Social media has strongly influenced the people and the whole world. We are totally dependent on technology and social media, which one cannot even imagine living without. Social media has tremendously affected our lives, from making connections through worldwide connectivity, from online businesses to digital marketing, from creating brand loyalty to awareness. I wanna explain the advantages and disadvantages of social media to you.
We are blessed to have social media in our lives, making accessing and updating information easier. But nobody can deny that using it excessively can cause major health issues, which can have a disastrous impact on our lives.
Becoming a social media addict can cause disruptions in your lifestyle, work, and sleep patterns. Its addiction can lead to an unproductive mind by lessening the ability to focus, think, and reason.
A social media break is required and beneficial to improve your physical and mental health. You can limit social media to a fixed number of work hours or a fun time.
You have to plan accordingly, and it is up to you how you use it positively so that you don’t totally rely on it or become addicted to social media.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media
In today’s world, technology, including social media, has strongly influenced a person’s life. What if there were no gadgets and no social media? I personally agree that technology has multiple uses, but, at the same time, if used excessively, it strongly affects a person’s life. Anything, whether technology or social media, if used for a longer period continuously, may lead to mental stress, anxiety, inability to think, and so on.
Social media usage has grown over time. Social media sites like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have millions of users. According to Statista, there are 4.26 billion social media users, which will increase to approximately 6 billion by 2027.
Social media users are increasing daily due to easy access anywhere and anytime. According to an Emarketer report published in 2019, around 90.4% of Millenials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers were using social media in the United States.
We have seen a deep impact of social media on our lives. Whether it comes to laptops, gadgets, or social media, technology has advantages and disadvantages. Everything depends on how we utilize it. Whether we use it positively, we must decide how much time on social media we spend so our work doesn’t get hampered. We have to set a specific time limit for the proper usage of social media because technology cannot replace anyone in our lives. Regarding social media statistics, one user spends 147 minutes daily on social networking sites and messaging (Source: Statista.com).
There are innumerable pros and cons of social media. The list is long. We have started our article with the top 10 advantages and disadvantages of social media; with your support, the number has reached 27.
Firstly, I would like to talk about the several advantages of social media in society. The pros, merits, and benefits of social media are as follows:
Advantages of Social Media
Social media has revolutionized the way we want to change the world.
1. Connect People
One of the most important advantages of social media is connectivity. It can connect innumerable people from any place at any time. Information can be shared worldwide through social media and its connectivity, and building relationships with each other also becomes easy. It leads to worldwide connections. You can leverage social media to connect with anybody, friends, colleagues, neighbors, celebrities, professionals, etc. Social media creates a feeling of closeness and bond amongst each other.
2. Benefits to Education
Social media has proved beneficial in the field of education. It makes learning easier by connecting educators and experts worldwide with learners. Social media is a great way to improve skills by enhancing knowledge and creativity. It creates flexibility in the learning process where learners and educators can connect at their own pace.
Social media is an excellent way to connect with classmates and peers to discuss and debate your school assignments. Generally, they do classroom chitchat on social media, but you can also take homework help from them.
3. Latest Information and Updates
Social media lets you keep yourself updated about any happenings in the world or someone’s life. Besides television, radio, or newspapers, social media helps you provide correct information by showing the true picture of contents and resources. Nowadays, your favorite news agencies and reporters have their social media pages. You can follow them to stay updated. It helps in showcasing the real world globally.
4. Awareness – Know New Things
Social media creates awareness in the minds of people. It acts as a medium to share information that helps people innovate and achieve success by enhancing skills and knowledge. Social media has made everyone aware of different creative things in the world.
5. Support Noble Causes
Social media is used as a platform for noble deeds. For instance, someone can donate or fund people suffering from cancer or thalassemia who need funds to cure it. Social media is the best way to promote such causes. Social media users can help those who need funds for education, medical treatment, equality, etc. NGOs dedicated to social work run donation campaigns on it. Social networking platforms are the easiest and quickest to promote a noble cause.
6. Share Your Creativity
Social media is the best platform to post anything you feel like. Be it a song, a poem, an artistic creation, a tempting dessert recipe, and much more. It enhances and showcases a person’s creativity and helps reach millions of users. You never know that sharing your artistic creations can pave the way for success.
7. Build or Join Communities
We all live in a diverse world with different types of people, i.e., from different communities, religions, and backgrounds. Social media helps unify people by connecting them through the same platform. It helps to build relationships among communities by creating a feeling of oneness. For instance, foodies can join the food blogger community, and gamers can join communities related to games, etc.
8. Improves Mental Health
Social media acts as a great stress buster or mental health reliever by connecting to various people worldwide and building positive relationships with them.
