Social media, a dynamic medium for people to stay connected with the rest of the world, had over 4.26 billion users worldwide in 2021. It has become an integral part of today’s youth’s lives.
Meaning of Social Media
The term “Social Media” means the virtual means of communication and interactions among people where they can create, share and exchange ideas, one of the most amazing technological developments.
Social Media Platforms Popular Among Pre-teens and Teenagers:
Social Media Usage Involves Uploading and Sharing Content, which further includes:
- Creating an individual online profile
- Posting images, videos and chatting
- Liking, commenting, and sharing options
- Tagging friends in photos and blogs
Social media, like any other invention, has benefits and drawbacks. If it makes it easier to connect with others, spreads information faster, reduces physical distances, provides marketing opportunities, and is the perfect platform for talent to be showcased to the world, it also has adverse side effects in which people are duped, children become addicted to screens, invades privacy, and so on.
Benefits of Social Media:
- Social Media targets large audiences, which makes it an effective tool for society.
- Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., have become the best tools for connecting with people across the world.
- Teachers can teach from remote locations. People can attend live sessions, phone calls, and lectures from anywhere in the world from the comfort of their homes. It acts as an excellent medium to learn new skills.
- Spreads information rapidly.
- Websites like LinkedIn help professionals identify job opportunities and the latest developments in the professional world.
- Distance is not a drawback anymore, as social media tools bridge it by updating people with the latest news from across the world.
- It is an effective marketing tool that helps companies in generating awareness about the products and services they offer, promote their products, and increase sales. It also helps companies to save marketing and advertising costs.
- It also provides an opportunity for artists to showcase their talent and skills.
- Politicians can use it as communication to share views and information with the voters.
- An excellent educational platform, it assists students in locating answers to educational questions that may or may not be covered in school. This is a truly wonderful thing. It increases students’ knowledge.
- It can increase awareness about societal issues to people.
- Another significant benefit of social media is the ability to communicate with family and friends who live far away.
Drawbacks of Social Media:
- Social media users are becoming victims of scams.
- It helps hackers deceive people and launch virus attacks.
- Negative comments and reviews from employees can damage the company’s image massively.
- Kids are becoming addicted to social media and are refusing to participate in outdoor activities.
- Social media addiction impacts children’s academic performance. It also poses a major distraction during family functions.
- Users are vulnerable to security threats such as data mining, scams, hacking, etc., due to a lack of privacy.
- It can also bring unwanted attention, which can either be bad or good. This may bring out the worst in a few people.
- It could teach youngsters bad habits.
- It can have an adverse effect on mental health
- It can lead to increased screen time.
As we have understood the pros and cons of social media, we should sensitize kids and teenagers about social media usage and age recommendations. Parents should also educate them about potential risks related to social media.
They should closely monitor their children’s social media activities and inform them about online privacy, cyberbullying, and other related issues. This can help in mitigating risks.
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