Social Media: A Blessing or a Curse?
Course Code: Full Module
Social Media: A Blessing or a Curse?
Thanks to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, people can now communicate with one another, make new friends, reconnect with old acquaintances, exchange ideas, and share photographs, among other things. Social media today has a significant influence on every aspect of our lives, and this impact is felt everywhere. Youth throughout the globe have profited enormously from social networks’ accessibility and wealth of knowledge. Cinelli et al. (2022) point that people of all ages would not have been able to participate in the wide range of activities that are now possible because of the platform that these social networking sites give. Many individuals are making new friends, while others are relocating their old connections and keeping in contact with them. Social media has reached its full potential in recent years, and this technology has two sides much like a coin. More people will become aware of both its benefits and drawbacks as a consequence of its growth as its influence spreads (Coleman, Pettit, & Buning, 2018). Before the discovery of social media, life was significantly different, and it has changed significantly through the years. The purpose of this essay is to present an argument on social media being a blessing noting that although social networks may be linked to problems like addiction, fraud, and cyberbullying, the technology and innovation it brings has benefited modern society by fostering greater connectivity, introducing online learning, and boosting business reputations.
Increasing people’s sense of closeness and fostering connectivity is among the primary advantages of utilizing social media. People from all around the world are able to speak with one another in a manner that brings closeness and attains the warmth of keeping constant touch. The introduction of social networking on the internet has been a blessing since it has aided in reducing barriers that various religions and belief systems strive to build in the society. In my opinion, I find different faiths and belief systems as a way to separate people and impose boundaries in our society. This technology has, in some ways, helped to the spread of peace among people of a wide variety of cultures, religious traditions, and philosophical orientations (Tlili et al., 2022). It has leveled the playing field so that everyone on one platform is on an equal footing, which has reduced the necessity for such inequities and eliminated the need for such inequalities. This is where the true blessing of social media abides. With social media and the online communities, one does not have to worry about being judged solely on the basis of they portray to be as a person, making people free to be themselves, talk to others, and share thoughts with the whole world.
Similar to the above blessing on connectivity, the use of social networking sites has been of tremendous assistance to the world’s educational system. The proliferation of online educational opportunities and the accessibility of a wide variety of study aids have made it possible for any student to rapidly advance their education. From a personal experience, I found out that one may simply raise their level of knowledge whenever they want and from anywhere in the world by viewing free educational or instructional content on social networking websites such as YouTube and making use of low-cost services. Qazi et al. (2021) note that social media enables better information proliferation by allowing free content to reach millions. This is true regardless of where a person is located or their background. On social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, there are communities full of users who are entirely committed to lending a helping hand to users who are struggling with issues related to their professional or academic lives. This is another significant benefit of participating in social networking. People from all over the world have offered their time to hear what you have to say and attempt to understand the gravity of the situation you are in as best they can.
The usage of social media has the potential to improve a company’s reputation in the public eye as well as its bottom line financially. Baccarella et al. (2018) assert that business are now able to engage with their customers and watch what others are saying about their business thanks to social media’s dual-purpose capabilities. There are many potential applications for social networking, including mobile apps, promotional freebies, and advertising. A business may increase customer loyalty, collect feedback from existing customers, and attract new customers all via the use of social media. The image below shows an example of consumer data that may be used by businesses to improve their sales and interactions with potential customers. In addition, social media helps broaden a company’s market reach, particularly in foreign markets, enables companies to do market research, and reduces the amount of money spent on marketing (Kaur, & Kumar, 2021). For example, social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are being used more often by businesses in order to raise income via the construction of customer networks and advertising, to market a brand, and to share ideas in order to enhance the manner in which business is carried out. It is possible for a business to enhance its search engine position, boost the amount of visitors to its website, and acquire qualified staff by using websites such as LinkedIn and Quora. Lastly, one of the ways in which companies may benefit from social media is by using it as a tool for monitoring their rivals’ activities. Ultimately, social media has really benefited business.
