11 June 2018
Effects of Social Media
Social media has resulted in a technological change in our society an it has had a tremendous impact on the entire world. The social media websites have become most of the famous haunts on the internet and have revolutionized how people socialize and communicate on the web. Social media has affected our lives such that most people cannot live without using it. Some social media websites are the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter among others. Social media has affected our lives and society in different ways as discussed below.
One of the effects is the impact on business. Companies are using social media in advertising their products to their customers and also building the customer loyalty. This platform has helped the industry on getting the feedback from their customers which will help them to understand the market as well fine-tune their strategies and products (Chen et al 2017 p 62). This kind of advertisement is cheaper and effective compared to the ads on television, and also it enhances the brand image and popularity of the business.
On the customer side, social media has helped the potential customers in getting to know the existence of specific products in the market. The potential customers can also make inquiries on the products through the platform and get a faster response from the company or even from the beneficiary of the product. The reviews also enable new customers to know more about the product even without using it. This has reduced the cost whereby one used to go to the market and do window shopping of the product he or she is interested in (Chen et al, 2017 p. 69 – 72). It has also reduced the fear one had in using a new product since there was no one to explain more on the quality of the products as it is in social media websites where the people who have used the product gives reviews and advice to other potential customers.
Social media has affected socialization. It has offered an opportunity for us to re-connect with our old friends, acquaintances and also making new friends, sharing pictures and contents, trade ideas among many other activities. This has made broken the geographical barrier as we can communicate with anybody in social media at a cheaper cost regardless of the geographic area one is. It has also united the world and made the world one big society whereby we can share anything at any time with our friends (Chen et al, 2017 p 78). It has also helped in learning different things from different people with different culture and lifestyles.
The professional use of the social media sites such as LinkedIn has helped in enhancing one’s career as well as business prospects. The students can now collaborate with other peers in improving their communication skills and also academic proficient. When one connects with other people from different countries, he or she learns about different societies and cultures. Through embracing this, the students tend to be knowledgeable as they have not relied on what they learn from their institutions but also from others in different walks of life (Chen et al, 2017 p. 83 – 84).
Social media has also had a positive effect on politics as it has increased the voter participation. The users of Facebook have said that they were more likely to vote when they see their online friends have voted. Social media also facilitates the political change whereby the online network gives social movements a cheap and quick method of mobilizing people and disseminating information.
Job opportunities are another effect of social media. A good number of employers look for employees from the social media while on the other side the unemployed look for a job in social media (Chen et al, 2017 p. 96). This has been aided through the social media sites which have created new avenues for income and thousands of jobs. It has been found that 89 percent of the job recruiters have been employed through LinkedIn, 15 percent through Twitter and 26 percent through Facebook.
Social media has also had adverse effects on people using it. One of these adverse effects is lack of privacy whereby most of the users especially young people are too much open and also public with their personal information when they are online. A significant number of them don’t read the privacy policies, and therefore they may not be aware that their information is at risk of being used by the third parties like the insurance companies, advertisers as well as the IRS. Twenty-one percent of the teenagers believe that it is harmless and safe to post their personal information as well as their photos. The insurance companies use the information which is gleaned from the social media whereby if one has “liked” a page which is related to the medical post about a certain health condition, this information sometimes is used by the insurance companies in determining the eligibility as well as raising rates (Chen et al, 2017 p. 110 – 117). The online advertising policies also are an invasion of privacy whereby if you “like” a certain brand then you are giving that company an access to personal information. There is also exposure to corporate and the governmental intrusions whereby the US Justice Department has to intercept thousands of information pieces from social networking each year.
Social media has also contributed to time wastage especially when people are at work and are also active in social media. When one receives an alert to a new tweet or post, it will take at least 20 minutes for the average user of social media to return to his or her original task. About 30 percent of the time when the user is interrupted by these posts and tweets takes them two hours to respond to initial task they were doing. Therefore, employees who are addicted to social media have low production in the company as they cannot concentrate fully on executing their functions without keeping an eye on social media.
Cyberbullying and Online Harassment are another adverse effect on social media whereby if one is not careful, the unscrupulous people can, therefore, target the users for harassment and cyberbullying on social sites. Young girls, school children as well as women are most likely to fall prey to the online attack which creates tension as well as distress (Chen et al, 2017 p. 121 – 123). The victims of such actions should take the appropriate legal action against the people who have attacked and bullied them. Misinformation is also another negative effect on social media. Social media enables spread of the false rumors as well as unreliable information, and about 49% of the users have come across and read false/fake news on the social media (Chen et al, 2017 p132). It has also encouraged amateur medical advice as well as self-diagnosis of the health problems which can, therefore, be life-threatening and dangerous.
The use of social media can cause harm to the employment and prospects. The job recruiters tend to check the social media accounts of the prospective employees and also things like poor spelling, profanity, poor health, sexism, religious content, references to alcohol and racism can all count against you.
In conclusion, social media has both positive and negative effects on the users and the society. The more we appreciate technological change we should also be careful about its impact on the community at large. Being a user of the social media and the other users, one should use the social media sites wisely to enhance social and professional life and also exercise caution to ensure that no one falls as a victim to the online dangers.
Chen, Liang, Shirley S. Ho, and May O. Lwin. “A meta-analysis of factors predicting cyberbullying perpetration and victimization: From the social cognitive and media effects approach.” new media & society 19.8 (2017): 1194-1213.