Social media has indeed become a part of our lives in this day and age. In the past years of technology developments, the number of online users checking their different social media accounts has increased as well. At present, the Philippines is said to be the country that spends the most time on social media, with its online users spending about 4 hours and five minutes on social media every day, while online users from all over the world spend about 2 and a half hours or 136 minutes on social media each day.
When social media was just beginning to rise, it was just a way for us to communicate online with our loved ones, share our thoughts, and post images. And as years passed, the way social media has been reshaping our way of communicating has evolved. Our social media accounts don’t only focus on communicating or chatting, but it also consists of other different ways to make things easy for us on a daily basis. Although, like any other thing, social media also has some downsides to it.
So what power does social media have in this day and age? Does it help us or does it complicate our society today? Let’s look at the pros and cons of living in a world where social media is a part of our daily routine.
The Pros of Social Media
1. Communication is Made Easier
One of the things that makes social media attractive is its way of making communications easier. Just as long as you have an internet connection, mobile phone or any gadget that can access your social media account, then you’re good to go.
2. Current Trends are Readily Available
Since almost everyone in the world is on social media, you can now easily know about the current trends and social issues just by browsing through your social media account. As the information is readily available, anyone can stay updated.
3. School/Work Tasks are More Convenient to do
School and work-related tasks aren’t difficult to do with the use of social media because you can do group discussions and ask each other for help with the tasks that need to be accomplished.
4. Job Applications are Made Easier
Job applications are made easier with social media because it caters to people looking for work by posting job openings on their site. So may it be a job opening for a full time, part-time, contractual, internship job; you name it, they have it.
Aside from that, social media is now being made as a platform for business owners to market their brand, making it easier for them to boost their online presence with just uploading images, posting creative content, infographics, etc.
5. A Platform for Building Self-Esteem
Social media has become a platform for people to express themselves, especially for teenagers. It has become an outlet for people to voice out their opinions. On top of that, there are a variety of groups and pages where you can join in, which encourages friendly interactions with people of the same interests as you.
The Cons of Social Media
1. Decrease in Productivity
Going on social media daily has become part of our routine, but on some accounts, too much of it can lessen our productivity. Yes, browsing through our social media can be entertaining, but it can also take much of our time, without us even noticing — which is not good at all. It decreases our productivity in such a way that it can take our focus away from the things that we should really be doing by that time.
Keep in mind that checking your social media account for just a while is different from going on social media for hours. Who knows what more important things you could have done during those hours?
2. Proper Interaction is Compromised
This has become quite an issue especially when you’re with your family at the dinner table, then suddenly no one’s talking and everyone’s stuck to their phones browsing through their social media.
One of the benefits of having social media is having to communicate with your loved ones without them being physically present at the moment. But the sad thing is that it has also compromised proper face-to-face interaction. Since people spend a lot of time interacting online, it affects how they communicate with other people in person.
3. Tendencies of Cyberbullying
Even with the perks that we get from having social media, one of the things that it’s known for is the tendency of cyberbullying happening. Celebrities go through this at some point, adults, and at most are teenagers.
We’ve all, at some point, heard the news about people getting bullied online for something that they did or at times something that they didn’t do. Bottom line is, whether they did do it, or not, bullying is not okay — and taking it online by posting things on social media to ruin the reputation of the person is even worse.
4. Prone to Cybercrimes and Invasion of Privacy
Our social media account, especially if it’s a public account, is prone to cybercrimes and invasion of privacy. This is why we should be careful not to put too much information and personal details on our profiles and posts online.
5. Risk of Pressure and Anxiety
Though this is not exactly how social media wants to portray socializing and interacting with people online, it just comes out that way. Certain posts online can undermine someone’s feelings, targeting their self-esteem. This leads to a certain feeling of pressure on oneself and the risk of anxiety in some parts.
Social media wasn’t really created to bring complications to people. In fact, it was created to help make our daily tasks and lives easier. It becomes a complication when people try to abuse the time they consume on social media and go overboard by using social media as a platform to insinuate abuse and crimes. Instead of giving social media power over our daily lives, we should just take it as a positive tool and platform that helps in doing what needs to be done every day.