There are definitely various pros and cons to social media that have become evident in the last couple of years. As a culture, we certainly focus on the progressive aspects of social media rather than the dangers.
Through media, it is easier for people to remain connected, particularly between large distances. Through websites such as Facebook or Twitter, voices have been given to those who might have otherwise been unable to speak freely in pre-social media years. This gives people access to a wider world of information and allows people to make more informed decisions when they have all of the facts and opinions from all sides. Whereas before, they might only have had a limited view of the situation. By seeing daily articles appear on their newsfeed or timelines, they can share an opinion with a relevant community. And through online forums, they can argue their opinion or find like-minded individuals.
Support groups are a big part of the internet these days. Online forums where people can anonymously speak to a wide group of people who may be experiencing similar hardships can find the help they need through social media. This can be especially helpful if the person in need does not have the confidence to express their issues in person. Social media also spreads important news and highlights national and international issues to an age who might not normally be interested in hearing about such issues. Certainly the media has also been progressive terms of organizing world-wide movements, such as the Women’s March seen earlier this year and through pictures posted to various social media outlets.de. In advertising such pro-active campaigns, social media has clearly been a driving force in setting about change for the better.
However, like many things, social media has a dangerous side that could be getting worse as 2017 progresses. Issues such as cyber bullying has always been a very present danger, particularly to the younger generations. A couple of years ago, all we heard about on the news were stories about the effects of cyber bullying. But, through social media, with so much information being poured onto our screens at every given time, such issues have been glossed over. Social media creates a distraction for most people that allows them to easily forget the present dangers such as cyber bullying. Social media has a negative effect on self-image. Again, this main issue relates to younger generations who are constantly using these generally unfiltered websites. When young boys and girls are constantly viewing images and reading articles about “the perfect image,” how could they feel anything but inadequate? This dangerously leads to mental and physical health problems.
The majority of the internet remains unfiltered and unedited. Discerning fact from fiction becomes nearly impossible and most people these days forget to fact-check the information they are reading. Miscommunication became an issue. This could adversly affect important issues, such as the so-called “alternative facts” being presented by Trump supporters in America. As a result, social media leads to an open area to spread dangerous messages and images.
Social media is a hugely relevant topic at the moment. It advances every day and more and more people are using them to spread their opinions. Influential people play a large role in how social media is dictated. The majority of Twitter-users are celebrities or politicians. They usually attempt to put forward positive views or reveal information about their work. However, social media is not one-sided. It is there for all to see and criticize.
While there can be pros and cons to these features, it shows the ways in which social media can be used to progress but can also be a dangerous tool on the public.