Although I will be focusing primarily on the harms of social media, it is important torecognize that there are numerous positive aspects associated with social media usage.
Socialmedia offers the ability to form a group for like-minded people to work together. Socialnetworking sites help students do significantly better in school, primarily through utilizingconnecting with each other on school assignments and collaborative group projects outside ofclass. For instance, Facebook allows students to gather outside of class to exchange ideas aboutassignments5. Some schools successfully use blogs as teaching tools, which has the benefit ofreinforcing skills in English, written expression, and creativity.
Social media is also an excellent 5 | Pagemarketing tool. Since there is an exponential user growth in social media, companies use thisplatform for product marketing through advertising, where they promote brands, discuss features,and create awareness. In fact, advertising is the main scheme social media companies use togenerate revenue stream to sustain their operation. In addition, social networking sites are used tospread information faster than traditional news outlets or any other form of media. Everydayexamples of social media sharing are seen in the emergency amber alerts we receive on oursmartphones reporting the missing persons’ photos we see on social media sites. The amazingfact is this news comes directly from others who have experienced it firsthand. Examples ofrapid social media sharing occurred in events such as the movie theater shooting in Aurora,Colorado in 2012, the Boston marathon bombing in 2013, and the death of Cecil the Lion inZimbabwe a few weeks ago.
In all these stories, social media caught word quicker than localnews outlets and created awareness giving a voice to the victims of these tragedies. The Bostonmarathon bombing in particular is a good example of social media rapidly sharing information.After the event, the FBI released photos of the two suspects and the photos immediately wentviral on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. Social media was used to form groups in which peopleposted photos and information pertaining to the case. This phenomenon is called crowdsourcingor crowd sleuthing and eventually the whole country was on the watch; there was nowhere theperpetrators could hide.
Before the week was up, one suspect was found dead while the otheraccomplice was placed in custody. These are few of the many benefits of social media.One of the most popular social media sites, Facebook, has 1.4 billion users around theworld, nearly a fifth of the world’s population, thus helping us to better understand, learn andshare information instantaneously making the world look like a small village. However despitethese benefits, social media has brought about detrimental side effects to society. Throughoutthis article, I’m going to discuss three main points, which I came across during my research: 6 | Pagesocial media and psychological issues, social media as a tool for criminals and lastly the linkbetween social media and criminal activities