Social media is very important to the youth and the old alike. Social media includes all the websites that enhance communication between people. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, What App, Viber, Imo, line and LinkedIn. None can deny the importance of social media in increasing communication and interaction between people. Truly, Social media enables people to know and discover many new things in life. People can explore other cultures and traditions without travelling. In fact, most human beings communicate with one another through using social media websites.
Actually people can connect with all people in the whole world easily and rapidly. They can also write and send messages to companies in different companies when they need to do works with them. Social media provides great connections among people that help them to find friends, new jobs, services as well as new customs. Social media depends on mobile phones and web-based technology. Social media websites have many pros that succeeded to attract the attention of all people around the world; however, social media websites have some cons and negative sides.
Pros of Social Media:
The supporter of social media say that social media websites let people discover the minds of their friends and family through their posts. They also say that social media websites can be used for sharing academic information between students. This would help many students to be diligent and get high marks in their exams. Social media can be a mean of communication between students and their professors. In addition, many people search for work through means of social media. They can contact employers and companies to send their CVs and get jobs.
1- Facilitating Communication:
Communication with others is the core skill that anyone should have. All the human relations contain a high level of communication. Without communication people would not work, have friends, talk to their families or work. All these things are based on communication between people. When anyone applies for a job or even for an academic scholarship, his ability to communicate and contact with others is measured. Social media websites increase communication skills between people. According to Kenneth Burke, “if you have not caught on to social media, you are missing the boat”. These websites enable one to ask about his friends, send them messages, know new people from different cultural backgrounds and know others news. That is to say, people can meet new persons from different countries on social media. This would make people know other cultures and discover their way of living. This communication would prevent any kind of clashes between people. The best thing in social media websites is that it is the easiest way to know others’ news. Just with one click, one can know what others have either it is a wedding, a dead person or graduation. Social media websites like Facebook have a section for remembering people of their important news like the friends’ dates of birth.
2- Increasing Culture and Knowledge:
People can learn many things and know many information through social media websites like Facebook. Facebook which is the biggest social media website is that it enables users to make groups and pages for free. The cultured people use this trait in order to make informative pages about history, culture and famous persons. According to Michael Barthel, “As of early 2015, sixty three percent of Twitter and Facebook users get news on their respective websites”.
Many people like to use their cell phones in order to get an access to social media websites more than watching TVs. Documentary channels are like National Geographic Abu Dhabi. Such channels use this finding and establish pages on Facebook and they attract a big number of followers. Moreover, all news channels have followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. News pages increase the awareness of people through posting all the news immediately beside reports. All these means make people cultured and able to discover the truths by themselves. The social media websites are like a separated world in which the truth is apparent for each person. Fake news are less happening and published on social media as there are no restrictions on what is published.
3- Always Staying in Touch with Friends:
There are many positive reasons to use social media. One positive reason is to stay in touch with friends through using social media accounts. Likewise, social media can enhance the long distance relationships among friends and families who live in different countries. People can gain confidence and new experiences through using social media as they meet new people every time they log in their accounts. Social media websites can help new businesses to be advertised and published in different countries with cheap prices.
4- Finding Job Opportunities:
Furthermore, people could find many job opportunities on social media due to the huge number of people and organizations that tend to use social media in business and work. Moreover, social media allows people to relief and relax after having a tiring day at work; all people can do is to log in their social media accounts from their cellphones and share their feelings and their news with their friends
Cons of Social Media:
On the other hand, many people count the negative effects of social media. This can be summarized in wasting time. Some people say that the biggest time waster is social media. They add that sitting for long times in front of computers or holding cell phones for long time decrease the strength of sight. This also can cause many other health problems like back or neck pain. Social media has many pros like increasing communication and information however, it has some cons like decreasing face to face interaction between people.
1- Face-To-Face Communication Gap between People:
On the other hand, many people say that social media websites have many cons. These people say that social media has decreased face to face interaction between people. Social media has been proved that it reduces the time that one spend with his wife, parents, neighbors, children, friends and relative. The reason behind that is the desire of people to spend their time browsing the social media websites. In the past, people were visiting each other a lot because it was the only mean to see them.
There were no social media websites and people were meeting each other. The face-to-face interaction started to disappear at the beginning of the cell phones invention. When social media appeared, the matter got worse as people began to message each other instead of meeting. This created many problems between people as their relations got weaker. According to Sean Coughlan, “Among 16 to 18 year olds, two in five had used social media to spread gossip and a quarter had used it to say something unkind or rude to someone else online”. This gap is increasing and the reason is the internet and social media websites. The opponents of social media websites say that online communication has never created strong relationships.
2- Wasting Time:
While there are many positive reasons to use social media, not everything about social media is positive. There are some negative aspects arise from using social media. One negative aspect of using social media, for example, is time waster and some health problems. Social media could be a reason for many health problems like back pain and eye pain because of the long period of sitting in front of computer screens. Social media is the main reason for the spread of cyber bullying and the expansion of crimes against children. Moreover, using social media websites for many hours make people feel lazy, confused and distracted due to the fake relations with stranger people who they might confront on social media.
3- Internet Addiction and Being Abused:
The overuse of social media websites can be the main reason for destroying the family relationships and make people loss the real impressions of face-to-face communication. People spend much time in front of their computers or using their own cellphones which makes them miss the real interaction with their family and their friends in real life. In addition, using and sharing all personal information on social media websites is not safe because of the spread of scams and hackers that tend to exploit and blackmail other people to gain money.
4- Making Private Life Public:
Most people used to share everything about their private life online in order to tell others about their life and this deed is not good in most cases because there are many people who tend to misuse such information and gain profits from blackmailing others. Social media contributes in making people lose emotional connection, decreasing understanding among family members as well as spreading the state of insecurity and diminishing people`s safety.
To sum up, social media websites have many pros. They made communication between people easier and thus the communication skills at those people have increased. According to Jonathan A. Obar et al, “environmental advocacy groups began to use social media websites like Facebook to facilitate mutual dialogue”. Moreover, social media websites are very informative as they make increase the cultural, history and news information at people.
However, social media websites have become a matter of controversy. The cons of social media websites say that these websites are wasting times. This prevents people from face-to-face interaction and make them only interested in what their friends’ posts and what social media says. One can find people in the same house speaking on social media website however they can meet together and speak.
On the other hand, social media can ruin people`s life and make them unable to communicate with other face-to-face as well as social media affect negatively on people`s health and safety. In fact, the controversy over social media shows the its importance because controversies only happen over the important things. All the supporters and opponents cannot deny the pros of social media but the opponents of using it see that the cons of social media are more than the pros.