The Impacts of Social Media

A look at the way social media is affecting the lives around us in both a positive and negative way. Also a look into the ways in which it being used for personal and business purposes.

The ability of sending a message to the other side of the world, being able to share your picture to thousands of people at the same time, viral videos being watched and enjoyed all around the globe to advertising your businesses and companies online are all part of an expanding online universe. This universe is called Social Media. The list goes on to what Social Networking is enabling us to do in todays world through the internet which all sounds good but is it? Is Social Media affecting they way we think or is it invading our privacy?

In the expanding world of Social Media, people all over are using it for personal use or for their work but one one of its main users are teenagers. Many teens are using Social Media as a way to communicate with friends and keep in touch with the world wether that be through celebrities tweeting or watching the latest viral videos on youtube. By using Social Media, teenagers are finding that it is boosting their confidence as they are using these networking sites in ways to express themselves in a creative way perhaps by uploading videos onto YouTube of their talent, creating articles and sharing them through Twitter or even uploading songs they have created onto SoundCloud. Despite Social Media sounding very beneficial for teenagers, it also has its problems.
Many parents are not happy with their children using these networking sites with one of the main reasons being through privacy and safety concerns. Parents may not be aware that their children are uploading personal information onto their Social profiles which can include the age of the child and even the location of where they live. Some of these children are in danger of not realising they are sharing all of their sensitive information to thousands of people on these social media sites which is a growing concern for all of our youth. In a generation where the the worlds youth are becoming more and more mature, many teens are naive to the fact that the internet is not always a friendly place. The amount of stories about Social Media sites being used for dark purposes and cyber bullying seem to be increasing where some of the oblivious teens could be at threat to these privacy concerns. As proof that getting information is so easy i took to twitter and random chose a profile and a minutes scroll through their tweets has already given me quite a lot of information. With just a few clicks of the mouse i could find out where this person lived, where they attend university, their hobbies and even where they were at that current moment of time. It is worrying that all this information is so accessible to anyone which has the internet that will surely make parents rethink allowing their children to go onto these social media networking sites. However, after talking to a university student i found out that that they use social media sites mainly Facebook to “organise work on Facebook” and see social sites as “beneficial.”

Another concern is that children and other general social media users are possibly being changed in the way they think by using these sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Scientists are currently looking into how it is affecting children and links have found that it could lead to anxiety, depression, a lack of attention span and other psychological disorders. Researchers have also found that using social media can affect ones social skills and has also been linked to the downfall of students grades due to their constant use of social media.

Social Media is largely used for personal use but it is quickly becoming a main feature within business. After businesses avoided using social media a few years back it is now seen as being very important for a company to have an online presence. Social media can be used as a way of making people aware of your business and directing web traffic to their companies website. Due to the large amounts of people using the social media sites it is an easy way to communicate to the whole world so any everything you post as a business will be viewed by thousands if not millions of people. In a business case this can be used to advertise products, a sale or in a journalistic view sending links to your pieces on twitter for example which will help people more aware of your work. Facebook is largely being used for advertisements for businesses where there option of target marketing is a handy feature which allows the advertisement poster to narrow the audience down who receives their advertisements.

Although it is becoming a high demand for a business to have a social networking presence, there are still reason why a business or company will rather not use or have accounts on various social networking sites. For small businesses it will usually take a long time for their accounts to gain a substantial amount of followers which could mean the waste of time or the waste of money if they are paying someone to keep their social media accounts up to date. After talking to the owner of Rugby Website Intheloose, he claimed “You need to get audiences and customers from wherever you can” and “social media is the way to go”  showing how important social media can be to a business.   Another negative from a business perspective on social media is that people have a voice on social media sites. Unhappy customers can take to their accounts and express their dissatisfaction towards the business where a lot of followers may be onlooking. Not only do the retail businesses use social media but also aspiring music artists etc. are using social media sites such as sound cloud to help create a following and showcase their talents to the online population.

The debate goes on as to wether social media is a positive or negative for us in todays world. If used in the correct way such as taking advantage of the privacy settings the sites have to offer we can reek the benefits as we see children and adults today are becoming more and more creative and that the global communication of today is fantastic but as mentioned comes with its negatives.

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