Sample Paper on Effects of Social Media on Society

Effects of Social Media on the Society

The developmental changes and technological advances in the world today have created new mechanisms of how individuals engage in their day-to-day relations. The impact of social media, which rose as a result of technological advances in the communication industry, has widely spread in the world today. Through social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, individuals nowadays are able to bridge the gaps that are evident as a result of other commitments such as work, study and even vacations. It is undisputable that social media platforms have impacted the society both negatively and positively in equal measures.

Since the rise of social media, there have been changes in the way individuals correlate among themselves, their leaders and the rest of the world despite the geographical differences. Unlike in previous days when people used mails as the main forms of communication, nowadays instant messaging as well as video calls are widely used by individuals to share video as well as engage in social communication since they are the new forms of communication among individuals.

Just like individuals have their own impact to businesses, governance and other life related factors; social media has advanced effects on the way these factors contribute to the successes or failure of an individual. It is important to note that with social media the effects are similar to every individual who uses it; there are no great variations in the impact social media causes to individuals (Al-Deen and Hendricks (2012).

According to Al-Deen and Hendricks (2012), social media has proved to be an integral player in the society today. Social sites such as Facebook are frequently used in all aspects of life nowadays; for instance, business people are increasingly indulging in online advertising which are carried along with in social media sites and this has proved to be a success because potential customers are readily available. They further state that politicians are engaging in persuasive campaigns to sell their ideologies to their electorates enabling socialization and critiquing by their followers and rivals. This leads to stigmatized populations coming together for positive outcomes, such as information-sharing, social support, and political mobilization.

Social media has greatly impacted the society by solving the unemployment menace in the society today. The impacts these platforms have caused to economies of the globe are vast. Multinational businesses hire competent individuals to manage their social platforms to be abreast with the rest of the world. Through advertising via social platforms such as Twitter, organizations are able to increase their revenue (Fuchs, 2015). Increased engagement of Corporate Social Responsibility has also led to diversity in cultures thus promoting peace and peaceful coexistence among individuals. For instance, individuals can imitate a different culture’s dressing style after watching it over social media.

The use of these social platforms has provided a link between different various institutions as compared to ancient days when there was no link. In marketing and communication organizations nowadays, staff members can interact directly and discuss several issues affecting the organization irrespective of the position they hold in those organizations. For instance, by forming a Facebook group, a company can share topical issues and other organization related information to its staff members at any time this can lead to better service delivery as well avoid conflicts that may come up as result of miscommunication and contradicting information. Employees can interact directly to their seniors without the fear of the different roles they play, especially in cases where a boss and those under him/her share the same platform, it becomes easy to bridge brought about by the differentiation in role play making it easy to interact in all aspects, employees tend to understand their boss easy through these platforms (Dutta and Fraser 2013).

Studies done on the frequency of the use of the social media platform proved that the teenage generation is increasingly engaged in social media compared to their aged counterparts. Though most studies recommend that social media be barred in learning institutions because pupils were overindulging on those social platforms for their own personal satisfaction and forgetting class work, it is evident that these platforms can serve their purposes perfectly when used properly. Also through social media, tutors can share study materials with his/her students from whichever location he/she may be and at all times. Students also, engage in discussions on topical issues such as the current happenings in the world, thus understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their peers. It is undisputable that online education bridges the gap that exists between learners and their tutors leading to wide interaction thus improved education status (Keengwe, 2013).

In the entertainment industry, social media has greatly impacted on the content and topics which producer avail to the audience.  Through the social media, information regarding topical issues is shared through these platforms making media houses refer to the platforms as sources of information. There is also instant feedback on topical issues that are of public interest, television and radio stations are able to directly engage their listeners and viewers regarding political, health, security and other social issues that are in the limelight (Friedrichsen, 2012).

Though the impact of social media has led to a number of positive effects as discussed above, there are also negative scenarios that have come about as a result of these platforms. The negative impact of social media ranges from health, social and even political factors. It is unfortunate that addiction consisting of overreliance on these to social media in this era has no cure despite the psychosocial impact it causes to an individual. It is also regrettable that the negative use of social media has caused more damage to individuals, organizations and even nations for example, cyber bullying among teens has led to deaths through committing suicide.

