If you were to look back through the last ten or fifteen years, you would struggle to find anything as big to the development of communications and to society as Social Media. In the 90s, people communicated via house phone and by meeting up, today people meet up by texting either each or having a video conversation on their mobile phones. Failing that, they use Social Media to organise large events and keep in touch with old friends and colleagues.
Social Media has truly changed the way that we work in the world today- Social Media offers so many different capabilities to us now, not only does it allow for easy communication with friends and loved ones, it allows easy networking with people you do not know, too. You will be recommended the profiles of people who are a friend of a friend, which opens up potential new friendships for you, friendships you can forge from the comfort of your computer.
With the Smartphone world also exploding into a whole niche of it’s own, it makes sense that the worlds biggest Social Media websites would also be available to us on the go. Break rooms up and down the world are filled with people refreshing Twitter feeds or planning the nights activities on Facebook – but has Social Media taken up to important a role in our society?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Pinterest all offer similar capabilities in that they allow you to communicate with other people through an online medium, in a variety of different ways. It allows you to connect with others and make new friends, advertise your business, market yourself, anything you can think of can be done through Social Media. In fact, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become so popular that if a business has a Facebook profile, it tends to be higher up in the Search Engine rankings than the actual website, such is the natural pull of websites like Facebook!
Social Media offers a fantastic way to meet new people and to re-ignite old friendships. Social Media websites has slowly replaced websites like ‘Friends Re-United’ as they offer all of these capabilities and more. It also delivers an important social aspect for those who struggle to make the time to socialise or do not have the capabilities to do so – it means you can keep updated on your friends and families lives with ease.
Social Media takes in billions of unique searches every day – but just how important is Social Media to your lifestyle? Do you spend a lot of time talking with friends and family on Facebook? Do you spend much of your time reading up on your favourite celebrities and companies on Twitter? Social Media offers a massive leap forward for humanity in the way we will communicate in the future, but ask yourself this – do you perhaps spend too much time on Social Media?
These websites have become so addictive that it is beginning to become a problem for some people, especially businesses. Nothing is worse than seeing your staff sitting on Facebook or on Twitter, when they should be filing accounts or dealing with correspondence! Social Media, because everybody uses it and it’s such a vast part of the internet today – you can probably find a link to just about anything through Facebook, Twitter or YouTube – has become a massive distraction in the workplace and can have seriously detrimental effects on staff participation and workload levels.
There is now a general worry that Social Media has transcended what it was supposed to be. Websites like Bebo and MySpace, some of the first Social Media websites, hit a glass ceiling but Facebook and Twitter appear to have found a way to break the ceiling and create a viral website which will be joined by more people every single day and see’s billions of posts every day.
Some people are literally obsessed with Social Media – it controls their lives. They update their page with every little detail about their lives – which can have detrimental consequences, which we will describe later – and they spend their entire uploading photos and reading news feeds.
When Social Media websites were created, they were supposed to be a solution to communication problems, and a chance to reunite yourself with old friends from years gone by. Now, they have turned into social and marketing behemoths – businesses spend millions annually trying to promote to the Social Media masses, and people become obsessed with gaining new followers and friends, and getting the most representation for every post they make.
Rather than using it as a way to update friends and family, or clients if you are a business, about the latest news, it has turned into a running commentary of some peoples lives.
Because you could be involved in a really intense debate, or have found a link to an awesome website through your Facebook timeline, you could wind up spending half of your afternoon glued to the website, when you were supposed to be out there getting the shopping. Social Media offers a pretty large focus and time management risk in that by using them too regularly, you can become addicted and find yourself spending more time than you really should be on the site.
Although Social Media offers massive benefits to people – some people are running entire businesses through Facebook and Twitter, and it has helped turn around other businesses marketing methods – it also offers considerable problems in terms of how we manage ourselves and how we portray ourselves in public.
If you go for a job interview, and they look at your Facebook profile, and they come across some of your opinions about a specific news piece, if you are less than complimentary or use inflammatory language, you could just have cost yourself the job. Social Media is an easy way to ruin people’s lives, and it needs to be controlled.
Already there have been multiple accounts of people having explicit photos of them shared with the masses, or having secrets exposed to thousands which in turn ruins reputations and can really hurt other people.
Like anything good, Social Media has seen too much hype and although it offers some amazing benefits to the way society is run, it needs to be controlled more before it gains any more power within our standing.
The way Social Media websites explode in indignation and righteousness whenever a global event happens means it is not far away from starting general public incidents through Social Media, and this is something that needs to be snuffed out before it comes to that point.