The Emergence of Social Media
The emergence of social media has revolutionized the world in many ways. Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube among others have continued to attract more users in the recent years. The rise in popularity of social media started after the invention of blogging. Before the invention of Facebook in 2004, there were other sites such as Six Degrees, MySpace, Friedster and Blogger although they were not very popular. With the increase in popularity, Social media sites have come with both advantages and disadvantages. This essay explores the advantages and disadvantages of social media.
Advantages and Disadvantages in Communication
Communication. Social media has basically revolutionized how individuals and businesses communicate across the globe, made business transactions more effective and improved societal interactions. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have grown to become the most popular with the users of Facebook currently estimated to be at two billion. With the use of social media, communication in the world of business has become quite easy and effective .Social media has changed how businesses do their marketing campaigns and helped them to increase their visibility. It has also helped them to maintain a customer-brand relationship and communicate with their employees (Sashi,2012) Another major benefit in the business world is that it has helped businesses to market their brand with a very little budget as compared to other conventional methods of marketing. It has also helped businesses to break down complex information into reminders and posts that are easy to be digested by their customers. The impact of this has been keeping brands more vibrant. With regard to employees, businesses are able to package information meant for their employees in ways that they attract their attention, Sometimes conventional messages may be ignored due to their lack of an attractive appeal. With personalized videos posted on social media for employees, or constant reminders posted on social media, it is possible for employees to relate more to the information being relayed. Social media does not only help employers to communicate with their employers but also the vice versa. With the use of social media, employees can easily communicate with their current or potential employees. It also helps individuals to easily connect and make friends with people irrespective of their location. This has transformed the world into a global village (Bruhn, Schoenmueller and Daniela,2012) However, there are numerous disadvantages that have emerged as a result of the use of social media in communication. For example, by allowing people to communicate and connect with anyone around the world, social media has glamorized promiscuity and drug abuse by allowing people to learn from what is posted by the people that they have connected with. Cyber bullying has also been on the rise as a result of social media. Among the negatives associated with the use of social media communication for businesses include harassment, bullying, information leaks, hacking and negative feedback (Picazo et al., 2012).
Social Media in Education
Education. Social media has not only revolutionized communication but also education. With the emergence of social media, learning has become quite easier for both teachers and students. It has by allowed them to connect and learn from other experts and professionals in their fields. For example, by connecting with an accomplished photographer, an amateur photographer can learn the art of photography in a broad way. It, therefore, gives an opportunity for people to improve their knowledge and skills without necessarily having to spend huge amounts of money. However, apart from the benefits associated with the use of social media for educational purposes, distractions can be quite common where students may shift from educational content to using social media for other purposes. Threats and cyber bullying are also a disadvantage. It is also a challenge to distinguish between correct and incorrect information posted on social media since there is no control for inappropriate content posted on social media (Picazo et al.,2012).
Seeking Help Through Social Media
Seeking help. With the invention of social media, it has become relatively easier for people in dire situations to get help. The help accorded through social media can come in monetary terms or in terms of advice. An individual's network becomes a community that can offer this help when need be. For example, an individual can post on social media platforms about a challenge of raising a medical bill to cater for their treatment or that of their loved ones and request for donations from among their network (Fuchs, 2017). On the negative side, however, social media has facilitated the increase in scams and frauds. Some people have faked illnesses or accidents in order to dupe people into contributing money for them. Some of these have actually worked and people have lost huge amounts of money to fraudsters.
In conclusion, social media can be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on how it is used. While there are those who use social media constructively, there are a bunch of others who use it fraudulently. Among the benefits associated with the use of social media networks are revolutionizing communication, facilitating seeking and provision of help as well as improving communication. On the negative side, it has led to an increase in abuse of drugs and loss of societal morals, increased fraudulent activities and consumption of inappropriate content by students.
Bruhn, Manfred, Verena Schoenmueller, and Daniela B. Schäfer. "Are social media replacing traditional media in terms of brand equity creation?." Management Research Review 35.9 (2012): 770-790.
Fuchs, Christian. Social media: A critical introduction. Sage, 2017.
Picazo-Vela, Sergio, Isis Gutiérrez-Martínez, and Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes. "Understanding risks, benefits, and strategic alternatives of social media applications in the public sector." Government information quarterly 29.4 (2012): 504-511.
Sashi, C. M. "Customer engagement, buyer-seller relationships, and social media." Management decision 50.2 (2012): 253-272.