Social Media Essay
In today’s digital era, one thing that has completely revolutionized the world is ‘Social Media’. Social media involves digital apps and tools that allow people to share their ideas with other people. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc are all part of social media. It is with the rise and deep infusion of social media that our world has become a global village. Social media has greatly influenced the lives of people. Its impacts on the masses are both positive and negative. Yet, social media in itself is neither good nor bad; rather it is the use that makes social media either good or bad. In this essay, we will discuss the pros and cons of the use of social media.
Pros of Social Media
The first advantage of social media is global virtual connectivity. Social media has made this world a global village in the true sense. The whole world is virtually connected through various digital apps and platforms. Today, people are able to share their ideas, stories, pictures, videos, in fact, any sort of content with the entire world with just a single click. Social media has brought unity to diversity. People from different cultural and educational backgrounds are able to interact with each other.
Furthermore, with the help of social media, it is easier to meet new people and make friends. Recently, when the whole world was locked down during the pandemic, social media served as a relief. Though physically locked down, people remained well connected with the rest of the world. Families remained well in reach throughout the lockdown episode. Thus, without social media, many hundreds and thousands of people might have gone into loneliness and depression.
Access to Information
The second most important benefit of social media is the swift flow of information across the world. It is a common observation that people are more relying on social media than television for news. Any latest incident or development in any corner of the world gets viral throughout the world within seconds. The leaders of different countries and organizations are more vocal on Twitter than anywhere else. There is a direct interaction between leaders and the public on social media.
Again, this aspect was more highlighted during the pandemic lockdown when people were relying on Twitter and Facebook for pandemic related latest updates. Moreover, the official pages of every news outlet are accessible to all and sundry. Thus, any news from domestic and foreign fronts is quickly disseminated with the help of social media.
The third impact of social media is the improvement in governance. In the past, the wide gap between those in power and those governed had always resulted in poor governance. As the ordinary masses couldn’t find any medium to interact directly with the rulers, the rulers had thus remained unaware of the problems of people at the grass-root level.
But, with the introduction of social media at all levels, the gap between rulers and those ruled vanished. Today, people are vocal about their problems on social media which usually results in swift action from concerned authorities. Thus, governance structures have considerably improved now. Moreover, corruption cases are highlighted more frequently today due to social media. Thus, social media has given people a medium to highlight various social issues.
Apart from this, today leaders are interacting with the public through social media. Every day we see tweets by world leaders, countries’ prime ministers, chairmen of different organizations, etc sharing valuable updates and information about the latest developments with the public. Apart from it, authorities at the local administrative level also frequently interact with the masses via social media. People tend to report issues via Twitter and authorities take action. Thus, social media has created a direct connection between rulers and people.
Another major advantage of social media is the growth of businesses and e-commerce. Today, it became easier for a businessman to introduce his business and products to thousands of people on social media. E-commerce has considerably grown due to social media. Today, entrepreneurs employ social media marketing tactics to boost their businesses. Every single day, we come across multiple advertisements running on our home page on social media platforms. Thus, social media has created a healthy business atmosphere and is helping a plethora of businesses to flourish overnights.
Awareness in People
Another major advantage of social media is increasing awareness among the masses. It is through social media that people are getting aware of their rights. They are learning about democratic norms and values. They are able to speak against the corrupt practices of leaders. People are becoming aware of the outside world. They are learning from the customs, culture, and traditions of the civilized nations of the world. In short, social media has changed the thinking patterns and lifestyle of a common man.
Improved Women Conditions
Moreover, social media has also given a tremendous boost to feminist movements. Women are more vocal about their rights. Issues pertaining to women and girls are easily highlighted on social media platforms. Public harassment, threats, and bullying cases are being reported more frequently and perpetrators are being booked without delay.
For example, a boy Ibsham Zahid from Lahore, Pakistan has been arrested because he was bullying and threatening a young girl. That girl spoke up for justice on social media which resulted in swift action. Thus, social media has empowered women to speak for their rights.
Source of Entertainment
Last but not least, social media is one of the best sources of entertainment. It can provide us a quality time pass. Surfing through home feeds, one finds plenty of interesting posts, photos, videos, and other related content that would boost the mood. Moreover, on social media, one can talk to other people or comment on different posts. In short, it is fun to interact with the rest of the world in virtual space.
Having discussed some pros of social media, it is pertinent to shed light on some disadvantages or cons too. The unregulated use of social media can potentially lead to grave consequences.
Cons of Social Media
Wastage of Time
Wastage of time and energy is a major disadvantage of social media. Many people, particularly children squander hours in a day on social media uselessly which ultimately impacts their studies and academic performance. Furthermore, one can easily become addicted to social media. Thus, addiction leads to a lack of productivity and loss of energy and time.
Moreover, children are more vulnerable to social media. They can become easy prey to pedophiles which often leads to child pornography. Thus, parents must keep an eye on children’s activities on the internet.
Furthermore, identity theft is another major issue associated with social media. Hackers use multiple tactics to steal the personal identity of people and then use those details to commit fraud like hacking bank accounts, etc.
Lastly, cyber-bullying is a growing concern in the social media space. Many naïve minds fall prey to it.
To cap it all, social media has brought great changes to society. It has completely revolutionized the world. But, with major advantages, comes a few drawbacks too. But this dark side can be tackled by raising awareness among the masses.
There is a need to make stringent laws to curb cyber-bullying, identity theft, and other social media-related issues. But, social media in itself is neither good nor bad. The way we use it makes it either of the two. We must learn the positive use of social media to reap multiple advantages.
Note: Do not make headings in the essay. Headings in this essay are for better understanding.