Social Media — Curse or Boon — A Study of Pros and Cons of social media
Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it. This may be the story of our internet progress in the past decade. We have gone from having a few MB storage in a computer weighing tons to more than a GB storage in a pocket. Also, we have social media. But in this glorious journey, we may have lost quite a few things without realization.
A progressive element in the last couple of decades has been the internet connections. It has changed our thinking styles and brought the world closer. Now if you want to see what’s happening in Los Angeles, you can get updated from your bedroom in Lahore. All of this is possible due to the internet.
A masterpiece of the internet is social media. Social media connects people across the world. Some of the top social media websites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Social Media Statistics
If we study the statistics of social media users across the world, we’ll see a rise in the numbers like an increase in Justin Bieber fans over the years. Let’s put our nerd glasses for a second and dive into the stat ocean.
The social media users in the world are 3.2 billion. This number equals 42% of the world population. It shows the ease of access to the internet across the world.
The leading Platform
There are more social media platforms on the internet than you have fingers in your hands. These platforms are always competing. They always attempt to innovate their services to increase their fan base.
Out of these sites, Facebook has been the most successful yet with more than 2.3 billion active monthly users. Nearly 68% of American adult citizens are Facebook users. This displays the hard work and strategy of Mark Zuckerberg.
Daily Time Spent on Social Media
We can guess the popularity level from its daily usage. The number is so high that it has crossed the addiction level. We all are using social media everywhere. Now, you don’t sit on the computer table. We are using it on the bus, in a restaurant, on a date, even on a vehicle.
2018 social media statistics are daunting for everyone. We are spending more than 2 hours daily on social media and there isn’t any chance that we can lower this number soon.
Impact of Social Media
Before we crawl in the complex web of social media impact, let us keep our minds clear and not jump to any conclusion yet. Let the words do the talking! I’ve been told that investigate the bright side, look for the positive of a situation. So, here are the advantages of social media in our lives.
Benefits of Social Media
If we discuss the implications of social media on our changing lives, we’ll have to study the factor which has the most importance. While we shed light on the positive effects of these platforms, we need to consider the factors first which have direct implications on our lives.
The most essential factor of the internet is connectivity. It allows you to connect with your family and friends staying miles away from. Further, you can connect with the great minds of the generation to get inspiration.
If you had to connect with the world without the internet, you’d had to face multiple issues. The world is filled with different religions, beliefs, boundaries, and political affiliations. With these obstructions and hurdles, you’d had to be a Genie to keep everyone happy.
But thanks to social media, we can now cross these boundaries virtually without caring about the border rules. We share our thoughts and ideas with any and everyone. We don’t have the fear of being beheaded or being imprisoned only for sharing our thoughts. (Though I can write plenty of things to oppose this statement, that’s not our main topic yet).
Every religion, every belief, every ideology commonly puts efforts, for one thing, education. Education is one thing that sets you apart from animals and animalistic societies. This is the only thing that gets a human to excellence.
But sadly, over time, mankind turned themselves into evil being instead of human beings. We started to use education as a profitable business. This dragged the poor kids out of schools to factories.
In that situation, the social media sites came as a savior. These days, you will find many organizations and NGOs on the sites ready to reach the needy without any charges. This can be a long shot, but this can help the children to be educated instead of only working in the factories.
Further, many students are getting help from these platforms. There are a lot of teachers and field experts on social sites. They conduct a class on a regular basis. Summarizing, it helps to spread education in a great way.
3- Access to Information
Every human has the right to access information about different aspects of life. However; in the past, this procedure was difficult and required a lot of traveling. But, with the invention and success of social sites, it has become a lot easier.
You should be updated about your society, your country, and the region. This all would not be possible without technology, internet, and social media. In the past, people used to wait for days to be updated about international information.
If you depend on the television sources for information, it is a possibility that they are keeping you in a blind spot. Every media house is under some rules and regulations that prevent them from sharing the complete details.
However; this social platform isn’t restricted to that level. So, it allows a user to get the information from both sides of the coins.
Negative Effects of Social Media
So far, we have discussed the positive impacts of social media on our lives and processes. Now, we’ll shed a light on the ugly and disturbing side of this platform.
1- Anxiety and Depression
Along with connectivity, the original purpose of these sites was to relax the users out of their busy life. However; over years, we have become so successful that we forgot our basic values and human feelings.
The word the troll has pierced into our society like a cursed viral disease and it is ruining the lives of many. Most of us don’t care about other user’s feelings. We just love to troll and ‘have a good time’.
In all this process, we forgot that other users can suffer from anxiety, can be depressed and can take your troll as a serious disrespect. This has resulted in an increase of issues like depression and anxiety among youngsters.
This seems to be a worse impact of social media sites on our society. If past you may have faced bullies who bullied, you for no reason at all on your face. In that time, you had the chance to retaliate, to report to the authorities as you knew about the bully.
But, on these sites, you can wear a mask of any person you want and bully the hell out of any user. This point is related to our troll factor as well. What we think like a troll, it is in fact bullying.
Sometimes, we all act like a real jerk. Excuse my language, but it is a reality and if you have open eyes, you can see these jerks around you in society. Cyberbullying has a disgusting effect that it turns out to become a cause of suicides.
These bullying attacks and trolling leave deep scars on the personality of many users that keep them disturbed for many years.
3- Fake Image
Gone are the days when people used to be real in front of you and had one personality. These days what you see on Facebook or twitter is the surgical face of the users. People love to fake their life on these sites to become popular and viral. It helps them to get fame and sometimes money as well.
But, if you dig deep, you see that it is all a fake, blank lie. This fake image of so-called social media starts creates a sense of inferiority complex among the users. The results are what you see regularly on the news.
I’d like to stay impartial now and refrain a tilt to any side of the coin. However; there should a balance between using these websites, so the results don’t impact our lives.