The internet seems to have taken the world by storm, especially the social media platforms that have gained so much renown by now that the spectrum of demographic spending time on these platforms have multiplied multi fold. It fails to amaze me today when my three year old nephew picks up my smart phone and begins to surf through my Facebook account or through YouTube with such unparalleled dexterity that at times even gets the better of the owner of the device. The surge in the usage of the Internet and Social Media, which by now have become sort of synonymous terms, has been so humongous ever since 2006 that there has been no looking back and can be substantiated by this study conducted in the US in January 2019 which suggests the percentage of adults using Social Media has risen from a meager 8% to a towering 72%. Using Social Media is widespread across all ages and professions now and is common around the globe. It is undeniably changing the world inch by inch bringing people a lot closer in unimaginable ways that makes me think if all this is actually a boon or bane.
The pragmatic advantages and disadvantages of Social Media have always been subject to frequent debate. I’ll try to list plausible pros and cons via this article.
Let’s start with the disadvantages first so that this article ends on a positive note…
1:- Cyber-bullying – A greater percentage of kids have become casualties of cyber-bulling over the recent past. Since it is easy to make a phony record than being regulated, it has gotten very simple for anybody to create menace on the Web. Dangers, terrorizing messages and bits of gossip can be sent to the majority to make inconvenience and bedlam. Cyber-bullying stories have transformed into horrific .suicide stories
2: – Hacking – Individual information and security can undoubtedly be hacked and shared on the Web. Which can make money related misfortunes and misfortune to personal life. Something as small as getting into another’s Facebook or Twitter account and posting incendiary content can create huge levels of unrest. Therefore each client is encouraged to guard their own information and records to maintain a strategic distance from such mishaps.
3:- Enslavement – To say that Social Media is addictive is to say the least. Addiction to the net can cause unhappiness in one’s family and personal lives. The youngsters are the most influenced by the habit of the online life. They get included broadly and are in the end cut off from general life spending a good amount of time that could have been used rather productively.
4:- Misrepresentation and Tricks – Gimmicks and hazy techniques are used to lure gullible individuals on large scales into believing things that are false and before they realise it they would have been robbed or extorted.
5:- Security Issues – Security is constantly developed as and when newer threats surface which makes data vulnerable. It is a classic case where more often than not precautionary measures are taken only after casualty.
6:- Notoriety – The existence and the ease of using numerous undiscovered unregulated ways in which crimes can be committed over the Net give rise to notoriety.
7:- Duping and Relationship Issues – A great part of the demographic have utilized the online networking stage for proposals and matrimony. There have been times where couples have duped each other by indicating phony emotions eventually leading to crimes.
8:- Medical problems – The abundant utilization of social networking can negatively affect the wellbeing. Since practice is the way to get in shape, a large portion of the individuals get lethargic on account of the inordinate utilization of interpersonal interaction locales.
9:- Online life causes demise – Individuals become so obsessed in taking up activities like making videos and taking selfies hoping to get noticed by crowds via the most popular “Likes/Share/Comment” system that has been created that they end up doing stunts which could cause more harm than good. There have been cases of teenagers creating superfluous and precarious stunts on bikes, trains etc. taking such chances that leave their lives itself at risk.
10:- Glamorizes substance abuse and liquor – Chances of people getting enticed by the glamorous lifestyles of certain affluent are so high to the extent that they too want to experience the “high” not realizing how it could adversely affect their own lifestyle.
Moving onto certain definite advantages:
1:- Connectivity – The primary advantage of the internet based life is networking. Individuals from anyplace can associate with anybody and communicate, share ideas of interest, and discuss. Be it family, friends or business associates or colleagues or just about anyone, communication is made easy.
2:- Education – Internet is vast in terms of content and information. It allows for people to educate themselves regarding just about anything and everything. Information is shared by people with expertise into their subjects and a major chunk of information is available for free.
3:- Help – With the advantage of wide networking one can seek any kind of assistance or guidance from a larger audience whether it is monetary assistance or advice or health specific issues etc.
4:- Information and Updates – Internet is a powerful outlet for people to share opinions and perspectives and thus allows you to stay updated about the latest happenings and current events around the world.
5:- Promotion – With nearly half of the world’s population using social media platforms, they’re a natural place to reach new and highly targeted potential customers.
6:- Improves Business Reputation – One can use the Net to improve business sales and reputation. Positive comments and reviews about a company can help them with sales and goodwill. Since people are free to share whatever they want on the social media, it can impact positively when good words are shared.
7:- Noble Cause – Social media can also be used for the noble causes such as promoting an NGO, social welfare activities and donations for the needy people.
8:- Awareness – Social media helps create awareness and innovate the way people live thereby enhancing personal lives. From farmers to teachers, students to lawyers every individual of the society can benefit from the social media.
9:- Helps Government and Agencies Fight Crime- It aids Governments and Security Agencies in regulating criminal activities.
10:- Helps in Building Communities – Since our world has different religions and beliefs. Social media helps in building and participating in the community of own religion and believes to discuss and learn about it.
Social Media has become a necessary evil in today’s world. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages could help stay alert and avoid mishaps. As they say – Precaution is always better than cure.