Beneficial And Harmful Effects Of Social Media Use

Social media are websites and applications which are used by people to communicate, share content or exchange ideas. There are many examples of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The use of social media became a widely disseminated habit among adult as well as children. Statistics show that total worldwide population is 7. 6 billion. 4. 2 billion of them are internet users. 3. 03 billion are active social media users. On average, 5. 54 is the number of accounts that an individual has. Spending almost 116 minutes a day. 91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels and 81% of all small and medium businesses use some kind of social platform. Internet users have an average of 7. 6 social media accounts, while Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp handle 60 billion messages daily. The introduction of social media has changed the world in different ways. It can affect individuals in various ways. Social media can be used as a helpful tool in changing a person’s life, but at the same time can negatively impact a person.

Social media has a great positive affect on the society, but it also could be harmful if it is used in a bad way. On one hand, Social media can have many advantages. one of them is improving communication between people. Social media allow people to know each other by sharing events of their lives. Users can make new friends and have relationships with people from different countries all around the world. People can learn about each other’s cultures, history, food and traditional clothing. Social media can help you in searching about new places to visit. Bloggers and travelers usually use social media to share their travel experiences. They take pictures of different places, restaurants and even hotels. In some cases prices of tickets or other information could be easily found using social media. The use of social media in business can be considered as another advantage. Social media can help in improving and growing business rapidly. Many companies use social media in marketing which gives them the ability to reach a large number of people in a short period of time with less effort. Social media helps to generate more business by connecting the companies to their customers and providing them a higher level of service.

Digital Marketing and advertising is considered inexpensive in comparison to the old advertising methods such as TV and radio advertising. Social media can help also to increase awareness of the companies’ brands by providing a valuable content to their audience. By Sharing photos and making retweets, brands will become more Seen and people would like to try them if the company provides an attractive advertising. The use of social media in marketing has become more intelligent. This makes companies challenge to attract customers in more affective and smart ways. Another advantage is the use of social media in education. Social media provides means for students to create dissuasion groups through instant chat functions, videos and forums to share knowledge with their friends. It also became a source of information, for example YouTube enables people to create their own content and distribute it widely. You can find tutorial about almost all the subjects in the world as well as lectures. Now, live lectures can be broadcast over social media easily through Skype or Instagram. Social media enables the students to reach experts in different majors easily and ask them about any issue or concern. Learning management system is a type of networking software that works like educational programs and gives the schools and universities different means to administrate student’s activities like homework and class projects.

Finally, students can create their own profile in social network after graduating to seek opportunities, search for a job and promote themselves by reflecting their majors, skills, work experiences and volunteer activities. Social media has affected the news dramatically. It switches people mindset from old media channel TV, radio, magazines and newspapers to electronics ones, to be shared easily through social network. Nowadays, people can participate in the news content without filtering by uploading the photos or videos instantly from the incidence seen or events. In other words, anyone can be a journalist and tell their stories or write about different topics. Then, they can publish either in their own blogs or specialist blogs. The lifestyle has changed positively when people used the social media, for example family gatherings or ceremony event invitations could now be announced using social media by calling the invited people individually or by groups. Also, families can create a special snapchat or Instagram accounts to post and broadcast these events and gatherings.

On the other hand, social media can have a negative influence on people and societies such as lack of privacy. Privacy can be a complicated concept to define, but a working operational definition of privacy is the right to control access to one's personal information (Guo, 2010; Fuchs, 2011). Nowadays hackers use spyware by sending links that enable them to access mobile devices and laptops. Most social media requests information such as date of birth and email address, which helps hackers to gather information available on social media and use them to hack. An example of a Hacking, one of the most common techniques used by identity thieves, is clicking on the “forgot password", and then trying to recover the password via email. Once they access your email account, they basically have an access to all of your personal information. Some teenagers may publish their diaries on their accounts in social media, whether by writing, photographing, sharing current location or telling followers about their trips without their parent’s supervision. which may be dangerous some times. Hackers can steal user's by knowing their locations and homes from their personal accounts. We must pay attention to the things that cause danger to us and try as much as possible to prevent them. creating a strong password can help to protect us. When the password is strong enough, it will be difficult to guess it. Try not to use a flexible password such as your date of birth or the names of your family members. It is also very important to install an anti-virus and anti-spyware software and make sure it is regularly updated and not neglected.

