Social media has strongly influenced the people and the whole world. We are totally dependent on technology and social media that one cannot even imagine living without it. From making connections through worldwide connectivity, from online businesses to digital marketing, from creating brand loyalty to awareness, social media has tremendously affected our lives.
I wanna explain the advantages and disadvantages of social media to you.
We are blessed to have social media in our lives through which its easier access and updates of information. But, nobody can deny the fact that using it excessively can cause major health issues, which can have a disastrous impact on our life.
Becoming a social media addict can cause disruptions in your lifestyle, the pattern of work, and sleep patterns. Its addiction can lead to an unproductive mind by lessening the ability to focus, think, and reason out.
A social media break is required and beneficial to improve your physical and mental health. You can use social media for a fixed number of hours for work or for 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 a social media addict.
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 it might be technology or social media, if used for a longer period of time continuously it may lead to mental stress, anxiety, inability to think, and so on.
There are millions of users of social media, especially Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. According to Statista, social media is being used by 3.6 billion users, and there will be approximately 4.41 billion users by 2025.
Social media users are increasing day by day due to it is easy to access anywhere and at any time. 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.
Technology, whether it comes to laptops, gadgets, or social media each and everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Everything depends on how we utilize it. Either we are using it positively or not. It is we who have to decide about how much time we have to spend on social media so that our work doesn’t hamper. We have to set a specific time limit for the proper usage of social media because technology cannot replace anyone in our lives. If we look at social media statistics, one user is spending an average of 3 hours per day on social networks and messaging (Source: GlobalWebIndex, 2019).
There are innumerable advantages and disadvantages of social media. The list is long.
Firstly, I would like to talk about the advantages of social media in society. The pros, merits, and benefits of social media are as follows:
Advantages of Social Media
One of the most important advantages of social media is connectivity. It can connect innumerable users from any place at any time. Through social media and its connectivity, the information could be shared across the world, and building relationships with each other also become easy. It leads to worldwide connections.
Social media creates a feeling of closeness and bond amongst each other.
Social media has proved beneficial in the field of education. It makes learning easier by connecting educators and experts all over the world with the learners. It also helps in improving skills by enhancing knowledge and creativity. It creates flexibility in the learning process where learners and educators can connect at their own pace of time.
3. Information and Updates
Through social media, you could keep yourself updated with the information about any happenings in the world or in someone’s life. Apart from television, radio, or newspapers, social media helps you to provide correct information by showing the true picture of contents and resources. It helps in showcasing the real-world globally.
Social media creates awareness in the minds of people. It acts as a medium of information that helps people to do innovations and achieve success through the enhancement of skills and knowledge. Social media has made all people aware of happenings around the world.
5. Share Anything with Others
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 the creativity of a person and helps in reaching it out to millions of users. You never know by sharing your artistic creations can pave the way for your success.
6. Helps in Building Communities
We all are living in a diverse world where there exist different types of people, i.e., from different communities, religions, and diverse backgrounds. Social media helps in the unification of 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 game lovers can join communities related to games, and so on.
7. Noble Cause
Social media is used as a platform for noble deeds. For instance, providing donations or funds to the people who are suffering from cancer or thalassemia and are in need of funds to cure it, social media is the best way to promote. Many people use it to help such people who are in need of funds. It is the easiest and quickest to promote a noble cause.
8. Mental Health
Social media acts as a great stress buster or mental health reliever by connecting to various people across the world and building positive relationships with them.
There are various groups in social media, and you can come across many people who may help you to fight with 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.
Advantages of Social Media for Business
1. Brand Reputation
Social media has helped in increasing business rapport by building goodwill amongst people, and its promotion leads to an increase in sales, thereby increasing profits. Businesses get great help from the reviews and comments given by the users. Many business firms have increased revenue just because of social media and because of the likes it received from the users.
2. Brand Awareness
Social media 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 by delivering the products and services and getting feedback on the same. Different types of users will provide varied comments and reviews, which would help in improving the areas you need to work on to provide customer satisfaction.
Social media acts as a great promoter in the field of online business and marketing. It also serves as a medium to post anything which leads to promotion and paves the way to success. Social media 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.
Conclusion- Advantages of Social Media
These were some advantages of social media on society, which has proved beneficial in one’s life.
Disadvantages of Social Media
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 through social media, which results in a lack of personal feelings and connections.
Earlier people use 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 through just a text message. So, there is a lack of connection between people because of social media.
2. Decreases Quick-witted Skill
I would totally agree that social media 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 write words when they are 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 trolls, feedbacks, comments on another person’s life makes me feel very disappointed. 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 anything to hurt others, just sharing their point of view, but who’s reading the content and not agree with them may become upset or disappointed with their opinion. It causes disputes in family, friend circle, and business.
4. Present Physically Not Mentally
When I am at my friend’s place or on an outing with them, I really feel disheartened by seeing each one busy with their phones.
Nowadays, relationships have left behind because we are so much engrossed in our phones that we somewhere miss that friendship, love, and care.
It is one of the major reasons behind health issues like depression, stress, and anxiety because we are somewhere missing those real-time friends and interactions with them, which we earlier used to have.
5. Lacking Understanding and Thoughtfulness
Understanding or convey a feeling through word 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 are not able to understand the body language and the way of speaking. Words can express or hide the real meaning.
Social media has replaced a real-time face to face conversations. People are busy the whole day chatting online that 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 much busy in the virtual world that they forget everything.
Sometimes, I really feel that our forefathers were far luckier than us in this because they were away from all these distractions and were able to 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 use to spend 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.
It has caused distance in relations with family members by reducing that 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 as it is very easy nowadays to create fake accounts and fake profiles and threaten the other person.
Cyberbullying has resulted in many suicides, depression issues, etc. People have started using social media as a platform to spread fake news and rumors, which has caused an unhealthy environment in society and the country.
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 data on the social media platform and never accept friend requests from strangers.
Hacking is a very popular threat of social media where hackers can easily hack a person’s account 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 in life. 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 in life.
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 for social media as a disadvantage in our lives because sitting long hours on a couch busy using smartphones has to lead 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, walk, yoga, and much more instead of long duration usage to remain active and fit. A healthy mind and a healthy soul is the need of an hour.
You should go for an outing with family and friends. It will re-energize you.
Social media has become an addiction, especially for youth. They are spending their whole day with their smartphones. This addiction has ruined their lives leading to serious issues.
Using something is not bad, but getting addicted to it can be disastrous. People waste their productive time and energy both on it. It is time to focus on studies, but teenagers spend their productive time the whole day on social media.
Suppose, your ward is doing the same then recommend him/her social media detox.
12. Cheating and Relationship Issues
People have started using social media as a platform to find their better half and get married to them. But after a few years, it may lead to unhealthy relationships or even divorce just 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, which can distract their minds and provoke them to do something wrong.
Conclusion – Disadvantages of Social Media
Coming to a conclusion, if we look at the disadvantages of social media, excessive use can lead to poor health, weak physique, depression, stress, anxiety, and even deaths. Set a proper time for its proper utilization, which doesn’t lead to unproductive work. 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 some time in other activities. According to research, the only social network used among youth is Instagram, up from 64% to 66% in the past two years.
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, then I would suggest you take a break from it. After all, when you correctly use something, then it fails to hamper your work or life; instead, it productively enhances your life by a creative, healthy environment and inculcating positivity around.
Co-author: Manpreet Kaur, Educationist