Social media has been used to refer to the means of interaction among different people in different place while they create, share and interact with one another through exchanging vital information, ideas and among themselves with the community and other network groups. It can be equated to a group of internet based ideological and technological building that uses user generated and capable content to low for the creation and exchange of ideas. Social media therefore is useful as it depends on technology to create the most interactive bases for individuals, communities to share, chat and co create while discussing and modifying user friendly contents and introducing constructive serious changes between organizations communities and different individuals.
Socially media is different from other forms of media that have traditionally been established in that it has an aspect of quality, accessibility, usability and immediacy in addition to the permanent of the information compared to the earlier media sites that had been created. According to research findings, most people spent majority of their time on social media than any other type of site ever created. For instance according to researchers, the time spent in the United States by people on social media indicates over 90 billion minutes by July 2011 as well as over 100 million minutes on July 2012 alone. This shows the extent t which people have been frequenting social sites. It is evident that the use of social media has gone beyond the obvious sharing of information to building reputations and ensuring a proper career by just the use of social sites, a career that influences the economic wellbeing of an individual by bringing in career opportunities and income in terms of monetary values.
Social media has been applauded for positive effects to the populations that interact in these sites. For example, social media is believed to have created a room for family, friends and relatives to maintain the bond with one another thereby keeping their friends closer and knowing what events or activities that are taking shape within their friends and relatives disposal. People send private messages on Faceebook, Tweeter and Yahoo just like another other social sites in a matter of minutes as if they are just in a stone throw distance away. This shows that distance is no longer a problem anymore as people are always staying connected with the encroachment of the social media sites.
Social media has enabled people to create the links and support groups in case of a problem with their families, friends or just individuals who may need help. This helps improve one another’s conditions in whatever situation that they may need help in. The social media therefore provides the right forums to air these topics that were originally considered taboos and could not be discussed amongst people, an action that limited peoples’ ability to achieve certain goals.
Social media has also played a pivotal role in the maintenance of the relationship by ensuring creation of stronger ties through constant communication. Instead of just relying on the exchanges in the phone communication and phone texting, social media provides Addition Avenue to reach the loved ones thereby improving the communications among the people in the relationship. Some sites also allows for face to face communications
Social media has also provided more freedom to other communities that were not originally accepted before thereby strengthening their voice. For instance, the minority communities such as gays, lesbians can now easily express themselves through the social sites and be able to express them to be understood better by people who would otherwise dare give them an ear. In addition, social media also acts as a very vital place for the accessibility of the trending news. Before one can access the official news through television or radio stations, individuals get updated with the news before they can even access the official news at the comfort of their computers and or at the comfort of their phones. This is because of the ever streaming newsfeed in the social sites from friends who may have watched or received this relevant information. These makes the people stay current on the current events across the world borders as long as they are connected with friends from these different parts of the world.
However, the use of social media does not go unopposed. The sites have received countless criticism others claiming that social media have become a point of exclusiveness as most sites often do no facilitate the transfer of the shared information from one site to another. This creates a void in the information available for sharing hence creeping in are the issues of trustworthiness, reliability of the sites and the information presented in these sites in addition to the ownership f the media content as well as whether the interactions created through social media are legit. However, others also argue that the social media has created numerous social impacts that can be considered positive thereby allowing for the democracy to take center stage when dealing with the issues of these complexities. Most people appreciate the fact that social media have impacted the people positively in their outcomes. However, I believe this has not always been the case as due to increased social media sites, the positive correlation merely exists between the usages and of these media and bullying experienced in the cyber spaces. For instance, children frequenting the online stores are more exposed to social ills such as images on alcoholism, other drug abusers such as tobacco and sexual behaviors. In addition, the children are exposed to online sex activities as well as the reduction in the face to face interaction among individuals.
Social media has also garnered lots of negative criticism in addition to the ones mentioned in the previous paragraphs. One of the major critics is that with the growth being witnessed in the social media, the sites are soon becoming monopolies in their respective fields and with that comes the limitation on innovation as the sites will have grown too big for people to create other useful sited that might be considered the major giants. In addition, other lines of thought argue that economic interests may be harbored in the perpetuated economic divide thereby extending post Marxian class conflict that may not be useful for the societies involved.
Trustworthiness of the large scale collaboration is a major way of forming great networks like the ones currently witnessed in the social media. However, with the growing rate of social site connections, there develops some level of distrust among the parties involved as the sites often lack reputable information that can be used to make judgments on the trustworthiness of their products and hence declared unauthentic. Social media is critiqued of overrating as it makes people to easily express themselves but with the expression having very little or no impact to the concerned parties. Arguments raised show that social networks have become effective in increasing the participation required by lessening the motivation of the participants as it makes the participants get motivated to be involved in the things that they may not be able to do in the real life situation.
Another critic raised against the social sites is that of reliability. For instance, the contents of Facebook downloaded to the Yahoo messenger of Twitter users may not be relevant to the people on these other sites who do not use Facebook. This may just be considered noise if the content of one social site is emptied to another social site. Likewise, the social media content are always generated through the social media and useful to the users in that site. This therefore raises the question on the authenticity of this information that is generated through these sites.
In addition, there are warnings on the use of the information that can be gathered and shared from the social sites. Therefore when individuals get into the use of the social media, they need to be careful on some of the information they share as they get tracked or someone’s information be shared without their knowledge, in most cases through electronic tracking with other third parties with the aid of the electronic tracking on the social sites. This is the case of the law enforcements in different government levels.
Likewise, there are views that the social media has created the sense of loneliness as majority of the people spend most of their time in the social sites leaving less time for the interaction with one another. This therefore acts against the meaningfulness of human interaction when individuals have retreated to spending their time only on the social sites leaving behind their human beings and sharing through face to face. Social media has seen to have taken places of human beings as people use it to document memories that they shared with one another through the social media sites, advertise one another as well as creaing face to face creation of friendship but retreating to social media such as twitter, facebook, Whatssap and BBM in addition to others. This creates an atmosphere of secrecy as internet based communication is done secretly and with lots of privacy than in the real life. People therefore use the social media to even gather one another to organize mass actions, protests as was witnessed in the case of the revolution in Egypt against the former president Muamar Gaddafi.
Social media has also been criticized to create a mental health problem in addition to effects on physical health. Students merely take meals in time neither do they take appropriate meals but rather take stimulants such as coffee or tea to keep them awake and remain active; an idea that has negative effects on the lives of the students. Likewise, the overuse of the sites on a daily basis has created many negative effects on the physical and mental health of the students hence making them become antisocial and unable to create and maintain contacts with people in person.
Likewise, social media has reduced learning and research capabilities as they rely more on the information that streams on the social media. In addition, individuals tend to focus more on the social media thereby reducing their attention to focus more on academics hence registering poor performance as they waste lots of time while searching for information on social media while using the internet hence reducing the time they spend on the constructive studies to deliver better results over a specified period of time.
It is therefore evident that social media has created divergent attention and critics from different quarters have been raised. However, personally I believe social media do more harm than they do well as the negative effects of these sites overrides the positive or the achievements that have been registered by different researches. Individuals seem to have been enslaved by the social sites and are divorced from the rest of the members of the human population.
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