Social media has taken the world by storm through dozens of websites, mobile apps, and other forms of technologies improving the way people communicate with each other. There are social media sites that have millions of members allowing them to share photos, videos, text messages, and more on a regular basis. There are a large number of advantages and disadvantages to using such sites that leave researchers wondering if we are better off without it. Has social media improved or damaged the way people connect with each other? There are studies that suggest it has done both.
The advantages of social media have been interesting to observe and participate in for millions of people around the world over the past few years. People have been able to communicate with people in their local neighborhood and talk to people in other countries at the same time. People have formed online communities that allowed them to get support, education, and even promote and sell products. You can connect with people from school and learn about news that is happening in other parts of the world. If you do not like talking on the phone or lack time to meet in person, you can connect via social media at any time convenient for you. You also have a list of contacts maintained for you through the social media platform you use. But, these advantages have a downside that raises ongoing concerns.
The disadvantages may hurt how people communicate with each other. Some people prefer to have face-to-face interaction with friends and loved ones. Fraud and scams have been on the rise with more people using social media as their main form of communication. Others have wondered what happens to your person information when you stop using the site or when someone is deceased. There is also the issue of knowing how much information to share and what you should avoid. Viruses tend to spread easier and faster when people are not sure what links to avoid clicking.
Others have found themselves in uncomfortable situations they wish they could undo, but unfortunately social media can still keep a record of it making it more difficult to leave in the past. Social media offers promising features that can make people think twice about how they utilize this platform. Sometimes you put yourself at risk of ruining a relationship based on what you post or what you may say to someone.
Social Network Impact on Youth
Online social media have gained astounding worldwide growth and popularity which has led to attracting attention from variety of researchers globally. Although with time all generations have come to embrace the changes social network has brought about, teenagers and young adults are the most fanatic users of these sites. According to various research studies in the field of online social networks, it has been revealed that these sites are impacting the lives of the youth greatly. When using these sites such as Twitter, Facebook or MySpace, there are both positive and negative effects on the youth.
It is inevitable to ignore the fact that nowadays social network plays an essential role in teenagers’ lives. Most youths are spending at least an hour in these popular social media sites. Generally, 1 out of 7 minutes which are spent online by most of those who can access internet is spent on Facebook according to Shea Bennett. One may ask how spending all that time on the social media sites may have a positive impact on them. Well, social media helps the youth and any other user updated with what is happening around the world, help the teenagers stay connected and interact with each other even if they are many miles apart. This strengthens their relationship even if they finished school and moved to different locations they stay connected and update one another.
In addition, social media sites have provided a platform whereby the youth can create groups and pages based on their common discipline and end up building connections and opportunities for their respective careers by updating various topics to discuss. Youth who have been interviewed they say that social media has become their lifestyle and it makes their lives easier and efficient.
While on one hand social network sites seems to bring people together and connected on the other hand it creates social isolation in regard to BBC News report. As the youth tend to spend many hours on these sites, they rarely have face-to-face interaction. According various studies, scientists’ evaluation determined that social isolation can lead to a host of emotional, psychological, physical and mental problems which include anxiety, depression and somatic complaints among many others.
Other negative effects of social networking various people suggested included encouraging poor spelling and grammar, exposing underage to online predators, allowing spread of misinformation that is perceived as fact, decreasing productivity as those who are supposed to be working spend time in the sites to chat, provide a perfect platform for cyber bullying and providing details that increase risks of identity theft.
Social networking clearly portrays both positive and negative effects on the youth. It is decision of an individual to make whether to continue using the sites or not.