The influence and power of social media have penetrated all aspects of life. It puts all ages, backgrounds, and different statuses on a level playing field. Young and old, rich and poor, private or public personalities can equally comment on a single post. A 50-year-old politician will never know that he is exchanging comments with a 13-year-old student.
Statistics show that the top three social media platforms in the world are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This was not written in a particular order. But the combined users of these three platforms are staggering. As of February 2021, these social media sites have a combined subscriber of more than 3.5 billion. And with the rate of their growth, it is projected that by 2025 they will have a combined subscriber of about 4.4 billion people.
The impact of social media has become too deep. Its availability made everyone with a gadget access it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It connected the world in real time. It has created trending issues and produced influencers. Billions of money all over the world have been generated through social media. This is because of online businesses, digital marketing, trends, and advertisements.
No one can deny the strength of social media. It became too strong that it has become a part of our lives. But no matter how good something can be, it still has its downside. Its negative effects are overwhelming. It can cause mental health issues and relationship problems.
In everything, being equipped with the right information is very important. Even in the use of social media, one must have the right discipline and understanding. This article will discuss the good side of social media and its advantages. Then the bad side of social media and things to avoid.
1. A Connected World
No doubt that social media has brought the world closer. Regardless of time differences, people from Asia can talk to people in Europe in real time. New relationships and even marriages started in social media meetings. Old friends and classmates were reunited through social media. Even family members who got separated for years met with each other again. And it is all through social media.
2. Valuable Information
There are times when the latest news and information comes out from social media first. Either news personalities would tweet them. Or the news media themselves would post it on their Facebook pages. Even news networks would gather breaking news and articles through social media posts. If you want to know the latest on sports teams, you can go ahead and visit their social media accounts.
It also created awareness about things that happen across the globe. Technological advancements, innovations, and medical breakthroughs can be learned through social media. Information about the pandemic. The creation of vaccines and relevant information were all posted on social media.
There was a time at the start of the pandemic when people were told to stay home. For people’s health and safety, everything needed to be closed down. This includes schools and educational institutions. But as students needed to continue their studies, technology, and social media stepped in. Social media has been beneficial for online classes. Chatting between teachers and students and chatting among classmates became possible.
1. Fake News
As everybody now has a voice in social media, the dangers of spreading misinformation are possible. You need to discern and learn to research before believing what you see on social media. More so, before sharing a post, it needs to be backed up by facts and relevant information. Many well-known people have been victims of fake news. Lives were endangered. Relationships broke down, and people lost their lives and career because of fake news. You need to be wise about this.
2. Lack of Interest in Research and Other Resources
As information is available on social media, people lose their interest in fact-checking. Reading from credible websites decreased in numbers because of social media. Even the number of people who read the newspapers would settle for news on social media.
People should never forget the importance of facts, the truth, and credibility. People still need to appreciate news and not only entertainment. You still need to read books and feed your mind. Whether you are into digital self-publishing or traditional publishing, reading books is still food for the mind. Reading books is something that no one should outgrow.
If you love your children, please monitor their social media interactions. There are people on social media who are arrogant, obnoxious, or plain bullies. Their words will hurt your child, but they will never care about it. This has caused many mental health issues over the recent years.
Social media can be a very unhealthy environment most of the time. You can learn very disturbing facts about it online. Even cyberstalking and hacking are rampant on social media. So be careful where you use your social media account. Or who you share your password with.
Social media is like a double-edged sword. It can cause both good and bad. Information can be true or fake. The influence and power of social media can be for you or against you. So it is always good to enjoy social media for what it’s worth. But remember to practice precaution, wisdom, and discipline.