Social media is a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities. By design, social media is Internet-based and gives users quick electronic communication of content. Content includes personal information, documents, videos, and photos. Users engage with social media via a computer, tablet, or smartphone via web-based software or applications.
While social media is ubiquitous in America and Europe, Asian countries like Indonesia lead the list of social media usage.1 More than 3.8 billion people use social media.2Social media is a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities.
The largest social media networks include Facebook, Instagram, Social media typically features user-generated content and personalized profiles. By 2023, the number of social media users in the United States is forecast to increase to approximately 257 million.
Types of Social Media
Social media may take the form of a variety of tech-enabled activities. These activities include photo sharing, blogging, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, business networks, virtual worlds, reviews, and much more. Even governments and politicians utilize social media to engage with constituents and voters.
For individuals, social media is used to keep in touch with friends and extended family. Some people will use various social media applications to network career opportunities, find people across the globe with like-minded interests, and share their thoughts, feelings, insights, and emotions. Those who engage in these activities are part of a virtual social network. For businesses, social media is an indispensable tool. Companies use the platform to find and engage with customers, drive sales through advertising and promotion, gauge consumer trends, and offering customer service or support.
Examples of Social Media
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, with a clear advantage over other social media, though it has similar audience to others like Twitter and Instagram. The figures for the most popular social media websites as of January 2021 are as follows:Facebook (2.74 billion users)
YouTube (2.29 billion users)
WhatsApp (2 billion users)
Facebook Messenger (1.3 billion users)
Instagram (1.22 billion users)
Whatsapp (1.21 billion users)TikTok (689 million users)
TikTok (689 million users)
Benefits of Social Media
Social media has changed the way that we all interact with each other online. It’s given us the ability to discover what’s happening in the world in real-time, to connect with each other and stay in touch with long-distance friends, and in order to have access to endless amounts of information at your fingertips. In many senses, social media has helped many individuals find common ground with others online, making the world seem more approachable.
Disadvantages of Social Media
Despite having such unique advantages, social media is considered to be one of the most harmful elements of society. If the use of social media is not monitored, it can lead to grave consequences. It is harmful because it invades your privacy like never before. The oversharing happening on social media makes children a target for predators and hackers. It also leads to cyberbullying which affects any person significantly.
Thus, the sharing on social media especially by children must be monitored at all times. Next up is the addition of social media which is quite common amongst the youth. This addiction hampers with the academic performance of a student as they waste their time on social media instead of studying. Social media also creates communal rifts. Fake news is spread with the use of it, which poisons the mind of peace-loving citizens.
In short, surely social media has both advantages and disadvantages. But, it all depends on the user at the end. The youth must particularly create a balance between their academic performances, physical activities, and social media. Excess use of anything is harmful and the same thing applies to social media. Therefore, we must strive to live a satisfying life with the right balance.