What are the pros and cons of social media?

Pros

· They allow those who are shy or have trouble making friends to socialize more easily. That’s also true for those with disabilities.

· They provide another option for those looking to date but are unable to find the right person.

· They allow those with similar interests to connect and converse.

· They allow professionals to network more easily.

· They allow businesses and public entities to share information with customers and clients, and to market themselves inexpensively.

· They allow people to reacquaint with old friends or those who live far away.

· They allow for grass-roots causes to organize, recruit new members and spread their messages.

Cons

· They give hackers an opportunity to steal and misuse personal information, especially if users don’t correctly install privacy filters. And even with those safeguards, posted information is never fully secure.

· Online interaction can become a substitute for actual meetings, which can hurt social development and isolate users.

· They destroy marriages by providing covert connections with others that lead to infidelity.

· They waste time, especially for those who compulsively check or update them. For employers that means lost productivity.

· They let bullies spread destructive information, photos or lies about others.

· They allow unscrupulous people to misrepresent themselves, take advantage of others or spread false news.

· They can be costly to those who post regrettable information or photos that are discovered by colleagues or prospective employers. Once information goes online, it never goes away.

· They bring out the nastiest conversation, because participants feel anonymous, or at least have some distance from those they are insulting.

· They cause users to spend less time outdoors and to be less active.

Pros:

  • Social networking sites are the top news source for 27.8% of Americans, ranking below newspapers (28.8%) and above radio (18.8%) and print publications (6%).

  • It helps advertising you and your brand

  • Social networking sites made it easier to find old friends or families as well as making new friends

  • They allow those who are shy or have trouble making friends to socialize more easily. That’s also true for those with disabilities.

  • Most economical way to get in touch with someone

  • Easy to get different opinions on things like surveys

  • Brings people of same interests together

  • A tool to express an individual’s emotions

  • Social media sites help employers find employees and job seekers find work

  • Best tool for organizing an event and for mass invitation to an event

  • Allows professionals to create a network easily

  • For actors, musicians or writers it is the best tool to promote their work

  • Many sites allow users to create special pages for bands or theatre companies

  • Social media sites are expanding from general interest to more specific uses that benefit society. For example, sites have been created for medical purposes such as dealing with life altering diseases, alcoholism, drug addiction and weight loss.

  • Law enforcement uses social networking sites to catch and prosecute criminals.

  • Social media helps empower business women

  • Social networking sites increase voter participation.

  • Social networking sites gives people the opportunity to interact with the artists they admire

  • On a site like Facebook or MySpace, you can challenge your friend to a game of trivia — even if she’s on the other side of the world!

  • You can learn how to improve your products and services. By encouraging open communication through public comments, you can learn what you can do to make your products and pitch more palatable.

  • You can learn more about your target audience, not only by their comments but also by studying visitor analytics.

  • These sites allow you to send and receive messages, upload photos, and videos. As such, they are very interactive as you can get to see what your friends and relatives are up to.


But it’s not all sunshine and roses. There are some drawbacks to social media too.

Cons:

  • Social networking sites lack privacy

  • Nowadays even school kids join social networking sites resulting in lower grades

  • They cause users to spend less time outdoors and to be less active.

  • It facilitates cyberbullying

  • People spend more time online and less time face-to-face

  • Stalking people

  • Hacking into profiles and posting as them

  • Posting inappropriate statuses/pictures

  • It spreads rumours.

  • They destroy marriages by providing covert connections with others that lead to infidelity.

  • They bring out the nastiest conversation, because participants feel anonymous, or at least have some distance from those they are insulting.

  • Another danger is that scammers use social networking sites to trick people into downloading malicious software. It plays on human nature to get results. For example, you might receive a link from a friend claiming that it leads you to a funny video that you appear in. Following the link brings up a message saying you need to install a video player before you can view the clip. But the video player is actually a virus or Trojan horse program that can harm your computer. Once your computer is infected, the scammer will use your friends list to try and spread the malware even further.


But the good news is that the pros for social media outweighs the cons. And with a few healthy habits you can avoid the drawbacks and use it to benefit yourselves and the society. Just remember to be careful and responsible before signing up!

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