Also the account is preferred to be private if the person would like to publish photos and personal information, so that only family and friends can see them. This makes personal information not presented to strangers and hackers. Some people think that loss of real communication could be another disadvantage of social media. In some cases, people isolate themselves from their families and real friends and prefer internet friends. We set fourteen times a week on the dining table with some of us are absent minded looking at the mobile phones instead of talking to each other. In the past the dining table was a place where parents can communicate with their children and get to know each other better. They ask their children about their day and what they will be doing later on.

Furthermore, this mental absence is not only occurring on the dinner table, but it is also happening in the living room, outside the house and even in the car. We are starting to stray from the idea of keeping us whole into the addiction of cell phones. We became too obsessed with these devices as if we are being controlled by what we made to help us communicate easily with people far away. Not to deprive us from talking to those who are near to us. Social media applications and websites have successfully penetrated through our society. It is time consuming and it makes some people undermine other people's appearance, choice of wearing, religious beliefs and almost every aspect of their lives. Sometimes people become highly addictive as they cannot stop wasting their time on it. People start to feel insecure and ashamed of what they have in their lives. There is also the fact that we made silly people popular by sharing their videos and photos which are without value or benefit to people. As humans, we are social by nature and crave bonding within relationships. We may feel that we are connected through social media, but it strips us of our ability to hear and see verbal and nonverbal messages.

The penetration of social media through our lives and societies may have many disadvantages and bad impacts. Sometimes it can be consuming time, but with no benefit. Some people become judgmental without knowing the other person’s personality. In order to use social media, it needs you to buy a smart phone which leads people to waste a lot of money on buying new electronics. And this could be controlled if people learn how to use social media in the right way. Social media can also affect mental health. First, it causes stress in some cases. Bad news as well as misunderstanding between people can increase stress of individuals. Facial expression and body language are two important things which are not found in social media communication. These two factors are important to express feelings and understand people. The most affected category are women because of their very emotional nature. Second, depression. Many studies agree that the vast majority of social media users compare their lives with the moments of happiness that others publish. It shows them that their lives look less beautiful, less exciting and more monotonous than other people's ideal lives. Thus, cause them depression and frustration and even anger and jealousy. Third, weak immunity. studies in University of Pittsburgh, United States, proved that People who spend most of their time on Social Media are at higher risk of eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. This phenomenon may explain the widespread prevalence of stereotypes and the many physical challenges of social media. Last but not least, sleep disorders.

Lack of sleep makes the person more distracted. It leads to surf the Internet at bedtime, which increases the addiction to social networks and delay the installation of a quiet environment that leads to sleep. As the screen light sends alarm signals to the body, it is also difficult to fall into the arms of dreams. Teenagers spend long hours on social media during bed time which can affect their grades. Not enough sleeping leads students to have be unfocused during classes. The unstoppable use of social media can lead to a phenomenon called “Facebook depression” which makes the person feels lonely. Social media can affect children’s health as well.

According to (Strasburger et al. , 2013) children spend almost 8 hours a day using social media. Many children say that their parents do not set any rules about the time they spend on social media. By spending many hours sitting on the phone social media can cause different health problems such as obesity. In addition, social media can cause physiological disorder such as aggression. Scientists believe that exposing children to violent content on social media during early ages increases the potential of becoming aggressive. For instance, children can easily recall any aggressive scenes that have been watched. Moreover, children are more likely to apply on reality what they've been exposed to such as hitting, cursing, and lying (Bushman et al. ,2006). Considering the solutions, pediatricians advise parents to reduce the hours of using social media, monitor what type of social media their children are acing and keep the devises outside of the children's room (Strasburger et al. , 2013).

Also, schools can help children to reduce hours of using social media and encourage children to use social media in a good way. For example, teachers can introduce different useful accounts on social media that students can access to get benefits.

In conclusion. Social media dissemination is a good progress. Social media changed our life so much. Our lives became more convenient because of social media. It is a very useful tool for us. It could help us to improve our lives. However, we have to be aware of how we use them. If we could use them smartly, having social media will become a good change for us. it can be helpful in different ways including improving communication skills, business and marketing as well as education. Social networks could be useful in some cases and in others it could be dangerous. It can cause serious health problems, stress and lack of sleep. This depends on the way we use them. Social media should be used in a manner that doesn’t harm our health’s, family’s relationships or even our children. As everything in this live, the use of social media should be controlled by the people themselves by learning its advantages and disadvantages and using it in a good way.

15 July 2020
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