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The acceptance of social media as a modern concept is a subject that provokes mixed reactions and vicious debates on the value earned. This essay will examine the evolution of social media and its prevailing impact to the society. We will also capture the impacts on the different crops of people within the society, such as the children, young adults, the college students and the old generation. It is important to credit the social media for the transformation in lifestyles as well as personal development (The Social Network). However, despite the exponential changes that come with embracing the new technology, the flaws that come with social media are equally destructive.
This essay will examine the evolution of social media and its prevailing impact to the society. We will also capture the impacts on the different crops of people within the society, such as the children, young adults, the college students and the old generation. It is important to credit the social media for the transformation in lifestyles as well as personal development (The Social Network). However, despite the exponential changes that come with embracing the new technology, the flaws that come with social media are equally destructive.
This essay will comprehensively examine some of the main disciplines and perspectives that relate to politics, economics and psychology. The most common social networking sites include the Facebook, YouTube, Myspace, Twitter, and Instagram among other sites (Standage 13). They enable users to create a network of friends effortless and regardless of the geography involved. Majority of the users are students, who regularly engage in discussions and the youths who are out to find new mates.
The evolution of the social media has taken tremendous steps since the year 2004. Many social sites are currently in operation, hastening the levels of connectivity in the society to be instant. IT gurus and enthusiasts are constantly innovating the networking products to fit the dynamic market. The internet platform is being constantly under quick modifications to match the demands of the third generation.
As highlighted above, the new social sites have both positive and negative impacts to the society. We will discuss comprehensively the numerous impacts associated with the use of the social media in the subsequent paragraphs.
Social media has may have a negative or positive impact on the productivity of its users depending on its usability. Economic agents have to take great caution in assessing their involvement while engaging in social networking.
The use of the social media is always addictive, and when not controlled, the users may end up spending the whole day in unproductive engagements. The most affected target group is the employees in various companies and students. Some corporations have banned the usage of social media within their premises as most of the employees are always preoccupied with the social media at the expense of carrying out their economic duties. Social media has contributed to the dismal performance of most organizations. Employees waste much of their productive time in useless engagements forgoing their assigned duties. Similarly, some of the employees fail to realize their productive potential due to the diverted attentions in social media as they undertake their duties. Similarly, the student fraternity is vulnerable to the social influence. If not all, many students engage in social media platforms to discuss some of the very insignificant issues around them. The failure to concentrate on academic works puts their performance at risk, producing half-baked intellects to the deprived economy.
On a more positive angle, the social media is a platform for the students and other employed members of the society to trade ideas adding to the development of businesses in the country. Through the social media, the users receive updated information on the local and international developments in businesses and technology. Trading of information via the social media challenges most of the young people to be innovative with advanced knowledge to apply in related problems in their societies. They are also well-informed on how they can invent their ideas to help resolve the difficulties experienced in the society (Boyd 43).
The use of the social media has helped many businesses to expand in the society. Numerous businesses are advertising their products through the social sites to tap on the large social market. Adverts made on social Medias are relatively cheaper than the analogue platforms. Firms and corporations enjoy economies of scale in advertisements, as they are able to access a large and vibrant market worldwide with minor restrictions. Similarly, social media will provide a more convenient platform for the launching of new products. Many people use the social sites to access more info regarding new products before making decisions on whether to purchase it or not.
Corporations and entrepreneurs use the social media to engage their customers through survey reports on their feedback pertaining the various goods and services that the company offers. Firms will use these survey reports to make improvements on their defective sectors to satisfy the demands of their clients, thereby increasing their sales and maintaining product loyalty. The corporations can fine-tune their areas of weaknesses and come up with better strategies to help them increase their sales volume and attract more customers. The social site has helped many businesses in the society to make huge returns in their sales and to expand their operations. It is because it exposes the corporation to many clients through the advertisements.
