Social Media – The Good and The Cyber Danger

August 6, 2015 at 7:36 am


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Social media websites have taken control over our lives. We are addicted to checking our phones regularly, almost every few minutes, we’re sending emails and video text from the smartphones, we’re using Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Skype, Google Plus, Youtube, Vimeo, Socialcam, Liveleak, Badoo, Tinder, Foursquare, Swarm. We’re signing in to websites using our Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts. We’re tagging or getting tagged, we’re checking in or checking out. We’re using the online social media tools for marketing purposes, to promote our businesses or to promote ourselves, to sell or purchase. We’re addicted, we’re hooked, and even if you say you aren’t one of those trapped by these facts, you’re lying to yourself. You, me, everybody is hooked to social media.

It’s hard to even imagine that 10 years ago there was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We had HI5, the really young ones that are reading this don’t even know what HI5 was. We had Mirc (remember “asl pls”?)

12-15 years ago people were actually waiting to hear from each other because email wasn’t that common. Best case scenario we were sending SMS texts, but that was it.

How did social media actually influenced our life and the society in general? From my personal point of view it has had a positive impact. And let me tell you why.

1. Easy communication.

With social media evolving, we, the people, spread our wings and flew to different territories. Using social media not only keeps you in contact with your friends from different countries, but with your family also. We can contact anyone around the world, at any time, with just a click. It is free, unlike calling across the ocean, and live. We can also share elements of our life, from what we enjoy to photos of ourselves and those in our lives. It is like being a part of that person’s world, even though distance keeps you apart.

2. We’re connected and interconnected.

Social media has made us closer to other parts of the world. We know what’s happening in Iraq, US, Ukraine, Tibet and so on. We’re protesting online and not once social media made people go out on the streets and protest against different political or economical facts that have happened. It’s easy to look at Greece and Ukraine, and you’ll understand what I’m trying to say.

3. Marketing for Business purposes.

Customers can now tell brands exactly what they want. Businesses can then use that information to tailor their products of more appeal. They used to have to spend a ton of cash for this kind of marketing data. Customers used to have to spend hours on phones getting more and more frustrated when they had a problem or complaint.

4. Knowledge and Politics

Social media has made it possible for like minded individuals to discuss important topics, widen their personal knowledge and discover things they never knew before. For example, young people around the world are now more involved than ever in their country’s politics. The last presidential elections in the US are proof of that. Social media has contributed to that increase in a big way.

5. Cost Effective

Non-profits are seeing the benefits of using social media for their awareness campaigns. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others are a cost effective means of spreading the word and getting support. Not to mention socially shared petitions from sites like Causes.org, reaching hundreds of thousands of people.

But is Social Media all about milk and honey? No, there are a lot of bad things that social media has created. The addiction. Seeing people at a coffee shop texting and checking their phones constantly instead of communicating and talking is something everybody can relate, right? It shows a serious problem with distraction in today’s society. We can’t enjoy the world the way we used too, without retreating back into that safe little device.

Social Media has also created many broken relationships. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that social media platforms are to blame for this, but it’s a tool used by some cause it’s easier to cheat on their partners. Then are the internet stalkers and cyber bullies that caused some tragic events, like online suicide, depressions, pedophiles stalking young girls. By doing constant check-ins, the stalkers know where and when the person they might want to kidnap is and with who. And that’s a real danger.

In conclusion, I think social media is somehow balanced between the good and the bad. There are many good things but also many bad things that social media brought into our lives. In the end, everything used too much or too little, is bad, whether is drinking, eating or socializing. If you can keep you head san in reality, and use social media as a small part of it, that should be fine. If not, …..well, then I think it’s time to shut down your phone, your laptop, your iPad and go live in the mountains for a few weeks for rehab purposes.

That being said, I think I need to visit the mountains.

Cheers,

Jesse