The Impact Of Social Media To Its Users Argumentative Essay Examples
The perils of social networking have been constantly echoed in most social circles nowadays. However, most people, especially the younger generation choose to ignore it because of its apparent benefits on their lifestyle. But not until a video in YouTube titled, ‘Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen’ that the impact of social media such as Facebook and others have been placed on the spotlight once again. This video was about an angry father teaching his child some lesson when his child apparently posted some negative comments on her Facebook page. The father ended up shooting his child’s laptop and eventually uploading the video on the child’s Facebook page. Some say that the father’s reaction was quite extreme while others say that children needs to be taught some lessons regarding the proper use of Facebook and other social media. But even in these varied opinions, it is quite evident that Facebook or social media has something to do with what happened between the father and his child. This occurrence is, in fact, one of the many negative impacts of social media. For the same reason, this paper would like to investigate how social media has impacted its users and to evaluate its advantages and disadvantages.
The Growth of Social Media
The growth of social media can be attributed out of the need of people to communicate and connect with each other. According to Boyd and Ellison, the first social media site to emerge in 1997 was SixDegrees.com, which allowed its users several functionalities such as creating profiles, listing friends and surfing on profiles of listed friends. Among the first users of social media were students either in high school or college who wish to affiliate with fellow classmates. Even in its early years, social media has been developed as a tool to help people connect and communicate with each other. Three years after, several social networking sites have been launched including Friendster. Accordingly, Friendster was designed as a dating website and as a direct competitor with Match.com. The popularity of Friendster as a social networking site was quite phenomenal. However, its popularity was also the reason for its pitfall. Accordingly, “Friendster’s servers and databases were ill-equipped to handle its rapid growth, and the site faltered regularly, frustrating users who replaced email with Friendster”. As Friendster began to decline, a lot of social networking sites were launched the most significant of which is Facebook. Facebook was initially launched as a school networking site; that is, to foster student and teacher interaction . However, as the site became increasingly popular, its features have been upgraded to resemble that of dating sites and other social networking sites and is currently catering to worldwide users.
Advantages of Social Media
The ability to communicate and interact with each other is one of the most desirable attributes of social media sites. Before social media sites were invented, messages are relayed over the net through emails. Email messaging, however, is quite formal and lacks the feel of real time chatting conversation as what is featured in social media sites. Apparently, social media sites are among the best online tools for interaction and collaboration between individuals and groups. Its platform can also be used not only for personal interaction but also for organizational and business purposes. Social media, for example, is heavily utilized by educational institutions as a mode of instruction medium. According to studies, 90% of professors in college incorporate social media channels into their classes despite concerns for privacy and integrity. Social media sites are particularly useful for business interactions. Almost all businesses today, whether big or small, have their own social media page and as part of their advertising and marketing tactics, most businesses have arrangements with social media sites that advertise their products as well as direct customers to their social media page. One of the major advantages of social media advertising is the reduced cost and the enhanced reach of this type of advertising.
Disadvantages of Social Media
One of the major disadvantages of social media is in the invasion of personal space and privacy. Among the privacy issues associated with social media is social engineering. Social engineering has been defined as “the art of exploiting the weakest link of information security systems,” which refers to the people who are using them. In this context, people who are using social media are at higher risk. Social media attracts a pool of scammers and hackers because of their popularity. Facebook, for example, was initially available only for Harvard students but have not catered to a worldwide audience. According to researchers, there are several programs have been designed to conduct phishing attacks on social media users in order to gather personal information from them unwittingly and to use these information for whatever activities that would benefit these crooks.
Data mining is another disadvantage that social media users must be concerned about. More disturbing is the finding that that social networking sites, themselves, are the ones who are using their client information for social engineering purposes. Most often, these information ends up in some corporate data bank for processing. Accordingly, “The design of SNSs allure users to disclose personal information which enables providers to create a more valuable data pool and thus generate more profit”. In her article, ‘The Business of Surveillance’, Heidi Boghosian reflects on how corporation and even governments utilize technology to gather information and spy on individuals. These technological capabilities have posed a threat to privacy. As observed by Boghosian, “Communications and information technology have advanced with such speed that privacy safeguards lag far behind”.
Social behavior has also changed in response to the popularity of social media. Most likely, conventional dating and romance would be forever altered by social media. Today, it is easy to find a date just by searching for people even those that an individual has not met yet. While it increases the chance of having romantic relationships, it also increases the risk of being lured into scamming individuals. The social media has also been a popular medium of outrage and of violent and offensive acts that often results to extreme intrusion of privacy. Some individuals, for example, can be wrongfully accused and shamed and most often, the damage to one’s reputation is irreversible.
Social media has lived up to its initial design of being a medium for interaction and communication. However, along the process, its negative impacts have been overlooked. Today, the disadvantages of using social media are already apparent that some people believe that its use is more detrimental than good. So far, social media has changed how people and organization interact and communicate with each other but it has also significantly affected its user’s life in ways that can be considered as intrusive. Perhaps it is time that the advantages and disadvantages of social media should be weighed and proper intervention to its use must be employed.
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Boghosian, H. The Business of Surveillance. 2013. September 2014 <http://www.americanbar.org/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/2013_vol_39/may_2013_n2_privacy/the_business_of_surveillance.html>.
Boyd, D., & Ellison, N. Social network sites: Definitions,History and Scholarship. 2008. February 2015 <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x/pdf>.
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YouTube. Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen. February 2012. March 2015 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl1ujzRidmU>.