The social media exposes the personal information of the users to the world if not carefully used (Disconnect). Revealing so much info about your location and the place of work makes one a vulnerable target to preying psychos. One becomes susceptible to criminal activities when they reveal such vital information in the social media. Social media is a good phishing source, where hackers can use your personal details, to target your finances or threaten your existence in exchange for money (Disconnect). Currently, there are numerous cases where the mid-aged or working group is constantly under threats from unknown people. The psychological impact on such groups is destructive as it subjects the victims to constant fears. Fear is a bondage with a destructive potential to any of her prisoners.
The kinds of posts that people put on the social media also have adverse impacts on individual psychology and future progress. Most of the college students have a culture of posting some reckless statements on the social media oblivious of the mixed reactions they expect to receive from other users. Youths on the other hand engage in indecent exposure and use of vulgar in their comments. In this modern age, companies are cautious on individual conduct and many take the initiative to conduct some background check on the candidates before sending them a job interview invitation. The reckless comments and indecent exposure in social media puts the educated youth at a risk of missing their prospective job opportunities despite their glowing resume. Eventually, the subject ends up in frustrations and finally succumbs to psychological problems.
What the people post on the social media is accessible to many of their friends, who will in turn use the comments to judge the individual’s character. Some judgments may turn out as harsh or rude, mentally disturbing the subject. Therefore, users of the social media need to be wary of what they do in the social media, as it subjects them to an open world of criticism.
The youths in social media are vulnerable to online harassment and cyberbullying. Most of these actions create psychological distress to the users. Cyberbullying and online harassment have a significant negative impact on the subject’s psychological growth and personal development. Social media may turn out as a source of trauma for those who have fallen victim of this scourge. To some of the victims, the trauma is so extreme that subjects end up committing suicide. The group that is mostly affected by cyberbullying and online harassment include the college students, women, and adolescent girls. They have on numerous occasions fallen prey to the different kinds of cyberbullying.
It is recommended that when such ugly incidents occur, the victim needs to report the matter to the relevant authority who will take the relevant actions to bring the culprits to book. It implies that the social media has equally contributed to making the lives of some of its users very miserable. The impacts of either cyberbullying or any other form of cyber harassment make the young people feel very uncomfortable to use the social sites again. It has a long-term psychological impact on the victims.
On a positive outlook, the social media contributes immensely to socialization and integration, especially among the young people who use the social sites more often. It offers a platform where the people can reconnect with their old friends despite the boundaries. Most of the young people and college students meet new friends via the sites, and they develop constructive friendships that help to promote the integration process either within the borders of the country or internationally. The young and inquisitive youths or any emotionally unstable individual will get the opportunity to meet a psychological doctor who would give advices on how to conduct oneself. Therefore, the social media provides an arena where professionals engage in a charitable manner with personal clients or advice seekers.
The continued use of the social media mainly by the young members of the society makes them emulate the new culture and trends. It has made the people change their dressing codes, and other aspects of their lifestyles to fit in the modern world. The users espouse the new fashion trends, especially when coming from some of their role models and celebrities that they follow on the social media. For instance, when a youth who supports a particular idolized sportsman on the social platform, they tend to assume a virtual psychological connection to their idol if they put on a similar fashion.
In this perspective, we can say that the social media has succeeded in influencing the kind of lifestyle that quite a number of the users live in the present-day world. While some of the cultures exhibited in the social media are progressive, some behaviors promote immorality in the society. In the same sites, the youths get crazy ideas on the kind of clothes that they need to put on, immoral behaviors or unhealthy activities like the abuse of drugs. The elderly members of the society occasionally blame the social media as a mean of introducing corrupt morals to the decent young members of the society. The concept of culture is controversial as many differ in their conventions.
For instance, the social sites campaign in support of gay marriages or same sex relationships, which many indigenous cultures viciously object. While the issue is not controversial in some countries, some cultures are not in agreement with the relationships involving people of the same sex. It is for this purpose that quite a number of members of the society have not welcomed such practices in the social media (Acar 2014).
They view it as a site that instills bad culture to their children. Some parents have cautioned their children not to be engaged in the use of the social sites as means of meeting new friends and connecting with other people to exchange ideas. The reason behind the restriction is fear. Parents are afraid that their children become victims of such negative influences. Nevertheless, it is the prerogative of the users who in most cases are always the youths to decide the behaviors that they need to emulate from the social sites.