There are various groups on social media, and you can come across many people who may help you to fight stress issues, depression, and isolation. It can build healthy relations with people by generating positive vibes and a happier mood. It improves mental well-being.
9. Drive Traffic to Your Blog or Website
Bloggers and vloggers can build their profiles, pages, and groups on various social media platforms where their audience spends time and stays online.
After publishing their blog post or video, they can share the link with their community and fans. It will bring new visitors, i.e., traffic to your website, blog, or YouTube video. Also, help you grow your traffic and subscribers.
This way, you can grow your blog and business organically.
10. Benefits to Government
Not only people but also government can leverage social media presence.
Government departments and their officials also use social media. They have their Twitter and other social media accounts. They make announcements through their official and verified accounts. It has been a trusted communication mode between the government and the public.
You can report a problem or crime in your area to the police and tag or mention the department and minister. This way, they can’t deny you never reported to issue to them. They will address the issue as soon as possible. This communication between the public and the government also saves money, time, and resources.
The government creates awareness about its projects and schemes through social media because most people use it. As a result, anyone can search for the right information directly from the government instead of locals or new agencies.
Always confirm you read the news on an authentic page, not on false social media accounts.
Advantages of Social Media for Business
There are numerous social media advantages over traditional marketing for businesses. They can now use TikTok Ads, Twitter Ads, Meta Business Suite, etc., to reach audiences interested in their products and services. Here’s how you can utilize social media for your business.
1. Brand Reputation
Social media marketing has helped increase business rapport by building goodwill amongst people, and its promotion leads to increased sales, thereby increasing profits. Businesses get great help from the reviews and comments given by users. Many business firms have increased revenue because of social media and the likes it received from users.
2. Brand Awareness
Social media marketing helps in increasing brand awareness. Eye-catching products and content definitely steal the attention of users, through which brand visibility is increased, leading to an increase in awareness by making consumers aware of certain products and services.
3. Customer Interaction
Social media helps in improving customer interaction after delivering products and services and getting feedback on the same. Different types of users will provide varied comments and reviews, which would help improve the areas you need to work on to provide customer satisfaction.
Social media allows you to promote and market your business. You can create social media posts or run paid advertising, leading to promotion and paving the way to success. Social media advertising helps in promoting business profitably and connecting with the users in the right way. It builds rapport among users and creates goodwill for your business, which is essential for the growth of any business.
These were some advantages of social media in society, which have proved beneficial in one’s life.
Disadvantages of Social Media
People who use social media excessively have noticed the following adverse effects:
1. Affects Social-Emotional Connection
Social media has become a hindrance in the way of social-emotional connection. Be it the wishes on special days or expressing one’s feelings. Everything has been limited to textual content on social media, which results in a lack of personal feelings and connections.
Earlier, people used to visit one’s place to wish them on special days, but now they find it easier to send a text message. A person’s emotions and feelings cannot be felt just by text. So, there is a lack of connection between people because of social media.
2. Decreases Quick-witted Skill
I agree that social media also has decreased real-time face-to-face conversations with our buddies. People have started relying on text messages by simply typing a text.
Internet users are not quick-witted; they take time to think and then reply. It has a terrible impact on their mental health.
Can you imagine which element is missing nowadays? The element of love, friendship, enjoyment, fun time, peace, and much more is being missed out knowingly or unknowingly because of the usage of social media constantly.
They can express the same feeling using written words in front of others.
3. Causing Distress to Someone’s Feelings
I really feel sad when I see people using social media as a platform to hurt the other person. I wonder why it is so.
The unnecessary feedback, comments, and trolls on another person’s life disappoint me. What is the need to do all this? Is social media for all this? I don’t think so. You can use it for a noble deed instead of hurting someone or giving them pain and suffering.
Some people are not posting on social media to hurt others, just sharing their point of view, but those reading the content and disagreeing may become upset or disappointed with their opinion. It causes disputes in family, friend circles, and business.
4. Present Physically, Not Mentally
When I am at my friend’s place or on an outing with them, I feel disheartened seeing each one busy with their phones.
Nowadays, relationships have been left behind because we are so engrossed in our phones that we miss that friendship, love, and care.
It is one of the major reasons behind health issues like depression, stress, and anxiety because we are missing those real-time friends and interactions with them that we used to have.
5. Lacking Understanding and Thoughtfulness
Understanding or conveying a feeling through words or even a voice ain’t possible. You need to be in front of someone to understand what they want to say and feel about you. The same words can communicate a different meaning until you cannot understand the body language and the way of speaking. Words can express or hide the real meaning.
Social media has replaced real-time face-to-face conversations. People are busy the whole day chatting online, and when they meet the person in real-time, they are unable to understand the feelings, emotions, love, connection with each other, etc., which means that they are so busy in the virtual world that they forget everything.
