English Essays on Significance of Social Media
Social media are internet-based technologies that enable users to create and share ideas, information, experiences, and other content through networks and virtual communities. Following the development of social media, individuals have acquired expanded and unlimited abilities to reach, share with, and interact with others on an international scale. These media have enabled users and communities to overcome the restrictions on communication and interactions that existed before, including national boundaries and inefficiencies in communication processes (such as speed and convenience-related challenges) (Anderson and Hitlin 1-2). The important significance of social media is that it offers users important means to develop strong, extensive, and efficient networks with friends, peers, and other members of the society to address social, business, and other issues and challenges in their lives effectively and hence improve their wellbeing.
Social media have an important positive effect on the abilities of community members to build and engage in networks and mobilize others for important causes in their lives and communities. This effect is evident in the assessments of Anderson and Hitlin that Americans are utilizing social media as an important way of obtaining political information and news and encouraging others to participate in movements or causes. Social media offer users an important platform for the mobilization and engagement of groups and individuals with common interests. These groups and individuals can share their ideas and information effectively and conveniently on the platform that the social media offer and assist them to influence higher levels of public attention to their issues (Anderson and Hitlin 2).
An illustration of this potential of social media to advance the causes of groups in the society is the enormous influence that the media have created for the cause of racial inequality in the U.S. in recent years. Campaigners and social groups have used social media such as Twitter and Facebook as tools for the mobilization of people and groups against racial inequality. In the past few years, #BlackLivesMatter and #Ferguson, which focused on criminal justice and racial inequality, have been two of the most popular hashtags on Twitter (Anderson and Hitlin 2). Besides offering a platform for the mobilization of people and the development of a national dialogue, social media also offer users the opportunity to represent their experiences from personal and multiple perspectives, thus enriching the understanding of issues that affect the society and facilitating better perceptions of necessary actions. These observations reflect the usefulness of social media in social activism aimed at addressing the problems of society members effectively. It provides community members with a resourceful means for diagnosis and understanding of their problems, creation of awareness about them, and mobilization of people and other resources to address them effectively.
Social media offer users stronger capacities to pursue and achieve strong networks of friends, peers, and social groups that can assist in advancing their wellbeing and achieving their objectives. A study by Brailovskaia and Margraf yielded the findings that users of social media, particularly Facebook, had substantially higher values of subjective happiness, satisfaction with life, and social support. The researchers noted that Facebook is one of the most popular social sites online with at least 1b users. The site’s users find it suitable for self-presentation and social interactions, implying that the platform that the social media offer is immensely significant for users as a means to acquire and preserve social capital (Brailovskaia and Margraf 1-2). The researchers studied a sample of 945 respondents, including 790 users of Facebook and 155 non-users of the site to draw conclusions about the value of social media in the lives of community members. The scholars established that social media offered community members enormous potential to achieve their objectives in social life through contacts and interactions (with peers, friends, and social groups) that are more efficient, higher in quality, more expansive, and more convenient compared with the normal potential that they would have without the platform (Brailovskaia and Margraf 4-6). This means that social media broadens the capacities of users to network and interact with relevant others in the society and derive varied benefits from these interactions that can add value in their lives and objectives.
In the study, the researchers observed systematic differences between the users and non-users of Facebook in terms of scores on narcissism, self-love, self-confidence, and levels of social support (Brailovskaia and Margraf 9). Although the study did not offer proof that Facebook is the source of these positive effects in the lives of its users, the researchers observed that the social media platform strengthened the capacities of its users to build social networks and access advantages from them in advancing their wellbeing. Further value of social media as a means of strengthening social capital and influencing better wellbeing is evident in the assessment by Richtel that youths are finding the media as an alternative source of thrill and sensations that traditionally push them towards the use of drugs (Richtel 3). Social media offers youths an opportunity to engage and interact with their peers across national borders conveniently, thus gratifying their sensation and thrill-seeking needs and influencing less use of harmful drugs.
In summary, the assessments above demonstrate that social media offer users important means to develop strong efficient, extensive, and networks with friends, peers, and other members of the society to address social, business, and other issues and challenges in their lives effectively, and hence improve their wellbeing. This means that social media, collectively, are an important resource for community members in their efforts to improve their socioeconomic welfare through efficient, personalized, and productive networking. The media enhance the abilities of community members to build and engage in networks and mobilize others to participate in movements or causes relating to their wellbeing.
Anderson, Monica, and Hitlin, Paul. Social Media Conversations about Race. Pew Research Center, August 15, 2016.
Brailovskaia, Julia, and Margraf, Jurgen. “Comparing Facebook Users and Facebook Non-users: Relationship between Personality Traits and Mental Health Variables – an Exploratory Study”. PLOS One, vol. 11, no. 12, 2016, pp.1-18
Richtel, Matt. “Are Teenagers replacing Drugs with Smartphones?” The New York Times, March 13, 2017.