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 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. However, with the increase in popularity, social media has come with both advantages and disadvantages. Major benefits and constraints of social media use if considered in this paper. The relevant examples from different spheres will support the argued point.
Benefits of Social Media Use
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 269). 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, hence 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 Schäfer 785).
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 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.
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 38).
Negative Impact of the Social Media
Although the social networks facilitate communications and connections among people and companies, 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. Cyberbullying 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-Vela et al. 508). 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 cyberbullying 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-Vela et al. 506). Finally, 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 them have actually worked, and people have lost huge amounts of money to fraudsters.
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 contrary, it has led to an increase in the abuse of drugs and loss of societal morals, increased fraudulent activities, and consumption of inappropriate content by students.
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