as they spend an astounding 9 hours per day on screen.

This addiction also causes a bad effect called the ‘Zeigarnik Effect’ which gives a subconscious desire to users, making them pursue an endless task for a long period till they get satisfied. According to a recent Forbes article, people who spend limited time on Social media feel appreciably better than those who spend a longer period on it. 

 

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   2. Cyberbullying and stalking 

Social media has been a tool for harassment and frightening people, causing emotional and physical harm to the victims. Cyberbullying has become the order of the day, as many uncouth people who populate social media now post and send hate speeches, threats, and derogatory comments to other people who either do not share the same belief as they do or are from a different race or political allegiance. The attendant effect has led to many suicides (both reported and unreported), Emotional Damage, Psychological Trauma, and even social anxiety among youths.

Cyberstalking is another negative impact of social media. Here an individual stalks and harasses people online by leveling false accusations, employing blackmail, monitoring, and theft. According to a report by Stop Bullying, 25 percent of teens face bullying while up to 43 percent have been bullied online. Cyber Bullying and Cyber Stalking are regarded as a Crime in certain jurisdictions, such examples are England and Wales, where Law Enforcement Agents take active steps to arrest the situation. 

   3. Open graphic contents 

Another negative effect is that it has made teens and the prepubescent vulnerable to negative and graphic content. Commonly used social media apps like Facebook, Telegram, and X have no restriction regulating posting R-rated content which has led many to violence, suicidal thoughts, and addiction to erotica posts. In 2017 a teen named Molly Russell took her own life following the viewing of negative and suicidal content on social media. There has also been an alarming increase in the suicide rate, following the introduction of social media. 

   4. Distraction 

It causes distraction in family life, education, job places, and obscure reality. This effect is subjective to the fear of missing out. The majority of people affected by these are teens and youths. They would rather waste away their valuable time. The precious time that should have been channeled into studying and planning for the future or other productive and value-adding engagements. A nationwide survey showed that people of the age group 18-20 years are mostly affected by social media distraction

   5. False Information and Fake News

False Information and Fake News have become rampant in the era of social media, even among top journalists. It has become hard for them to verify information, rather they jump on the bandwagon to distribute the same to the public. In addition, it serves as an avenue to distort facts, with deepfake and other photoshops seeming as though they were genuine, thereby breaking the trust in society both politically and in other facets of our social lives. 

Conclusion 

 It is natural for parents to be worried about the effects of social media. But you must also consider the Benefits of Social Media to the development of your children and society. The way to effectively balance these two opposite sides is by regulation and monitoring. Keep in mind that your monitoring should be measured and utilize candid ways that will put into perspective the age of your children and how best to monitor them, so the social vice you are trying to correct does not turn you against your kids. We conclude with the recommendation of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, which states that 30 minutes per day on social media is the best way to maintain mental and physical health.

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