Social Media: Both Sides of the Coin

There is a lot of talk and discussion on the net about the pros and cons of Social Media. Needless to say there are various good points on both sides of the coin, and since Social Media is definitely here to stay, let’s have a look at a few of those.

In terms of communication, it seems as if the world has literally shrunk in size. We now (and have been for quite some time) are able to connect much faster with people all over the world. The lightning-fast power of social media has been of unprecedented help in times of crisis such as during the MENA uprisings, and earthquakes.  In one incident in the US, a gunman went into a university, and students there were able to notify and warn each other via Facebook and Twitter before the University even knew. In that sense, Social Media has literally saved lives.

The other side of the coin is that in many cases, social media causes things to get lost in translation. False information can spread like the plague on Social Media networks. Anyone can post pretty much anything, from images, videos and all sorts of information. This results in major confusion, and in hurt reputations. (We don’t need to get into issues like leaked celebrity s– tapes and the sort to make this point now do we?) Moving on…

Regardless of the dangers, businesses and organizations are relying on Social Media now more than ever. In terms of advertising, I think we can all agree how lucrative it is, and how much more of a money saver it Is in terms of directly hitting the wanted demographic.  Goodbye to Radio, TV and Newspaper advertising!

Businesses and consumers both benefit from the speed of Social Media.  It allows both to get quick feedback on goods and services; another way of spreading that very important ‘word of mouth’ advertising.  People looking for work can also use SM to find out more about potential employers, the same way that employers keep a lookout for potential employees nowadays. Employers keep a watchful eye over profiles on social networks, looking through pictures and posts. Some things you post could actually get you fired, so people beware!

Also, the amount of self promoting narcissists out there on Facebook and other social networks seems to have quadrupled!

Do you think social networks are a cause of people becoming a little too self-obsessed, always posting way too many pictures and ‘TMI’ (Too Much Information)?

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