Social Media also known as a new type of media which has heavily emerged with its concept and applications in the 21st century, has become readily famous. This can be verified by the fact that 2.1 billion people in the world have a social media account. These accounts were created for the people so that different and attractive communities could be formed, and connect with each other. Social Media in simple terms can be referred to the websites people use to communicate with each other or with masses at a time. It includes all the social networking sites such as Flickr, Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn and many others. The creations of the communities mentioned above were not just created to connect with each other in a virtual world but so that they could share information, pictures, video and memories.
When Social Media came forward with its idea and concept, it opened up many ways in which people could use it by carrying along tones of advantages. Through the active and continuous use of social media, people tend to stay connected to their friends and family in a fast changing world. One is kept updated to the life events and day to day activities of everyone at the same time. It proves to be an invaluable promotional tool. Not only people but companies, organizations and governments use social media as a tool which can be used to market their products. Through social media, governments have been able to advertise the countries scenic beauty and attract a number of tourists. As a result causing an economic growth or creating a positive balance of trade. These kinds of countries include Malaysia, Singapore etc.
Companies and organizations use social media to advertise job openings and are able to receive a pool of applications from all the over the world finding the most talented individual for the job. Information spreads incredibly fast. This medium is used by millions to spread useful and important information. It only takes mere seconds for the information to spread amongst masses. ‘Breaking News’, events to create awareness can easily be shared and spread among masses within very few minutes. Furthermore, social media helps to catch and penalize criminals. Pictures and details of people indulged in illegal trade etc. can be posted which can easily result in awareness as well as the law enforcement agencies taking action against them to prevent it from happening ever again. It can also be used by law enforcement agencies by posting about criminals and catching them with no trouble by the help of people.
It also facilitates open communication which leads to information discovery and aids its quick delivery. People are able to find communities which they join and are able to learn new and valuable knowledge and information aiding them in their lives and increasing their knowledge. They are able to discuss their problems more openly, sometimes getting a more rational and reasonable explanation to them. Like these advantages there are numerous other advantages benefiting millions of people around.
With a positive side to a thing there is always its negative side as well which is being carried along. In this case, it refers to the disadvantages social media carries with it. Social Media opens up the possibility for hackers to commit fraud, cyber crimes, launch spam and virus attack. They post videos or a link to a supposed website and the instance that it is clicked, the hacker receives all the information and are easily able to hack the computer further, violating the rules of privacy and introducing viruses which later destroys all the data. It requires a constant connection and active participation to maintain ones presence. Once someone has created an account or a profile they have to constantly use it. There is no way to leave it idle, it has to be used to show presence and liveliness of the user otherwise, the account is suspended in which it needs to be created again by completing the whole procedure yet once again.
Moreover, it is a big waste of precious time. As soon as a person begins using social media, unknowingly they spent hours and hours on it without acknowledging the useful and meaningful time being wasted. According to Global Web Index poll, around 28% of the time is spent on social networks. Social media violates privacy by every means. There is no privacy provided to users on social media instead, the information is made public to major corporations by invading the user’s privacy and allowing access to all the private information. According to a calculated estimate, Facebook earned $16 Billion dollar in ad revenue.
By taking under considerations all the pros and cons of social media and its uses, there is only one conclusion that can be deduced. It completely depends on the usage of the user. If the user decided to adhere to the positive side then the negative effect will be minimal and only benefits will be achieved but if the user decides to look only on the negative side then the positive side can easily be neglected solely causing damage.