Unlike other forms of communication channels such as letters and professional means such as emails, social media sites use the informal type of communication in the sense that there is no direct contact between the sender and the receiver. Adoption of this method of communication in the formal sectors such as workplaces downgrades the professionalism of individuals in that particular organization. Also, individuals tend to extend their personal conversation from their social media platforms to their workstations impacting negatively in discharging their mandate at the work stations.

Employees have also been found to be spending most of their times on social media such as Twitter instead of focusing on their jobs, this has caused some individuals their jobs and also in other companies lead to decrease in production of goods and services (Dunlap and Lowenthal, 2009). These details, public or personal, may cast a negative light upon him or her and they may not even be true. The reality that were have more instances of exaggeration, opinion and cases where false allegations can be made insinuates that content has no need of support for viewers to read it and generate opinions from it, rendering the credibility of the platform to be lacking the ideas and strength that is supposed to have.

Teenagers have a great urge for exploration and discover of new phenomenon. When presented to social platforms, they tend to navigate in whatever activity they find entertaining to them regardless of the impact it may cause not only to their status as children but also in their future endeavors.  Majority of teenagers fall prey to the negative information that is highly addictive but not morally important to their lives. They tend to use most of their time engaging in sexual related issues such as flirting and pornography (Brown, 2009). These issues lead them to engage in immoral activities as a way of experimenting what they learnt on social media. It is in this regard that social media among the youth be controlled to ensure consumption of the right information by the youth such as new cultures and educative matters (Brown, Keller and Stern 2009).

College and university students are the most affected as far a use of social networking is concerned. This is as a result to the addiction level, social media causes to this growing generation and the fact that they are highest users of these platforms. Due to the action level, any slight opportunity at the disposal of these young individuals is spent on these platforms whereas little or no time is spent on studies. They tend to display a form of withdrawal in their studies making it hard to perform well in their studies. Social media presents to them misleading information that makes them concentrate much in negative activities such as sexual immorality, alcohol and drug abuse (University of Southern California, 2007).

People have turned social platforms as areas of enticing unsuspecting individuals for their own personal gain. Criminals disguising as other individuals end up committing attacks on individuals after sharing information through social platforms. There are also instances where individuals pretend to be in need of funds to tackle a serious issue such as medical attendance only to be realized as a way of getting extra cash. Other similar instances are where children pretend to have been abducted by robbers who need a ransom to free them when in real sense they are the instigators.

Still on children who want to explore new ideas, they end up falling victims of criminals in form of dates or adventure when in real sense they are targeted for abuse such as rape, murder and even human trafficking. Radicalizations is another effect of social media, young individuals fall victims of terrorist groups who promise them good life and exorbitant gains after joining terrorist camps. This is however not the case because after joining the camp as they are made to swear not leave the group under whichever circumstance (Rospigliosi and Greener 2014).

When thinking about future implications of social media use on identity in terms of concepts like self-esteem, it is difficult to predict outcomes. When it comes to positive outcomes of Internet use, the “rich get richer,” as found in very early studies on Internet use and depression. Those who are already prone to feelings of inadequacy may have these feelings amplified by viewing the overwhelmingly positive posts of their friends (Keengwe, 2013).  Currently, the only two main forms of prevention against harassment and illegal activities on social media sites are users making an agreement to abide by the terms of service upon making an account and being able to report a problem when they feel it is necessary.

Some of the problems that exist with the present forms of obviating harassment are that any one can act against the terms of service they agree to and the only way they will be caught is if someone reports them. The negativity they come across on the internet for fear of the trouble it may cause them or the thought that no one may even read it anyway(Keengwe, 2013). Additionally, some are not aware of what exactly can be considered harassment or an illegal activity.

Too many times people are harassed in so many ways over the internet and nothing is ever done about it because people do not know what to do. Social media sites need to be taking more responsibility over the protection of their users. One way this could be done would be to have undercover officers patrolling various web sites at various times. If the terms of service could be changed to notify users that they may be under surveillance at any given time, by an authority figure, I believe that some of the harassment that goes on could be minimized (Dutta and Fraser 2013).

Another suggestion would be to educate people in the workforce and in schools about when, where, and how harassment and illegal activities should be reported. Facebook has taken action by removing all reported offenders’ pages from the website. This, however, does nothing to stop the future inmates who may commit these acts, nor does it stop family or friends of the inmates from updating the page for them (Keengwe, 2013). In some cases, engaging with these communities may serve to prolong harmful behaviors, because individuals are able to connect with others who celebrate these values and delegitimize those who try to stigmatize them.

