Pros and Cons of Social Media in Today’s Society: The Opposite Side of Social Media

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The issue regarding the social media pros and cons and its clout in a modern world remains relevant a long time already. This can be called a controversial subject that also refers to a contemporary society philosophical debate. To discuss the two sides of the matter, it would be meaningful to think of it impartially. Undoubtedly, social media has made a life of certain social groups much more productive. This raises the question, what are the advantages of such a relatively new and, most importantly, an influential phenomenon as social media. However, this, in turn, leads to doubt, what is the other side of this impact and who does the responsibility lie with. Another key to discuss is the question, what laws exist that could potentially prevent or at least decrease the materiality of an uncontrolled social media activity that is present, therefore, the shortcomings will be discussed as well.

To start, the major benefits of the intrusion of social media in the lifestyle of modern people will be mentioned. It is notoriously that the use of social media is a factor that simplifies certain tasks for a person due to the evolution of the internet. With this in mind, an International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering (Akram and Kumar, 2018, vol. 5, issue 10, 2017), for instance, introduces the readers a list of examples of the avail of the current popularity of social life. Notably, it relates to the different spheres of life, not just the most trivial. One case in point: it is claimed that social media may serve as a convenient and fast way to share health-related data. It could be getting in touch with the doctors at any time via the internet or simply a distribution of the useful educating health information. It also became much easier to find a job or an employee for obvious reasons. All things considered, it becomes more straightforward to exchange many other kinds of information.

Another point of view in favor of these factors is the fact that they make a positive effect on education. There is always access to the enormous amount of information and various sources at any time. What is essential, this information is usually updated in comparison to the printed version of it. If to talk more specifically on social media, it is necessary to highlight that online communication also simplifies the learning process. Yet it is all similar in most of the areas.

Furthermore, needful to mention one more positive facet of the presence of social media in our lives. In light of the fact that social media could be called an accessible source of the information, as it is claimed in a journal that is mentioned above, it may help a young person to improve the understanding of society, which in turn helps them to present themselves in society. However, this can only work with the proper use of social networks.

Besides this, focusing on social media promotion may serve as the main marketing strategy for a business. That is already investigated by Marketing Charts, a hub of marketing data, graphics, and analyses. According to the data, a survey of more than 1800 professional marketers from Buffer (a platform of social media management tools for achieving success with social media marketing) has been conducted. It shows that roughly 73% of participants believe that social networks are indeed effective in a promotion. In addition, according to another survey by Marketing Charts of more than 200 marketers, roughly 53% of participants consider social media promotion to be the most effective.

In a contrast to all the possible advantages of involving social media in our everyday life, it has made an adverse impact on it as well. It is a commonly known fact, however, what are factors of that? For the purpose of itemizing the significant negative aspects of social media, the data will be used from an article “The analysis of advantages and disadvantages of social media in European Union” of a journal “Procedia Computer Science” ( Drahasova and Balco, vol. 109, 2017, pp. 1005-1009). According to the research, the main argument against the innocence of social media is internet addiction. It was approved by 72,2% of participants. Referring to the survey, conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in 2017, most dependent feel people from 18 to 24 years old. Moreover, the time spent online in this group has increased with time as well. Furthermore, according to the same research, it can be seen on a chart that the outcomes of social media abuse are also a lack of sleep and a deterioration of educational process among young people. As an additional disadvantage would be the lack of security (61,1% of respondents emphasized this as a major flaw) by means of hacking or simply tracking of personal data. Then the information overload (that is a stress that is caused by perceiving too much information than it`s needed), it amounts to 58,3%. And the last but not least, there is a significant detriment of the relationships, in other words, social isolation.

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This may relate to almost every last social network user. Therefore, it leads to a question: what kind of responsibility lays on whom and what measures can be taken to at least partially eliminate the possible problems associated with social networks.

