We have witnessed the rapid growth of technology over the past years. And along with it, social media was born. Now everyone has heard the saying “if you are not on social media, you do not exist”. And it may be true because social media has become the virtual place where friends meet, like, and comment on posts and photos of each other. It is the place where news is shared and where you can read updates on topics of interest. It is the place where musicians and artists are sharing their pieces of work.
Its rise has been shaped and accelerated by the development of smartphones, which allow people to access their social media accounts instantly. Smartphones are those devices that everyone has and that gives you the possibility of communicating with anyone you want, at any time you want, and from everywhere.
Facebook has 1.69 billion users, Instagram 26.9 million, YouTube 2 billion, and LinkedIn 250 million users, according to an essay writing service. Of course, the list of social media platforms can be completed by Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok, Twitter, WhatsApp, Periscope, and many more. Each of these platforms offers different services. But at the core, they are the same. They help people around the globe connect, communicate, and share impressions.
So, what is the major impact of social media?
Social Media Connects People
Social media is the place where you can share your opinion, promote your business, shop and find discounts, meet other people like you, and also find a job. And because it has so many users, it becomes the place where everyone wants to be.
At the same time, people in your friend list or which you follow share different things. They support causes or share information they find valuable. You can find in a matter of seconds or minutes what happens in the other part of the world. News spread rapidly and now you can see live videos that show important moments from every country.
This major impact of social media was highlighted during this year when the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise, says Arthur Wilde, a daily contributor at an essay writing service. People were not allowed to go out anymore, so most of them moved their activities online. They organized online meetings with their friends to stay connected, so social media became the place where everyone is.
But while social media comes with a lot of benefits, especially during these tough times, it also has some cons. While people connect to each other, share videos, and like photos, social media has an impact on politics, economy, and mental health.
So, should social media be seen as a good thing?
This is questionable. While its major impact is seen as positive because it helps businesses thrive, organizations promote their causes, and people stay connected, it can also have a negative impact.
Recent research by a college essay writing service showed that adults and teenagers who spend most of their time on social media are over 50% more likely to report depression. As social media use increases, time spent face-to-face is decreasing. And it has been observed that adolescents, who practically grew up with social media, are lonelier and spend less time with each other.
At the same time, while some might think that social media helps them be informed and updated with the latest news, this is rarely the case. Social media gives the space for confirmation biases to exist. People like things that interest them and people who are on the same page as them. Surrounding yourself only with the things, businesses, politicians, you agree with can lead to misinformation.
In an era where everyone competes for your attention, users come to divide it. When fake news websites are created or shared, most people do not double or triple check what they read. Headlines are built in such a way that they attract your attention instantly because they promise to share a piece of flabbergasting news. Social media is also full of clickbait links that work because the attention span of humans on social media is eight seconds.
But just like any other invention or development, social media comes with bad and good things. Its major impact is on people’s lives. They can connect to each other easier now, compared with the times when they sent each other letters. You can watch your favorite shows online, follow the people you like, and read the news. You can learn new skills and gain more knowledge, and every information is more accessible than before.
At the same time, social media can lead to addiction, which has a negative impact on someone’s mental health. Depression and anxiety are on the rise, especially in the case of teens. Cyberbullying is more real than before, so social media should be used sparingly. Its impact on you depends on how you choose to use it. Choose to use it wisely.