Social media, as we know it, is expanding. It’s everywhere – and there’s no escape. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and many more are dominating our lives – right from the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep, sometimes cell phone in hand (I’m guilty as charged). Safe to say – we’re addicted, and it is totally understandable. Social media is fun indeed, interacting with your online BFFs, finding and gaining customers for your business – all good.
But with lots of positives, come along a few negatives as well. There are bad sides to social media, which if not handled properly, can lead to some serious problems. Let’s take Foursquare and Facebook for example. A stalker who might know your full name can find you on Facebook, which might take them to your Foursquare account which could further lead to the stalker tracking down your locations based on your check ins.
Also, I have noticed a drastic rise in cyber bullying, considering social media gives people a chance to be anonymous. Being anon gives some people the ‘internet courage’ to bully someone through social media and send them hate posts. As more and more teens and adolescents are joining social media sites (the age group most affected by cyber bullying), this is a grave problem.
So, I asked a few social media regulars about what they think is the best thing and the worst thing about Social Media – here’s what they have to say.
Chetan R – @Cheth
“Social media is now a world in itself. I love the fact that over time strangers turn into friends, bridging the gap between real life friends and social media friends to an extent that I know a lot more about some of my twitter friends than my real life friends. Need a place to crash when I go on a holiday, I can reach out to someone on twitter. Need to hang out, all I need to do is send out a tweet. It never ceases to amaze me!
The unfortunate downside of social media would be the trolls and the spam which can potentially suck the peace out of you.”
John Lund – @numusicnulife
“Good things include being able to keep up with what’s in the world, whether it be friends, news, entertainment, music (can follow fave artists and be kept up on their activities). Also of course, meeting great people whom I would otherwise had never known is great. (sometimes I think my social life online is a life-saver … not literally, but you probably know what I mean 🙂 ). The negative is that it allows rude, cowardly bullies to invade other people’s social media space. It gives bad people a usually unregulated forum to be a-holes…behind the “safety” of their anonymous user names. Fortunately, at FB. Twitter, etc., at least we can “build” their own community of people who will show up on our timelines. We can hopefully weed out most if not all of the nasty people.”
A.R.Karthick – @arkarthick
“The great thing about Social media is that it has provided us the opportunity to connect with people more effectively and build better relationships. If you’re a blogger, you can utilize social media to get fantastic reader base. Search engines realize and value social signals. So it’s almost necessary to get decent traffic. Most companies are using social media for better customer engagement (service/care) to build their business/brand reputation. And it’s even easier to market new products through their channels. Well, the worst thing about social media is that it has the tendency to addict you as well as isolating you from real/face-face communication on overusing. For students & employees, productivity takes the hampering too. Apart from these, ever increasing spam issues and privacy concerns are still there remain unfixed.”
As the bottom line I would say that, though social media has its great positives, it’s always better to take the negatives into consideration as well. What do you think? Don’t hesitate to share your opinions below about what you think is the best and worst thing about social media!