Other examples of this dynamic can be found in pro-white, right-wing extremist online communities, such as the website, where individuals who feel like they are stigmatized in their offline interactions value the site more than those who do not and see it as a refuge. Although there are examples of stigmatized populations coming together for positive outcomes, such as information-sharing, social support, and political mobilization, it is important to remember that these opportunities are available to all groups (Fuchs, 2015).

Although they offer new ways of controlling self-presentational messages, it is clear that online and offline modes of communication for many people constitute aspects of larger communication ecology. Although social media reflect new possibilities for identity-related activities, the online realm is not a separate sphere of activity that reflects “the real world” as distinct from the “virtual.” Rather, how individuals behave online and offline reflect dimensions of the self and online activities are as “real” as those that take place offline. People are able to get through loopholes in the social media that allow them to stalk others, sell illegal substances, verbally, emotionally, and sexually abuse others, commit fraud, and more

A company should not determine to terminate or hire one based on what was posted online because everyone is entitled to freedom of expression. For example, most people tend to provide false information on their network which can be misleading to a company. Most people will believe anything they read on the internet regardless of its credibility. These details, public or personal, may cast a negative light upon him or her – and they may not even be true. The fact that there were more counts of exaggeration, opinion and potential falsity means that content does not even need to be supported for viewers to read it and generate opinions from it, rendering media credibility relatively inconsequential…” Even though this is what is expected in the public eye, celebrities still have their human rights (Rospigliosi and Greener, 2014).

For example, in some high schools many students use Facebook to write comments about other students and even the facilitator which caused the blocking of sites that allow such comments and opinions, especially during class. Even though there was a way to get around it, the comments section was restricted and could not be accessed through the school computers. Situations like these question how free speech in a social media environment can affect those involved (Friedrichsen, 2012). As part of the social media environment it is important to take the criticism. By absorbing other opinions one can improve and even develop a better means for themselves.

Information that is posted on the internet by people who believe that the information is only visible to their friends and their intended audience may find themselves falling prey of cyber attacks and other forms of internet attacks due to the fact that their personal information is visible to both strangers and friends. Maintaining a particular image is made difficult by the media, which makes the effort to share information concerning a celebrity’s life. These details, public or personal, may cast a negative light upon him or her and they may not even be true. The fact that there were more counts of exaggeration, opinion and potential falsity means that content does not even need to be supported for viewers to read it and generate opinions from it, rendering media credibility.

Because of free speech we can see a change and that is the bottom line in a social media environment. Nothing can move forward without realizing the faults and correcting them. For some it comes with the job of constantly being criticized, but at the same time those criticisms keep them afloat and known in social media. We would even have forgotten about them if not for someone criticizing it on the internet (Fuchs, 2015).

It has become so popular that it is completely changing the way people view and respond to society, and opening up new ways for people to interact with each other. This is both a good and bad thing (Rospigliosi and Greener 2014).Two advantages being that it has given people the convenience of being able to connect with others all over the world without having to step a foot out of their homes and also the rare cases that crimes are sometimes solved through the help of a social media site. The lists go on forever about all the crimes that have been committed on only websites such as, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, so it is obvious that the measures people have taken to stop crimes through social media sites are incompetent.

Copyrighting and hacking are two more common types of crimes that take place on social media sites. The only way to make a noticeable difference in security is to hire more moderators for these sites. Major social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, act under a “user report system”. Meaning that the only way harassment or illegal activities are brought to their attention is by the users themselves. This technique of policing has been proved disastrous on many occasions.

 

References

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Berger, A. (2012). Media and society: a critical perspective. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Brown, J. Keller, S., & Stern, S. (2009). “Sex, Sexuality, Sexting, and Sexed: Adolescents and      The Media.” Prevention Researcher 16 (4).

Dunlap, J., & Lowenthal, P. (2009). Tweeting the night away: Using Twitter to enhance social

Dutta, S., & Fraser, M. (2013). Throwing sheep in the boardroom : how online social networking will transform your life, work and world. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Friedrichsen, M. (2012). Handbook of Social Media Management: Value Chain and Business        Models in Changing Media Markets. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Fuchs, C. (2015). Culture and Economy in the Age of Social Media. London Taylor & Francis.

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Keengwe, J. (2013). Pedagogical applications and social effects of mobile technology

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Rospigliosi, A., & Greener, S. (2014). Proceedings of the European Conference on Social

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