Social media is one of such technology which touched people from all walks of the life all around the world. Today not only rich but poor, educated and illiterate, urban and rural everybody is using social media in one or another form. Before going for the group discussion points against and in favour on topic, let us understand what is social media and its impact on the community?
How do we connect with people in the real world? How do we keep in touch with them? What information do we share with them? – We meet people, share contacts, discuss various topics, share news and updates and much more. Social media is the technology which mimics this social interaction with help of the internet. Various platforms like Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Myspace, LinkedIn, Twitter and much more known as social media or social networking platforms. Each platform has own set of features, facilities and flair. Different social networks are used by different demographics in different ways for different reasons. Facebook is preliminary used for making friends, Instagram is used for sharing photographs, LinkedIn is best for making a professional network. There is much more to talk about this topic but we will do that in discussion format below.
In group discussion or any other type of discussion, there are two sides to it. Some participant will be in favour of the topic others will counter it with points which are against it. So, let’s see those points.
Points in favour of Social Media Networks / Advantages / Pros
These are the positive points about the given topic, you can counter negative points with these.
Eliminates Geographical Limitations
Social media removes physical and geographical limitations of social interactions. Now you can connect with a person halfway across the globe within seconds, can you imagine how it can be done without the help of the Internet and social media sites? This provides the opportunity to meet new people, learn from their experience, share cultures and much more. This also gives good perspective about other’s life from any corner of the world.
With Social media network, you can contact with people instantly. You no more need to use ISD, STD to connect with people. You can use Skype, Google hangout, WhatsApp to do audio, video calls. There are a plethora of chat apps out there.
Businesses also use social media for product awareness, digital marketing and customer relationship. Social media networks like Facebook can be used to connect with product or services fan base, to have a conversion with them. Some companies even use Twitter as customer support platform. They use YouTube and other video broadcasting services to share their message, ads, products info, how to guide and what not. Video social marketing is the best tool for businesses to connect with the consumer. Digital marketing is much cost effective and efficient platform than traditional ways.
Professional social networks like LinkedIn helps professionals to connect other professionals based on their school, colleges, companies, the area of work or interest. It is the best way for a job seeker to connect with HR, CEOs and other hiring-related individuals and agencies. You can build your profile in LinkedIn where you can show your credentials, work experience and achievement. You can share your knowledge in form of blog post on LinkedIn, which is the best way to showcase your strengths and a way to give back to society in form of knowledge.
Companies like Facebook going one step ahead to give internet access to millions of people who are still left behind in the technological revolution. They are working on a project where they will send a large balloon in the sky over the places where there is no internet. With these balloons, people from given area can come online and access basic internet facilities. Once they know the usage of internet later they can switch to paid data plan to enjoy more facilities.
Points in against Social Media Networks / Disadvantages / Cons
These are the negative points which can be used as a counter for positive topics given above.
Real Touch Missing
Yes, the social networks simplified the process to find the people and to connect with them but somehow, we are missing out the real human to human connection on social networks. Take a simple example that you and I experience daily. On average, we will more than 200 friends over Facebook, isn’t it? Are they real friends or just acquaintances? How many of them called you in last 6 months, how many of them met you in last one year?
All the data you put on the various social networks or over the internet for that matter get stolen by hackers. They steal your data and sell it to businesses. Business pay like anything to get this data. User Data and Behavioural Patterns business one of the most lucrative businesses in today technology-driven world. Big companies run studies on your data and draw your shopping patterns, choices, track your interest, places you visit and then design marketing and advertising campaign on top of it. I am sure everyone here must have seen an e-commerce ad of the product you were browsing 10 minutes back, isn’t it frightening? How come they know what I am looking at?
FOMO (Fear of Mission Out / Social Anxiety)
Too much exposure to each other life on social media sites sometimes leads to Fear of Missing Out. We see how our friend relocating to the western country, getting a job in bigger companies, enjoying their food in expensive hotels, visiting exotic locations or showing off their new sports bike or makeover. Sometimes we start comparing us with other’s achievement and feel underachieved. Some can take it as a positive thing and build our own achievement but in most of the cases we envy their achievement and undervalue ourselves. Now things which used make you happy will no more make you happy. You constantly want more and more. And if someone not able to achieve it then they go into depression, harm themselves or sometimes even kill themselves.
Same happens with social anxiety. She got these much likes and I got only 50. He had 3000 fans I have only 450, these are the real topics of discussion in today’s world. (read more on this topic here, FOMO and Social Anxiety)
Facebook is limiting the new internet customer to their and their affiliate services only. This is not good. A new customer should not get feeling that Facebook means the Internet, that will restrict their usage and limit themselves to Facebook only. All over the world people demonstrating against it.
Cyber Stalking and bullying – blackmailing
Over exposure of personal data, photos, location, check-ins, videos are hampering our privacy. Yes, you may counter that there are privacy setting and all but do you think all those teenagers understands all intricate settings. Not all people on Facebook are tech-savvy. Cyberstalker and bullies use this information to harass and blackmail the users. They threaten user to make their private, photos, videos on social network sites and ask then to do things which user don’t want to do. This is one of the biggest concerns of parent nowadays.
There are millions of fake accounts there on social media. They simply use random photos and data to wear the identity of the given person. This kind of goons can lead one to dangerous situations.
Yes, technology solves problems, brings new opportunities but there is a dark side to it too. Like any other technology, social media network is also exploited by bad people. You will always find two types of people good and bad. They are there in the real world too. Then should we blame technology or we should blame bad human intentions? These sites don’t force us to join them, we do it voluntarily, we agree to tot their terms and conditions without reading them. We don’t setup the correct privacy setting, we put each small detail on social media on own no one force us to do that. I will conclude this discussion that, it’s up to us why and how to social media platforms to our advantage and the same time be safe from bad guys.