The impact of social media can be felt in almost every aspect our daily lives. It would seem that this was a natural, almost inevitable result in a world where people spend more and more of their time creating and maintaining their online identities. People are on social media sites during work, during their free time, and most even make sure to keep their phone stationed on the bed stand while they sleep so that they can check it in the middle of the night. People have their phones constantly at their fingertips, and seem to seize any second of free time as a chance to use it.
Being that social media is so ever present in our lives, it would seem the next step would be to ask whether or not it is a good or bad thing. It’s hard to answer that question definitively. A website or an online application doesn’t always have some intrinsic moral value. That depends in large part on how people choose to use it. Critics and proponents both have fair points, but neither view is absolute. Someone who derides social media as some destructive force, good only for fueling narcissism and zapping the meaning out of social interaction can be just as misguided as someone whose opinion of social media is so high that they indulge themselves in it at every turn, to the point where it completely dominates their life. There are different levels and different contexts from which to view it. A better understanding of the full range of its impact does make it easier to form an opinion.
Perhaps most obviously, and unsurprisingly, is the strong effect that social media has had on the way that we socialize with people. On the positive side, social media has made it much easier to re-connect with old friends that you have lost touch with, as well as making it easier to stay in contact with your acquaintances. You might not have time to call or meet-up with these people as much as you would like and social media sites make it easy to send a message to strike up a conversation. People’s post and profiles are also a great way to stay in the loop of what is going on in people’s lives. Some people might argue that these types of interactions are disingenuous, but I would disagree. Just because an activity is easy to accomplish doesn’t somehow diminish its meaning. Liking a post or a photo is a nice, easy way to show recognition to someone and brighten there day. A simple compliment to a passing acquaintance in the real world is just as simple and can have just as positive of an effect.
However, there have been detrimental effects on the way in which we socialize. The first being that people routinely get so wrapped up in social media that they start to neglect the real world around them. We have all been a witness to it at some time or another; being at some big event or social gathering and seeing people spend the entire time focused on their phones. That type of behavior cuts you off from the experiences of the real world. Spending all of that time on the phone means ignoring the friends and family in your presence who have actually chosen to spend their time with you. It’s important to live in those moments and appreciate them.
Social media has also had a substantial impact on the political landscape as well. Almost every politician and community leader has some form of social media account and they Buy Real Active Instagram Followers to make them famous in their community . After buying followers when properly utilized, it can be their platform to discuss their policies and goals while allowing people to voice their opinion. Leaders could then respond to their constituents comments and start a health dialogue that pushes both sides towards improvement and compromise. The reality, however, is that most political social media accounts fall far short of any sort of online town hall.
Social media also makes it easier for people to engage in activism. Social media platforms can be a great place for people with like-minded ideas and philosophies to communicate and collaborate on future campaigns. Social media has proven a way to start strong grass roots movements of organized people trying to make a difference. Take the Tea Party Movement, or Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign bid, which both owe a great deal of their success to social media’s ability to help mobilize their supporters. Social media sites can give smaller social or political groups with little resources a stage to share their ideas with a massive audience that they otherwise would not have access to, while providing larger campaigns with a central hub of information that can easily provide updates and developments to massive amounts of people. The success of political movements that utilized social media will pave the way for its continued use in the future.
Lastly, it is important to discuss the impact that social media has had on the world of business. Most notably, social media has completely changed the world of marketing and advertising. It is now possible to reach massive audiences at a fraction of the cost. This does more than just allow massive corporations to save money on their brand campaigns. It allows for small companies to get the word out on their product when they wouldn’t have been able to before. The more visibility there is for small businesses, the more competitive the market will become. This is a pretty solid outcome for consumers and small business owners alike.
Social media’s effect on our society has been far reaching, but it is hard to describe that effect in any general terms. Just as the case with any new technology, it has been beneficial in many ways, and harmful in others. What is true about social media is that it has re-shaped our daily lives, will probably to do so in the future, and we need to adapt to that reality.