Image 1: Monthly active social media users on selected platforms (Sourced from: Statista, 2022)
While it is true that social media has many benefits, some of which are highlighted above, it also has a number of disadvantages. One of the curses of social media and related networking activities is the constant cyberbullying cases whenever people interact. Before the advent of social media, everything, even bullying, was much easier to do. Because of the proliferation of the internet, a whole new kind of bullying has emerged; cyberbullying (Dutta, De, & Chandan, 2017). It could be direct through making other people’s online presence miserable using personal accounts, or indirectly through the use of fake social media accounts. Sending communications that include threats or intimidation, as well as spreading rumors and false information, are all examples of cyberbullying. The act of establishing a phony account for the purpose of making fun of another person constitutes cyberbullying. Some users create phony social media accounts that allow them to conduct all of their online activities without risking anybody discovering their true identity. The internet has made it much simpler to engage in behavior like this one, thus increasing cyberbullying.
One of the drawbacks of social media is that it might potentially change people’s behaviors, which is another disadvantage. Some people believe that using social networking sites makes it more difficult to concentrate, which in turn makes it more difficult to get things done. In addition, preteens, teenagers, and young adults often abuse social media and exploit it in an attempt to gain popularity for themselves. Even while the term social media is often used to refer to events that bring people together, it does not seem that this is one of the most important purposes that social media serves. Users of social networking sites like Facebook abuse the system and end up giving these connections false traits by adding as many so-called “friends” as they possibly can, which may number in the thousands in certain cases (Cinelli et al., 2022). Because of how casual and inconsequential these interactions are, many people don’t even know some of the people they consider to be their “friends.” These connections, which are just hurting each other more, have no purpose other than to give the impression that you are closer to other people. It is no longer common practice to use social media platforms in the manner in which they were first conceived: namely, as efficient methods by which to make new acquaintances and establish relationships. This is due to the fact that they have been mistreated throughout their lives. The fact that many people now use social media for constructive reasons is, however, the single most important contribution that social media has made to the world as it exists now.
On social networking platforms, there have been several reports of frauds and scams, in which individuals have been tricked into believing something or purchasing something by other users, only to subsequently find out that what they first believed to be true was fake. Because there is such a large number of influencers and bloggers on Facebook and Instagram, it may be difficult to differentiate between those who provide genuine connection and those who are merely interested in seeming credible via the use of flashy online personas. In a similar vein, the use of social media has the potential to become somewhat addicted (Qazi et al., 2021). This aspect of technology is incredibly detrimental and dreadful to people’s life since it may lead to addiction. These websites have mostly targeted adolescents, encouraging them to become too involved in their activities to the point where they eventually cut themselves off from the rest of society. In spite of the fact that their very survival relies on it, people chose to squander their time on pointless endeavors and activities, such as social networking sites, rather than concentrating on useful projects and endeavors that may benefit both themselves and society as a whole. They are literally fighting for their life.
In an attempt to sum up the argument. social media is both a curse and a blessing, much like fire is crucial for human survival yet lethal when used improperly. In another example, water is necessary in supporting human life but it can cause harm. In other words, social media usage in unpredictable because one cannot accurately predict what how users interact or the information they share. It is quite improbable that there will ever be any techniques that would successfully eradicate social media disadvantages as mentioned above. Even though it is a relatively new kind of technology, its effects are not something that can be ignored. Because of the same issue, the companies that administer social media platforms need to devote more effort to monitoring and regulating such sites. In addition, it is essential for users to have self-control in order to avoid the risks of misusing social media or using it in an incorrect manner. This may be accomplished by exercising self-control. As such, social media platforms may be both a scourge and a benefit in today’s world. It is entirely up to its users to decide whether it is a blessing or a curse. As humans, we have the option of abusing Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube’s power or using TikTok, Twitter, or WhatsApp to make a difference in the world. It is up to us to choose social media’s place in our lives; the differences between individual actions may be little, but the outcome differs considerably.
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Coleman, B. C., Pettit, S. K., & Buning, M. M. (2018). Social media use in higher education: do members of the academy recognize any advantages?. The Journal of Social Media in Society, 7(1), 420-442.
Dutta, P., De, C., & Chandan, A. (2017). Impact of social media on student life: A blessings or curse. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development Online, 4(7), 479-486.
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