Social media has turned out to be a major component of our civilization. Its popularity and influence have rapidly taken over the Internet like a flash, despite the fact that it has been in existence for only a decade. In the past, there have been debates whether these websites have positive or negative effects on our daily lives. Proponents argue that Social media has become an important platform for people to keep in touch with their friends, family members, and relatives. In addition, it has enabled people from different parts of the world to have instant communication. Meanwhile, opponents assert that the addictive nature of these websites has meant that many users waste a lot of their time using them, thereby neglecting other essential tasks. This paper will argue that social media affects our daily lives positively.
Social media affects us positively
Social media was specifically meant for social networking. In this regard, it has significantly strengthened our relationships with family members, friends, and even strangers. Technology has meant that communicating online is easier, simpler, and cheaper than communicating face to face, especially if the communicating parties are far from each other. When a person is chatting, he/she is able to ask questions that they would otherwise avoid in a face to face conversations. This means that we share more with each other through social media. This strengthens the trust between individuals. In the same breath, social media is the most effective way of keeping in touch with persons who are far away (Joosten 28). We can also reconnect with our past friends through this platform.
Social media has also hastened communication considerably. Virtual chats have meant that a message can be passed across with the pressing of the ‘Enter’ key. Even though the email is fast, it is not as fast as these chats. This has meant that we can pass across a message urgently and receive a response in time. Social media features also allow a person to reach out to many people at the same time. This is important for individuals that want to pass urgent communications or news.
Social media is a good platform to release anxiety, stress, and depression. For example, through communication with the people we love, we can release our tension. A user can also seek advice or guidance from other experienced users, thus finding a solution to their problem. Meanwhile, having the chance to vent frustrations can be therapeutic for persons who are confused or feeling down.
When we use social media, we gain a lot of confidence and become positive in our living. For example, when another user approves a photo, posts a positive comment, or offers encouragement, we get a satisfactory feeling. This boosts our self-esteem.
Whereas social media is beneficial, it also affects our daily lives negatively. First, we waste a lot of our time on them. In a 2012 independent study, college students self-reported to be spending about 145 minutes per day on Facebook (Junco 628). This means that time that would have been used for constructive activities such as studying and discussions is wasted online. This negatively affects our grades.
Another drawback of social networking is that it discourages more intimate face-to-face conversations. Many users of this platform have sacrificed spending time with their loved ones, instead opting to chat with them virtually. However, this only negatively impacts the quality of the close relationship since personal-to-person communication is more humanistic and realistic. On the other hand, a person is highly likely to lie in a virtual communication platform.
Social media has become a vital part of our lifestyles. Presently, anyone with internet communication at least uses one of the many social networking sites. This paper has discussed the benefits of these sites. First, they help us strengthen our relationships especially with loved ones who are far away from us. Second, they hasten communication. Third, they release our anxiety. Fourth, they raise our confidence. Thus, even though it has some drawbacks, it generally has a positive effect on our daily lives.
Joosten, Tanya. Social Media for Educators: Strategies and Best Practices. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012. Print.
Junco, Reynol. “Comparing actual and self-reported measures of Facebook use.” Computers in Human Behavior 29 (2013): 626–631.