When we talk about social media, the first thing that strikes in our mind is Facebook or Twitter, but social media is very broader than this. Now, in the modern world social media is define in a terms of mobile and web based technologies to create a social network in a virtual world through a collection of online communication channels. Social media is that virtual world where people interact freely, sharing and discussing ideas and information, know about each other and their lives, sending messages etc. by using a multimedia mix of personal words, pictures, videos and audios.
There are many types of social media:
- Blogs and Microblogs (i.e. Twitter)
- Social news networking sites (i.e. Digg and Leakernet)
- Content communities (i.e. Youtube)
- Social networking sites (i.e. Facebook)
- Collaborative projects (i.e. wikipedia)
Social media is different from any other media in many ways including quality, reach, frequency, usability, immediacy and durability.
Let’s talk about the brief history of Social Media. Social media is around us since the ancient times when first time humans began to talk; its evidences are still on the walls of caves in the form of wall paintings. After the development of electronic computers in 1950s, internet came into existence. In the year 1969, Compuserve was the first major commercial Internet Service provider for the public in U.S. The first email was delivered in 1971. The American Online (AOL) services opened in 1985. In 1998, Google became popular as a major internet search engine and index. In 2001, Wikipedia started as an online encyclopaedia. In 2003, Myspace and LinkedIn were launched as social networking sites. In 2004, Facebook, another social networking site came into existence.
Here are some spectacular examples of social media:
Facebook: The most popular free social networking site where registered users can find friends and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues, upload photos and videos, share information, messaging etc.
Twitter: It is a free microblogging site where registered members can post short blogs called tweets, other members can follow their tweets.
Wikipedia: It is a free online encyclopedia where anyone can register and create their own article for publication. Anyone can edit its content.
linkedIn: It is a popular social networking site among business community and professional.
Reddit: It is a social news website and forum.
Pinterest: It is a social photo sharing website where users can create and manage image collections such as events, interest and hobbies.
Possible advantages and disadvantages of Social Media:
1) Advantages for students:
a) Students can produce and retain information.
b) Social media offers lots of opportunities for learning and interaction.
c) Students are getting to explore and experience the world not only by books and assignments; but also by adapting social media.
d) In today’s world; contacts, networks and communications are very important; students who are accessing Facebook, twitter and other such social networking site to connect and share information have good contacts.
2) Disadvantages for students:
a) Social media can be a very distracting and harmful for students.
b) Students share personal information, comment on someone’s post which may be harmful for them.
c) Always glued with their mobiles, tablets, computer which is a wastage of time and may spoil their performance.
1) Advantages for Teenagers:
a) Comfortable way of communication for shy teens. This can boost their self-esteem and confidence.
b) Social media gives teens with unusual interest and hobbies a place to share information and enthusiasm.
c) Social media helps them to enrich and manage their social lives.
d) Teens who are differently abled and have other challenges can communicate with other teens with similar problems.
2) Disadvantages for Teenagers:
a) Online bullying and harassment which is also known as Cyber-bullying may be the biggest danger for teens.
b) Online predators, it is basically an online sex crime against minors.
c) Less interaction with friends and family.
1) Benefits for businesses:
Social Media Marketing
is an excellent tool for business exposure to the public at a much lower cost than any traditional
b) Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter help targeting new customers and make brand more popular.
c) Social Media can improve customer services and enable business to gain new information about their customers.
a) Consumers can post negative comments on social media sites which may damage your prospects with new clients.
b) Threat of hackers is a terrible issue on social media.
c) Choosing among different social media sites might be a tough task for business owner; if select the wrong one then it may affect the success of business.
Social Media contribution to society:
1) A boon in crisis : During “Superstorm Sandy” in U.S social media played a vital role, many people used facebook to give details of destruction and reassure their friends and relative that they are safe. In effort to clear phone lines, police asked people to use social media for communication.
2) Worthful aid for solving crime : Police are beginning to investigate gang-related crimes on social media networks.
3) It’s a form of political influence : Social media is a true voice of people. Social media is a powerful force for change and it has a potential to influence the outcomes of political decisions.
4) Wiped-out the distances : We can reconnect with our kith and kin internationally without wasting money on international phone calls by using emails and Skype.
5) A revolution in brand making : Social media has transformed the market. Brands have the ability to engage the customers with products, social media helps to make good brand image.
“Once I heard an incident that there was a girl in Sweden who was chatting on a social networking site with her virtual male friend in Florida, during chatting suddenly she got asthma attack, that time she was home alone anyhow she typed and informed him about her critical condition, in Florida he instantly contacted on 911 and informed them about her condition, then 911 department tried to contact with the local police of Sweden and saved her.”
People use social media religiously, they worship all social media sites like a God, without accessing any social media site they don’t begin their day whether it is for personal communication, self-promotion or marketing. Human nature is quiet complex whereas humans are habitual and wilful even impatient. Due to these traits social media is flourishing day by day. Technological advancements made things easier for people to express themselves through social media platforms but a coin has two sides, still there are many people who focus on the negative effects of social media and forget about the good.
Last Updated on 13th September 2016.
- Facebook, Twitter are the examples of social networking sites (SNS).
- Social networking was started on the internet in the form of generalized online communities to group the people having same interests and to share their ideas.
- The first recognizable social networking site is SixDegrees.com which was launched in 1997.
- Now, there are lots of social networking sites for specific interests.
- As of 2016, 45% of the world’s internet users are on social networking sites.
- Facebook, launched in 2004, has become the largest social networking site in the world as of now.
Positive Side :-
- We can keep in touch with friends in today’s busy world.
- We can improve ourselves by sharing our ideas, information and knowledge with those, who have same interests, even if they are so many miles away from us.
- Teachers and professors are making groups on SNS to extend classroom discussion, to post assignments, tests & quizzes and to assist students with homework.
- Many companies are developing interactive communities that connect individuals to share business needs & experiences.
- Students are connecting with employers via LinkedIn kind of SNS for job opportunities and internships.
- We can find our friends easily, if we lost contact.
- Generally social networking sites have a positive atmosphere. For example, Facebook doesn’t send notification, if someone is removed as a friend. So there is a least chance for the person to know that.
- People are increasingly comparing their lives with others that are projecting their life as perfect. This decreases happiness levels and also can lead to self-esteem issues.
- Privacy is a big drawback of SNS. Some people are using other person’s personal information for malicious intentions.
- Addiction is another big drawback of SNS.
- Lot of SNS users are preferring online conversation rather than face-to-face. It’ll effect communication skills, relationships and even mental health.
- There is a high risk for children and teenagers from cyber stalking.
- Gossips and rumors spread soon.
- Spending in front of computer for long hours creates many health problems.
Present situation of social networking sites :-
- Messaging and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) apps such as hike, whatsapp & Skype are taking over social networking sites.
- More and more people are diverting to niche based social networking sites, because people want to connect with others of the specific interest.
Social networking sites are a boon. It depends on how we use them, whether to improve ourselves or to degrade. But children and teenagers must be guided by their guardians because they can easily be manipulated and affected by cyber threats.
We should not disclose too much personal information because its risky. Life will be great, if we spend less time on social networking sites and more time in the real world.
Afterwords :- What are your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to express your opinion in the comment section below.
Reproduction of this article is prohibited. All rights reserved @ Group Disucussion Ideas.