Impact on Governance
The social media has had an enormous impact on the political dynamics in the world. The young people use the social sites to conduct campaigns for their favorite candidates before the elections are held in most of the countries all over the world. The social media is one of the tools that help the society to make informed decision during the electioneering periods. It provides a platform where the candidates for the various posts engage the people. It is done to get their views on various matters and to exchange the ideas regarding the tactics to be used in conducting campaigns. Some of the most notable countries that have an outstanding record in using the social sites to make the candidates engage their supporters include Iran, United States, and India among other numerous countries all over the world.
It is also sensible to note that most members of the society use the social media as an activism platform. Activists use the social media to bring sanity to the nation by sensitizing the public of the unfair distribution of resources, high standards of living or anything that deprives the public their right to access of social welfare services. The users of the social media who are mostly young, vibrant, and energetic people. And they explain to their followers on the social sites by the means that they should use to ensure that the régime remains accountable for the discharge of its duties to the electorates.
One threat that the social sites pose to our youths is political unrests in the country. Some of the notable states include Egypt, Syria, and Libya. The radicle members use the social channel as a sympathy tool to removed ruling political powers. The use of these social sites has led to the existence of mass movement in many countries all over the world. The movements put a lot of pressure on those who are in authority to address the problems affecting the locals to improve their standards of the living (Lee).
Social media facilitates communication between institutions and organization with college students and employees respectively. Communication is one aspect of inclusive governance that is vital in the success of any organization or government. The citizens, employees and students have to know the various undertakings within the highest ranks. Most of the learning institutions, especially the universities have their functional social media sites where the students follow in order to update themselves about the on-goings in the institutions. Via these means, the students have the opportunity to air their views regarding the activities of the institution.
The students also have an opportunity to make their opinions on how the administration can improve the activities of an institution (Dijck 112). A similar case applies to the cases involving employees in numerous corporations. When the businesses want to communicate with their employees of a group issue, they use the social media as the most convenient platform. It is because they have the knowledge, that with the social media platforms, the info will be able to get to a significant number of their workforces. Moreover, those who are not using the social media get the information from their colleagues so that they receive post updates on the agenda. The use of social media as a communication tool to the employees and students has made communication among the parties involved to be faster and more reliable as compared to other means.
In conclusion, the use of the social media has brought tremendous changes in the lives of most members of the society. Different categories use the social media platform for various reasons. The majority of those who use the sites are the college students and young adults in the society. Some of the positive impacts that the social media has brought to the society include promoting integration process in the society and exchange of new ideas among its users. It has also led to the expansion of various businesses as they offer a better medium through which the products can be advertised. It has led to keeping the governments accountable as any form of misappropriation of funds and failure by the administrations to deliver on their pledges to the people lead to the political unrests.
However, the use of the social sites has also had some very negative impacts on its users. There is the lack of privacy regarding the posts that an individual makes on the platforms; there have also been circumstances where the cyber users experience bullying from certain quotas and online harassments. The use of the social media is addictive, and it makes the users less productive in the undertaking of their duties. The use of the social media has its fair share of drawbacks and benefits to the majority of the members of the public who use it on a regular basis. It is the obligation of the users of these social media to decide what they need to post and what they do not need at all. They also have to decide on the behavior that they need to emulate from the sites that will not affect negatively on their lives. Whether the use of the social media has negative or positive impacts, depends entirely on the specific users.
Acar, Adam. Culture and Social Media: An Elementary Textbook. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014. Internet resource.
Boyd, Danah. It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. Place of publication not identified: Yale University Press, 2015. Print.
Disconnect. Hollywood: Henry Alex Rubin, 2012. Film.
Dijck, José. The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.
Lee, In. Integrating Social Media into Business Practice, Applications, Management, and Models. , 2014. Internet resource.
Standage, Tom. Writing on the Wall. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014. Print.
The Social Network. Hollywood: David Fincher, 2010. Film.
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