On the one hand, a user has an opportunity to limit himself or herself by using social networks more responsibly. There are a few recommendations that are good to be followed. This applies to the restriction of information that is added to the free access. Also, notifications can be limited so as not to be constantly distracted and avoiding inappropriate content could also be a method of a better and safer using experience. That is, a lot depends on how much the user neglects the safety and most of the time it is everyone’s responsibility to control the lifestyle.

On the other hand, there are certainly a number of cases that need to be controlled at a legislative level. This includes various kinds of criminal violations such as online solicitation, presumably persecution, blackmail, abusive content, copyright violation, false data dissemination (in contrast to what was mentioned above about the advantage of the quick access to any free data and variety of resources), slander and etc. There is a number of applicable laws that exist nowadays and here will be noted a few major of them.

Firstly, referencing to a video “Avoiding Pitfalls on Social Media” (2018) by SAGE Publications Ltd, the law that applies to the distribution of adverse materials that may damage someone`s reputation, even reposting such information regards as a violation. It does lead to the consequences. One more significant and well-known law is called copyright. That means that the person who created a certain kind of work has a right to decide how and by whom this can be used.

The online threats or bullying are also being judged by the law. However, the proofs must be explicitly reliable. Providing that, according to the article by The Guardian, a news centre, a survey of 13- to 18-years old has been conducted that shows that 25% are being abused due to their personality specifics.

Moreover, the new politics of GTPR (the EU General Data Protection Regulation) should be mentioned as it influences the principals of the work of online services. Basically, the owner will have to ask for permission to process the users` data again. There will be alterations in the description of the policies, so that the users know what data will be collected, the purpose of it and the duration of the storage of these data.

To sum up, the issue regarding the impact of social media is indeed uncertain: it has plenty of advantages as well as drawbacks. Social networks have provided us with an enormous number of possibilities and made life easier due to many aspects. However, this also became a reason for the addiction to them, as a major issue related to social media. All things considered, despite the fact that there are certain regulations applied to limit the users from whether it is offensive materials, copyright infringement, uncontrolled collection of personal data or any other concern, there is still a need for the users to be attentive and contemplative using any kind of social network platform since it is never fully secure.

Referencing:

  1. Marketing Charts. (2019). Social Media Continues to Top Email in Perceived Effectiveness for Marketers. [online] Available at: https://www.marketingcharts.com/digital/social-media-107063 [Accessed 7 Feb. 2019].
  2. Marketing Charts. (2019). Social Media Continues to Top Email in Perceived Effectiveness for Marketers. [online] Available at: https://www.marketingcharts.com/digital/social-media-107063 [Accessed 7 Feb. 2019].
  3. Drahošová, M. and Balco, P. (2017). The analysis of advantages and disadvantages of use of social media in European Union. Procedia Computer Science, 10(7), pp.1005-1009.
  4. Statistics Netherlands (CBS). (2019). More and more young adults addicted to social media. [online] Available at: https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/news/2018/20/more-and-more-young-adults-addicted-to-social-media [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
  5. Alton, L. (2019). We all need to start using social media responsibly – or face the consequences. [online] The Next Web. Available at: https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2018/07/24/we-all-need-to-start-using-social-media-responsibly-or-face-the-consequences/ [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
  6. Akram, W. and Kumar, R. (2018). A Study on Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTER SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING (IJCSE), [online] 5(10), pp.347-354. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323903323_A_Study_on_Positive_and_Negative_Effects_of_Social_Media_on_Society [Accessed 7 Feb. 2019].
  7. Eugdpr.org. (n.d.). Key Changes with the General Data Protection Regulation – EUGDPR. [online] Available at: https://eugdpr.org/the-regulation/ [Accessed 13 Feb. 2019].
  8. Avoiding Pitfalls on Social Media. (2018). London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  9. Gani, A. (2016). Internet trolling: quarter of teenagers suffered online abuse last year. [online] The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/09/internet-trolling-teenagers-online-abuse-hate-cyberbullying [Accessed 13 Feb. 2019].
  10. Baker, K. (2017). Social media law: an essential guide. [online] The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/aug/12/social-media-law-an-essential-guide [Accessed 13 Feb. 2019].
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