PROS AND CONS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Prosand Cons of Social Media
Today, most people are using at least one social media platform.Facebook, an American for-profit corporation, is one of the mostpopular social networking sites in the world. Launched on February 4,2004, it was founded by Mark Zuckerberg together with his fellowstudents at Harvard University to connect with one another. Formerly,the website membership was restricted to Harvard students only.Afterwards, it was expanded to other institutions in Canada andUnited States. As time moved on, it quickly exploded and broadenedbeyond educational institutions. In 2006, anyone with a registeredemail account and above thirteen years was allowed to sign up. Today,it is estimated to have over one billion active users, which isnearly three times the United States population. Since then, a lothas changed including integrated chat, group’s pages, among others.It has also acquired other companies such as Oculus VR, WhatsApp, andInstagram. Facebook can be accessed through the internet and mobilenetworks in the Smartphone, tablet computers, laptops, and desktop.Ones a person registers an account, he or she can create a userprofile indicating his or her name, educational background,occupation, favorite books, music, and so on. They can also add otherusers as “friends,” share digital videos, post status updates,exchange messages, and view other people’s updates. Further, usersmay create common-interest user groups categorized by school,workplace, and hobbies, among others. Users can also block unpleasantpeople. Up to date, it is free to join the site, which makes itsprofit through advertising revenue. Despite all these, Facebook hassome advantages and disadvantages.
To start with, Facebook has a positive side in making connections andsharing. It allows people to keep in touch with friends and familywho live far away. It also helps one to reconnect with oldschoolmates and keep up-to-date of whereabouts. Moreover, it hascommunicating features such as video and voice calling, Facebookchat, and poke. When used in the right manner, it can be empowering.The recent research shows that people use the Facebook platform toshare ideas, thoughts, and get feedback from other users with similarinterest (Pătruț, Pătruț, and Cmeciu, 2013). In addition,friends and families use it to share memorable photos and videos.Since it let users connect with other users from any part the world,people learn more about other cultures, customs, and traditions.These connections and sharing have a variety of positive outcomessuch as finding romance, locating assistance, sharing politicalbeliefs, receiving news in the real time, getting a career orpersonal advice, getting a new job, and much more.
Further, Facebook enhances social skills and encourages people to bemore outgoing. It allows users to keep in touch with their friends,as well as make new ones. According to Ray (2013), social mediaincreases self-esteem and help the less isolated users if used in theright manner. It empowers the shy to make new friends and share withpeople of the same interest. Ray (2013) asserts that engaging insocial media activities benefit children and adolescents by enhancingsocial interaction, communication, and technical skills. Chatting,messaging, and group conversations help the socially uncomfortablekid to communicate openly without nervousness. Social media helpsteenagers to overcome emotion issues and makes them gain confidence.They use it connect with friends, family, workmates, and other peoplein their network, as well as to share their status, memes, pictures,and documents.
Further, Facebook can be used as a platform to promote business.Although opening a new business seems to be difficult, Facebook makesit easy (Ray, 2013). It allows entrepreneurs to create a businesspage, and use it to grow their business and gain more clients. For asmall payment, they can customize their advertisement, as well as addseveral pictures for the world to see. It is also possible to settargeted audience based on age, marital status, location, among othercriteria. Ultimately, people sell and promote their product orservices thus, increasing their possibilities of making highprofits. Since Facebook has a billion users, it is the best advertingplatform for any business kind.
On the other hand, using Facebook regularly is time-consuming. Somepeople spend many hours scrolling through news feed without thinkinghow much time they are wasting, which could be used to accomplishother more important tasks. As a result, they become addicted toviewing people’s picture, commenting, playing games, and doingother stuff. In the end, it becomes a challenge to quit the habit.
Besides, Facebook is a source of cyber bullying. Users are vulnerableto attacks and hackers whose aim is to alter people’s profileinformation. This is particularly dangerous for teenagers andchildren. Although it brings them closer, it also creates arguments,confrontations, and end of friendships. According to Young (2014),most teens on Facebook have seen someone cruel or mean on the site.Some have fallen victims to internet frauds, phishing, or malwareinvading their devices. Arthur Cassidy, a media psychologist, arguesthat online bullying has a diverse impact such as suicide (Young,2014).
To conclude, Facebook is a helpful tool but can be harmful if notproperly used. It is, therefore, important for the users to takeresponsibility and use it with caution to benefit themselves.Although it is a convenient way to make connections and enhancesocial skills, it waste time and cause cyber bullying.
Pătruț, B., Pătruț, M., & Cmeciu, C. (2013). Socialmedia and the new academic environment: Pedagogical challenges.Hershey, Pa: IGI Global (701 E. Chocolate Avenue, Hershey,Pennsylvania, 17033, USA.
Ray, R. (2013). The Facebook guide to small business marketing.Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Young, A. (2014). Google and Facebook. In Brand Media Strategy(pp. 7-14). Palgrave Macmillan US.