Social Media in Communication
Social media is a powerful communication tool. It has revolutionized the way people talk to each other. People from different parts of the world come together to share ideas. Family and friends can keep each other updated on what is going on in their lives on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram among others. Social media is used as a tool for advertising by companies. Social media has many advantages in terms of communication, but it also comes with a price. People no longer value the personal touch of communication and can barely raise their heads from their phones to say hello to the person seated next to them. These challenges need to be addressed while embracing social media as a tool f communication.
The first advantage of using social media to communicate is that it takes very little time. For example, a person may want to invite fifty friends to a party that they will be hosting. Calling each of them individually will be time-consuming. It is easier and faster to reach out to them by making a post about the party on social media where each of them can read the message. This also applies in business settings. Communicating to employees using social media saves time and improves engagement levels.
The second advantage of using social media to communicate is that it brings like-minded people together. People can come together and share ideas on topics that they are passionate about. Such people come from all over the world; therefore they have different backgrounds and perspectives, and such interactions are quite informative. It would be difficult to get in touch with a person from a different continent, but social media has made this possible. It is easy to get in touch with one another even when you are in different places.
The third advantage of using social media as a communication tool is that it has become quite popular. Nearly every person all over the world has a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page. Social media has become an essential communication tool; therefore it makes sense that we should utilize it to the fullest. Social media is an integral part of young people’s lives, and they rely on to gain information and news about what is happening with their loved ones and other people that they admire. Social media also helps people to find a sense of belonging by connecting to communities on social media (Fuchs). Depending on your interests, you can easily find a group of people that share it and social media makes interaction with them very easy.
Social media is a powerful information tool, mainly because of its accessibility. People can log onto their pages from anywhere to find out what is happening. This can range from finding out whose birthday it is to the results of an important election. In this way, social media has completely transformed how news is communicated to target audiences. Companies also use social media as a sales platform. Young people spend a significant amount of time glued to their phones, and social media is an excellent opportunity for advertising. A strong brand on social media has become essential for all companies to communicate with their customers (Schivinski & Dabrowski 196). Customers can give their reviews on what they like and what can be done to improve service delivery.
Social media has also destroyed the way we communicate. All our phones have several social media apps. Most of the time, people are engrossed on their phones. When they need something, they automatically turn to their phones to text their friends for help. This has dramatically hindered interaction among people. Even in a social gathering, people are more concerned with updating their profiles rather than in getting to know new people in real life. Social media has become a refuge and a hiding place where people go to hide from what is happening around them (Shensa 153).
Social media has also brought up young people with poor social skills. If their phones and computers were to be taken away, they would spend a lot of time looking at each other awkwardly. This is because they are used to hiding behind a keyboard when meeting new people. They have no idea how to make small talk and interact with others (Kim 285). People skills are essential in life, they teach us how to communicate and interact with different kinds of people. Social media has also led to lower productivity and shortened attention span. This has been translated into many areas of life, teachers in school have difficulty communicating with their students, and parents hardly know their children and employees cannot deliver in their places of work. Social media can pose a threat to underage children as sex offenders, and other criminals can target them and cause them harm. Bullying is also prevalent on social media because of the anonymity it offers.
While social media is an invaluable tool, too much of it can be poisonous. This is especially true in the case of young people. Before children get the chance to learn proper skills in interacting with people, they already have phones thrust in their hands. Their years of development are spent on social media, and it becomes the center of their lives. Social media should be used to its advantage of quick and easy communication while at the same time guarding against its detrimental effects. The key is to learn social media skills and use it in moderation.
Fuchs, Christian. Social media: A critical introduction. Sage, 2017.
Kim, Jung-Hyun. “Smartphone-mediated communication vs. face-to-face interaction: Two routes to social support and problematic use of smartphone.” Computers in Human Behavior 67 (2017): 282-291.
Schivinski, Bruno, and Dariusz Dabrowski. “The effect of social media communication on consumer perceptions of brands.” Journal of Marketing Communications 22.2 (2016): 189-214.
Shensa, Ariel, et al. “Problematic social media use and depressive symptoms among US young adults: A nationally-representative study.” Social Science & Medicine 182 (2017): 150-157.