This saying applies to the media in every literal sense. As much as social media has its advantages, it has its disadvantages in equal proportion.
What exactly is social media?
Oxford dictionary defines social media as websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
Tufts communication defines social media as the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.
These two definitions have one thing in common, “network.” Social media is a platform where teenagers, adults, organizations etc network with like minds. The networking could be good and/or bad.
We’re in a generation where the media doesn’t censure the content put on it, thereby exposing young ones to content that could mess with them psychologically. If our generation is already having so many mental issues, how much more will the upcoming generation have?
Most teenagers use their devices without any parental guidance or control and so, they just consume unhealthy content and give themselves unnecessary exposure.
There are a thousand and one advantages of the media in our generation.
Here are some of them:
- Social media helps you keep in touch with old friends, colleagues and even families: many at times, we lose contact with our families and friends, but the media helps you regain that connection. Just a simple search on google will give you the details you need about anybody you need.
- It helps you network with like minds and it offers a lot of job opportunities to people out there: finding your niche is one very important thing as an individual, a business owner or an upcoming brand. The media provides you with various platforms where you can meet and relate with people of like minds, people who share your thoughts and mindset, whine you can build an amazing future with.
- The media platform makes research easier because there are many sites that help with many things: the media has a lot of information, and technology has made the world an even better place. For any researcher, the media is their go to platform because it is filled with useful information that would help make their research easier and faster.
- The media evolves with technology and the introduction of AI has made working easier for people: the introduction of Chat GPT and other AI has made writing easier and faster.
- The media is a healthy space for anyone to build their brands: any upcoming brand know to go to the media for advertisement to grow their brands.
- You reach a large number of people through the media: the media is a global space, you can reach audiences nationally and internationally using the media space, many media platforms offers opportunities for you to boost your reach, instagram for instance identifies brands and with each post, they offer an option to boost your reach.
- You can boost engagement on your site using media platforms: the joy of every content creator is to get engagement on their content. The only way they can have this done is by reaching many people via the media space.
- With the media, you have a direct connection with your audience: the only way celebrities, content creators, brand owners etc. connect with their respective audiences is through social media. It gives them the opportunity to talk to their audiences directly.
- The media gives you access to paid advertising services: every business owner wants patronage, patronage can only be achieved through advertisement. This is what the media offers you. You get to pay for your goods to reach its target audience, thereby increasing your sales and reach.
- You have the opportunity unravel valuable content: the media is the home of information. Useful and insightful content are out there on the media and it takes thorough digging and research to unravel these content.
As interesting as these advantages are, the media has its “not so good” side, this part is what I tag the disadvantages of social media to the upcoming generation.
Some disadvantages of social media includes:
- unsolicited exposure: the media is a space that doesn’t censor its content, unsolicited exposure affects underaged children. They use the media without any form of parental guidance or control, thereby exposing them to unhealthy content that can mess with them psychologically and shapen their mindset to ruin their entirety
- Negative feedbacks: nobody likes negativity, be it a brand owner, a celebrity, a content creator, no matter who they are, negative responses dampen people’s spirit and can ruin their self esteem. Social media allows people sue their opinions not minding the ability of the person involved to take hate speeches and comments like that dampen the spirit of those involved.
- Cyber bullying: there are many social vices and cyber bullying is one of them, for underaged people that try to feel among and fit into the social space, they fall victim of cyber bullying a lot as they tend to conform to whatever is being said and this can make them turn out to be serial killers of make them conform to all form of social vices and destroy their personality. Cyber bullying is the most common form of social media vices and it is a disadvantage to the media for the upcoming generation
- Social anxiety: overexposure to the media can make a child become a social introvert. This is because of the pressure mounted on them by their social counterparts. They get exposed to demeaning content and they lose the ability to talk confidently in the media.
- Depression: the media respects nobody and hate speeches are a major source of depression. When a child or an adult gets bombarded with insults and hate speeches, they could easily slip into depression. In as much as the media commends people, it also criticizes people which is a huge blow on fragile people’s mental health.
In essence, the way we use the media determines its effect and influence on us.