I think it’s fair to say that social media has revolutionised the way our society works. It has changed so many aspects of our daily lives from the way we socialise to the way we gather news, to the way we present ourselves. We’re constantly worrying if our sassy selfie got enough likes on Instagram or wondering why our last Facebook status didn’t get as many shares as Gertrude’s up the road.
Yes it has changed our lives, but has it changed for the better?
Pro: Social media is a great way to meet new people. The internet gives us the chance to interact with thousands of new people in countries you’ve never visited and sometimes never even heard of. It is now so much easier to find people with similar interests which helps so many people feel less alone in this big world.
Con: Yes we can get to know more people but this isn’t always safe. It’s so easy for people to hide their true identity and true intentions. Certain realms of social media can be a dark and dangerous place. Many of us may use it to unwind or relax, but in reality we should always be on our guard when online.
Pro: You can show people exactly what you want them to see. I think we’re all guilty of taking a dozen selfies before we find the profile ready photo and nobody even needs to know that’s you’re sat in your pyjamas with Nutella all over your face. We determine how others see us and our lives so people from school don’t have to know that we’re still hating our jobs and have an unhealthy Netflix addiction.
Con: We only see what others want us to see. It’s easy to forget that social media accounts are just a screen. Just as we pick and choose our best bits to plaster over our Instagram, others probably do this too. Its so easy to look at others perfect social media lives and become insanely jealous as we compare ourselves to them. “Why isn’t my hair as nice as theirs?” Well they probably just came from the salon and took 20 selfies to get the perfect lighting. “Why is their relationship so much better than mine?” Why would anybody share the fact they just had a row over who ate the last chocolate biscuit? “They have so many nice things and I have nothing.” Who knows! They may be eating beans on toast for the next month to pay for their new phone.
Pro: Social media has become a brilliant source for sharing news. It’s fast and it can reach thousands of people in a matter of minutes. Particularly in the past few years it has shown itself to be a positive tool in times of crisis and allows communities to pull together in a whole new way.
Con: When it comes to online news you have to be careful to not get swept up in “fake news”. I was told in uni “with the growth of social media anybody can become a journalist”, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. So many people are guilty of believing anything they read (which isn’t a new trend), but the speed in which they can share the falsifications is.
Pro: It is now so easy to find out anything you want about other people. I think it’s fair to say we’ve all had a cheeky stalk through someone’s Facebook pictures or friends list. We just have to be so careful to not hit that like button and give the game away!
Con: Unless you’ve set your privacy settings its so easy for people to stalk through your accounts. Yes you can check up on your ex, but your ex can also check up on you which kinda ties in to the safety point from earlier. Privacy settings are our friends!
Pro: Coming out of uni we all know how hard it is to walk into a job. Thanks to social media however it is now so much easier to set up your own business. You can reach your target audiences in a quick and easy manner and relatively cheaply. This is great if you want to build up your CV and if you want to take your business all the way.
Con: Now it’s so easy to set up your own business it seems everybody is doing it. Everybody thinks they have the best idea for a company and it is easy to get lost within the sea Facebook Pages. You have to be bold and innovative to really stand out. It may be easy to set up a Facebook Page, but it’s not easy to make it stand out.
Although there are so many positive reasons to use social media it can still be an infuriating place and sometimes its hard to find the balance of positives and negatives. One minute you’re laughing uncontrollably at the latest meme, the next your screaming in anger at that really annoying girl from school. Sure you could delete her, but then how would you find all the gossip?