With the advances of technology, a new phenomena is on the rise: the ‘Web 2.0’, most commonly known as ‘Social Media’. In recent years social media, has significantly impacted most of our daily lives. In fact, Social Media is a new way to create, share and exchange information, ideas and pictures all around the world. It combines many different networks such as blogs, Social Networks (Twitter, Youtube, Wikipedia, What’s app). Although these tools completely changed the landscape of communication in the 21st century and gave new opportunity, but social media communication tools have profoundly affected the way we interact with one another and the world around us.
First and foremost, thanks to Social Media the whole world is now connected. Whether you are in Pakistan, Hawaii or in Australia, Social Media enables you to get in touch with your family, your co workers, and your friends. People certainly still meet others at social venues like clubs and parties, but it is way more easier to discover people who share our interests through social media, via groups on Facebook or following people on Twitter. Plus, the concern of living far away from your loved one is now not an issue anymore. Now you can connect instantly anytime you want.
According to a study on eMarker “41.6% of internet users who used social media did so to maintain both old and potentially new friendships”. In addition, Social Networks such as Facebook and Instagram facilitates communication in the work place. It is easier than ever to start and lunch a business today thanks to social media, it gives people who have time,but little money for advertising, the chance to promote their business. A recent article in the NewYork Times concluded “for many mom-and-pop shops with no ad budget, twitter has become their sole means of marketing.”
Social Medias can act as a watchdog of a particular group in power. This in turn leads not only politicians, but big companies too, to be transparent and honest to their audience. There is no place for biased and misused information, as well as lies online. Also, Social Medias empowers voiceless individuals, and give them the means to have their voice and opinion heard. Last but not least, Social Medias has revolutionized the speed of news cycle. You can be sitting in your living room in Shanghai with your phone in your hands, reading about a terrorist attack that occurred in Lebanon on Twitter. A few minutes later, you might be watching a footage of that same tragic event on Youtube.
Despite the multiple advantages that Social Medias advance, it also comprises some drawbacks. The most obvious one is the lack of privacy. Several websites, like Facebook, ask numerous personal information to the user: their age, their relationship status, their religion, their place of work. in fact, These informations are sold to advertisers, or stolen by hackers.
Moreover, Social Medias encourage cyber bullying. Harassment and harm is very common, especially among teenagers. Also, kids might be exposed to inappropriate content, such as pornography, graphic images and bad language. So, technology, and particularly Social Media has with no doubt shaped our ways of communicating and seeing the world. The importance of these tools along with their consequences can’t be ignored anymore. Now, their is a dramatic decrease in face-to-face communication, which reduces our generation’s ability to interact with others on a speaking level. Not to forget that social networking makes life so convenient that it creates laziness. Because instead of running to your friends you can message them.
As efficient as these new tools might be, they are also time waster. Online surfing can turn into a major distraction, some people spend many hours on social networking rather than be working or studying. For example, constantly checking their twitter feeds.
Personally, I believe that technology has drastically changed the world in a negative way. Living in this society lead people to stop living and grasping the world. As Einstein once said, “ I fear the day when technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
In every era, cultures go through numerous changes and in recent years ours has been more impacted than anything else by social media. Social networking is ideal for exchanging ideas, views, and public opinion but at the same time people are losing identity and their life too much concentrating on it. The real question is whether the benefits surpassed the disadvantages. To conclude, social media can be beneficial if used in certain ways, but can also be detrimental if used in the wrong way.