The Benefits and Disadvantages of using Social Media
I have experienced a situation that informed me the benefits of social media, and I always refer to the encounter every time I talk about the online platforms that aid communication. Last year, while I was going through my Facebook messages and responding to some, I came across an advertisement by a company informing me about their quest for a receptionist at a group that manufactures all types of furniture. I keenly went through the requirements and opted to place my application via the same platform. I knew that other people would be doing the same because the company promised an enticing salary for the successful candidate. I received a message via Facebook a couple of days later informing me that I was among the shortlisted candidates and that I should report at the working station in three days’ time to attend an interview. Even though I lost the chance in what I feel was due to stiff competition, I appreciated the way the company used social media to interact with the stakeholders. It is clear that Facebook is increasingly becoming an essential tool for communication and socialization.
Users of social media must have access to web-based devices such as mobile phones and computers to enjoy the interactive dialogues that the platform provides. Baruah, a scholarly writer with a major in social networking, highlights that social media involves a wide array of platforms including printed and online materials (1). Baruah continues to state that with the immense revolution surrounding the innovative area, it is clearly evident that social media use surpasses the typical application of tools, such as Orkut, Skype, Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. Research has shown that more people, especially the youth are always on the various social media avenues to connect with their peers in the most convenient forms.
The Benefits of using Social Media
The individuals or groups that wish to use social media as their primary form of communication ought to look out for some of the benefits that they are likely to gain from their decision. One of the possible advantages of using social media is that the users get the chance to communicate in more than one platform. The benefit makes it a reliable form of communication compared to other platforms such as telephone or e-mail where the communicators have no option but to use only a single avenue. Individuals who choose social media, on the other hand, have the freedom to choose from the platforms that are easy to use and the ones that meet their needs. A person, for instance, may use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram depending on the one that is likely to meet their expectations or the one that is easily accessible.
Research confirms that social media avenues can elevate the subscribers’ understanding of the things happening around and beyond their communities. Baruah offers an example of Twitter, which relays highlights on the occurrences that take place in other areas at a specific period (4). Baruah also refers to the idea of social proprioception where individuals and groups of friends can learn what each other is doing and make plans around it. Baruah further indicates that it identifies the key features of a community and also raises awareness of other individuals’ issues without engaging in direct communication, which makes the phenomenon similar to the way social media functions (4).
Social media serves a vital purpose in information sharing other than communicating with friends and relatives. Bank, an American article writer, implies that online networking promotes the sharing of information, knowledge development, and facilitates idea creation capabilities of peer-to-peer virtual groups (7). The tool is also useful in researching academic studies and other related topics. More institutions are also embracing it to aid communication; this can be observed in tourism and education sectors where social media is increasingly becoming essential.
Adverse effects of Using Social Media
Even though using social media offers several benefits to users, it is essential to look out for signs of addiction as it is one of the significant issues surrounding the use of internet-enabled forms of communication. In their article, Kuss and Griffiths link the prolonged use of social media to addiction, which may be difficult to deal with when an individual lacks self-guidance (3530). Furthermore, the authors give the example of Facebook, which has over one billion subscribers, of who 50% log on to the platform every single day (Kuss and Griffiths 3530). Kuss and Griffiths link the addiction that comes with using social media to the attraction people have and which predisposes them to develop more interest in social networking. Even though it is not wrong to regularly use social media, it is advisable to avoid becoming addicted because this may result in wastage of time among other shortcomings.
Individuals ought to weigh the positive and negative effects of using social media before proceeding with the application of the technological innovation. The users should know that social media aids communication, improves business operations, and boosts educational practices. However, it is essential that users avoid becoming addicts, which is a significant problem that comes with using the platforms.
Bank, Marjone. “The Impact of Social Media: Advantages or Disadvantages.” African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, vol. 4, no. 2, 2015, pp. 1-9.
Baruah, Trisha. “Effectiveness of Social Media as a Tool of Communication and its Potential for Technology Enabled Communications: A Micro-Level Study.” International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, vol. 2, no. 5, 2012, pp. 1-10.
Kuss, Daria and Griffiths Mark. “Online Social Networking and Addiction – A Review of the Psychological Literature.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 8, 2011, pp. 3528-3552.
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