Social media continues to be an integral part of contemporary society, with over 4.74 billion people worldwide using various online platforms and applications for communication, information sharing, and creative expression (Mang, 2022). The prevalent use of social media continues to generate a controversial issue as both advantages and disadvantages accompany it. This essay explores conflicting views on social media’s benefits and drawbacks, supported by evidence from academic sources. The essay will first provide a brief background on social media, outline the different positions, and maintain an objective stance.
Social media has become a powerful tool for maintaining relationships and fostering connections, as highlighted by Mang (2022). Social media’s capacity to eliminate distance barriers and improve contact among friends and family members is among its many important advantages. Sites like Facebook and Instagram give users a quick and easy way to share status updates, pictures, and videos with their friends and family, no matter where they are.
According to Sellgren (2018), this has altered how individuals interact and is especially important in the modern, digitally linked world. Social media enables users to maintain friendships and relationships, even across long distances, by providing a virtual space for sharing and staying updated on each other’s lives. It has become a valuable tool for fostering social connections and strengthening relationships with family and friends, enhancing the overall sense of connectedness in today’s fast-paced world (Mang, 2022).
Social media has emerged as a valuable tool for facilitating learning and creativity, as highlighted by M.L. Single and Apoory Durga (2015). One of social media’s main benefits is its capacity to give users access to a plethora of knowledge on various topics, enabling them to learn and pick up new skills. Sites like YouTube and TikTok offer instructional content and courses, ranging from DIY projects to practical knowledge like cooking, allowing users to improve their educational experiences.
Moreover, social media has evolved into a platform for creative expression, allowing users to share their music, writing, and artwork with a larger audience and encouraging originality and creativity. This has created new opportunities for showing and exchanging artistic abilities, developing a culture of creativity, and encouraging people to express themselves via various mediums (M.L. Single & Apoory Durga, 2015).
Social media has its advantages, but it also has disadvantages, one of which is the possibility of online bullying or violence. Due to social media’s anonymity and accessibility, cyberbullying has increased in frequency and has a central power on people’s mental health and general well-being (Sellgren, 2018). Cyberbullying may take many different forms, including harassment, threats, and the dissemination of harmful material, harming the victims emotionally and psychologically (Sellgren, 2018). Also, the transmission of erroneous data, hate speech, and bad behaviours can be accelerated by the viral nature of social media, creating turmoil and tension in society (Mang, 2022).
The possibility of data breaches and loss of privacy are two additional drawbacks of social networking. Social networking sites gather considerable information about users, particularly their profiles and browsing histories, including locations, that may be used for targeted advertising or even data breaches (M.L. Single & Apoory Durga, 2015). Information about a person may be exposed due to data breaches, resulting in identity theft, financial fraud, and other cybercrimes (M.L. Single & Apoory Durga, 2015). Moreover, because social media platforms frequently update their security settings, users are exposed to the accidental disclosure of their personal information, jeopardizing their security and privacy (Sellgren, 2018).
In conclusion, social media presents advantages and disadvantages, and conflicting views exist on its prevalent use. Social media may allow individuals to develop and mutually trust alive while also fostering imagination and intellectual curiosity. Digital networks do, however, come with certain disadvantages, such as the potential for cyberbullying and violence and privacy issues and violations. Notwithstanding its benefits, social media has more drawbacks than positives because of its detrimental effects on security, confidentiality, and psychological well-being.
Jain, S., & Jain, R. (2023). Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of social media in 2023. Digital Scholar. Retrieved from https://digital-scholar.in/pros-and-cons-of-social-media/
Sellgren, K. (2018). M.P.s investigate the impact of social media and screens on youth. BBC NEWS. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/education-43130325
Single, M.L., & Durga, A. (2015). How social media gives you a competitive advantage. Indian Journal of Science and Technology. , 3(5), 4312-4316. Retrieved from https://sciresol.s3.us-cast-2.amazonans.com/IJST/Articles/2015/Issue-aup%20lentary-4/Article17.pdf
Zhang, A. (2022). Schools determined to keep social media out of the classroom are not doing students any favors. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3193828/schools-determined-keep-social-media-out-classroom-are-not-doing?module=perpetual_scroll_0&pgtype=article&campaign=3193828