Aug 26 The Pros and Cons of Social Media
In the last twenty or so years, social media has gone from a vague concept that people used occasionally to a critical part of life, especially for many young people. Social media holds a great deal of power in most people’s lives and takes up a great deal of time, with the average person spending an estimated 145 minutes per day using social media platforms.
Is that a good thing, or a bad one? Social media has both its pros and cons, both for private users and brands.
Pros of Social Media
It’s not difficult to see the benefits of social media, especially if you look for them. It’s a great way to stay connected to friends and family, especially in the midst of the pandemic, and allows people to easily check up on one another from a distance. Below are the 5 pros of social media.
Social media isn’t just about personal connections. It’s also an excellent professional tool that many people can use to expand their connections. Colbie Caillat, for example, was discovered on MySpace. Still, others can easily find jobs, network, and connect with potential employers. It also helps small businesses break through the noise and create direct connections with the people who are most likely to need and appreciate their services.
Social media is the ideal platform for raising awareness about a variety of issues. Recently, for example, it’s helped bring mental health into the spotlight and let people know that it’s okay not to be okay. Take a look at Simone Biles, for example. When she stepped down from the Olympic competition, she was able to easily share her story and why she made the decisions she did–and she could help others see her story and why it’s important to move forward with it.
Social media can also connect people with information about fundraisers, give them access to mental health resources, or allow for greater overall community involvement, all from a location that consumers already engage with regularly.
Content creators have the opportunity to create an authentic experience for others who connect with them on social media. It’s a great way for many people to build income through a side hustle. It’s also a chance to see what other people are doing, the brands they’re loving, and how they might impact you. How many times have you learned about something, whether a creative opportunity or a new product, that you would never have had the chance to try if not for social media? Many people use social media platforms as an opportunity to share their creative endeavors and invite others to join in.
For many introverts, communication is a constant struggle. Social media, however, puts the power back in their hands, allowing them to share information, connect with others, and learn and grow through a readily accessible platform that creates less overall stress. Many introverts are more comfortable building relationships online than they are building them in person–and often, those online relationships can help build overall confidence.
Social media helps build accountability. With immediate feedback from users and viewers, people are automatically accountable for the content they post online. Negative reactions to harmful or insensitive content are hard to ignore. Brand values are also far more transparent, which means that brands are accountable for following through with the actions they’ve claimed they’ll take part in–and their audience will pay attention to whether they follow through.
Cons of Social Media
While there are many benefits to social media, it does have its downsides. Below are what we find to believe the biggest cons of social media
With the wide availability of people from a variety of backgrounds, it’s easier for people with niche conspiracy ideas to develop a wide following or spread disinformation–which can make it hard for even savvy scrollers to sort the truth from the lies, especially as content creation increases.
Many people struggle with addiction to social media platforms and online access. They may have a hard time breaking away, even when it becomes apparent that social media involvement is having a detrimental impact on overall mental health.
Bullying doesn’t end when school is out for the day–and it may make its way into increasingly older age groups. Cyberbullying can increase rates of depression and anxiety among children and teens.
The Instagram vs. Reality Conundrum
People post the best of themselves on social media. Even when they post the negatives, they often try to portray themselves in the best positive light. Social media edits out the worst of the individual and can leave many people feeling as though they’ll never be able to keep up or deliver on expectations. Furthermore, the phone often “eats first” in many situations–that is, people are more concerned with the image that they portray and the photos they can take than they are with reality. Comparison is the thief of joy–and many people, now more than ever, are struggling with comparing themselves to others as they look through social media.
Social media is a great platform for raising awareness about a wide range of events and tasks. At the same time, however, it creates a strong risk of too much information. Everyone has a phone now, which means that anyone can be a “reporter.” As a result, there is now a heavy burden for social media users to check the credibility of the sources they engage with. People can be inundated with information–and much of that information is not as positive as people might like. It’s overwhelming how much media is available, which can make it difficult to make a choice about anything.
Social media has become both a blessing and a curse in today’s society. It keeps information available at the user’s fingertips, which can be either good or bad, depending on how you choose to engage with it. Want to keep up with the latest information about social media marketing? Subscribe to our newsletter today.
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