Sometimes, I feel that our forefathers were luckier than us because they were away from all these distractions and could spend quality time with their loved ones and family.
6. Lack of Family Quality Time
I would personally agree to it that social media has caused distance in relationships.
Earlier, people spent quality time with their family members by sitting together, having meals together, watching movies, having celebrations, and discussing any issues with each other. But now, we love to spend time alone with just our phones, and we need no one to disturb us.
It has caused distance between family members by reducing love and closeness.
The Children’s Hospital Colorado wrote a guide on how to spend quality time with your family in their parenting section.
In the past few years, many people, especially children, have become victims of cyberbullying. People have started using social media platforms to create fake accounts to stalk someone, which has caused an unhealthy environment in society and the country. Nowadays, creating fake accounts and profiles to bully, troll, stalk, or threaten someone is easy.
Most people don’t know how to trace or spot fake accounts. Thus, the nuisance bullies others, mocks them, and sends them derogatory photographs and videos. Thus, cyberbullying has resulted in many suicides, depression issues, etc.
Perhaps, you are aware of cyberstalking, i.e., Facebook stalking, Instagram stalking, and WhatsApp stalking. Cyberstalking is becoming the biggest threat. You should not share your personal information on social media platforms and never accept friend requests from strangers.
You may be interested to read about the negative effects of social media on teenagers.
Hacking is a serious threat; hackers can easily hack a person’s social media handle and data. It has resulted in serious issues in one’s life.
I suggest everyone keep their privacy settings updated and their profile locked to avoid such circumstances. You will have to become smart to deal with these situations.
9. Distracted Mind
Whenever you wake up or go off to sleep, you have an impulse to check your phone for notifications and messages. Social media has caused distractions in the sense that it hampers our work and time both. We are simply wasting our time on it.
Everyone is busy in the race to attain the maximum number of followers on Facebook or Instagram, leaving behind their capabilities and strength to achieve something.
People are talking less and texting more instead of doing important work. They forget about the importance of daily entertainment, refreshment, and peace of mind, students are not submitting assignments on time, and family members are not getting interacted with each other while living in the same home. It finally reduces family closeness.
10. Facilitates Laziness
It is one of the major reasons social media is a disadvantage in our lives because sitting long hours on a couch and being busy using smartphones has led to various health issues like fatigue, blood pressure, obesity, stress, depression, etc.
People have become lazy due to technology usage. I would suggest doing some physical activities like exercise, walking, yoga, and much more instead of long-duration usage to remain active and fit. A healthy mind and soul are the need of an hour.
You should go for an outing with family and friends. It will re-energize you.
Social media is highly addictive and has become an addiction, especially for youth. They are spending their whole day with their smartphones. This social media addiction has ruined their lives leading to serious issues.
Using something is not bad, but getting addicted can be disastrous. People waste their productive time and energy both on it. It is time to focus on their studies, but teenagers spend their productive time on social media all day.
If your ward is doing the same, we recommend social media detox.
12. Cheating and Relationship Issues
People have started searching for their better halves via social media and getting married to them. But after a few years, it may lead to unhealthy relationships or even divorce because they have given incorrect information about each other. It can ruin their whole life by cheating on each other. It can also lead to infatuation among teens, distracting their minds and provoking them to do something wrong.
Excessive use of social media platforms can lead to poor health, weak physique, depression, stress, anxiety, and even death. Set a proper time for its utilization, which doesn’t lead to unproductive work. You can eliminate these problems by reducing the number of hours on social media. You can get rid of these problems. Instead of using social media for hours, you can spend time on other activities. According to research, the only social media network used among youth is Instagram, up from 64% to 66% in the past two years.
13. Fake News
Many times, anti-social elements have spread fake news and information on social media. Sometimes it became viral and reached millions due to excessive usage of social media platforms around the globe. We can’t close our eyes on this side of social media.
General people interested in this news forward it to others without any verification. This way, fake news spreads from one to another, on and on. You can easily see such things on WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Government is very strict about creating false social media posts and spreading them. Beware, never forward a message without confirming the news.
The advantages and disadvantages of social media can’t be denied. It is fully up to the users how they use it smartly and actively. I hope everybody would like to get the benefits derived from social media, and no one would like to become a victim of it by continuously addicting to it. Now, it is your task to think and decide whether social media is good or bad for you. And if you feel that social media is coming in between your personal space, I suggest you take a break from it. After all, when you correctly use something, it fails to hamper your work or life; instead, it productively enhances your life through a creative, healthy environment and inculcates positivity.
Co-author: Manpreet Kaur, Educationist