Social Media… Is the glass half full or half empty?

Social Media is a very broad topic when one thinks about it. It connects us to people half way around the world and you can find any answer in a matter of minutes but there are also bad things about it as well, it can affect your attention spam, our overall psychology and how we socialise with other people.

Before I go deeper into the topic, I have to admit this can go both ways, some people might like my opinions while others will hate it but without a doubt we can’t say that social media is all one big good thing.

That being said, lets see what social media has changed in our every day lives for good and bad:

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The upside of Social Media

Meeting and Connecting

Social media if seen as an industry can be very helpful in many ways, you can ask people half way around the world for an answer that you may not know, there are a lot of willing people that will help you out as long as you don’t use them towards your advantage.

Meeting new people is also a big one who knows you might even find the love of your life on there someday. Having online friends has a lot of benefits to it, you can ask them for opinions and advise and even if you travel and you’re close enough with some of them you might be able to stay at their house without paying for a hotel. It keeps some businesses afloat and helps expand them, makes customer experiences easier to record and makes the overall experience of using company better.

Informative Media

News is everywhere, on every little corner of social media, if you look closely on the sides of your screen on sites such as Facebook and Twitter you can see ads for informative Media. All the information you need for the whole week you can find in no longer than five minutes.

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The Downside of Social Media

Internet Addiction

In the beginning, the creation of social media, was only used for contacting other people around the world, but now thanks to sites such as Facebook we see people getting obsessed around how many likes they are going to get on their profile picture this type of behaviour can become an addiction and its not laughing matter. I did a test on myself being on a computer the whole day and at the end trying to realise how much I was on different types of social media and the result really surprised me, on the clock it said I was on there for 8 whole hours while I thought I was on there for no more than four hours, this made me think how unproductive and time consuming social media can be, how much time people can actually spend on a computer without realising what time it is.

Answer this for me, when was the last time you didn’t have your phone by your side without having a empty kind of feeling or a feeling of being disconnected to say the least? When was the last time you didn’t feel uncomfortable when your phone had a low percentage? All these little bits and pieces can affect people in many ways, study shows that some Internet users are addicts to the Internet, showing signs of anger and discomfort if disconnected from social media for a long period of time. To be honest I see myself in a similar type of situation with the whole feeling discomfort without a phone and I think this type of percentage of people is getting higher every day.

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It is affecting the attention spam of people by lowering it by a couple of seconds, which doesn’t seem much but after a couple of tries to concentrate on something you can realise that it can get worse as time goes on. This can change the nature of the mind and create major issues in short-term thinking.

There is also the way social media replaced newspapers almost completely. With everything that is on our ‘’newsfeed’’ we cant even get the truth about what’s happening in the real world anymore and headlines of many different topics can be very misleading, even though internet can help us get all the answers we need, it can also give us wrong ones without you knowing it.

The Conclusion

Social media can be good and bad, it really just depends how you use it;

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As a user of social media and stating all the points before, the next thing that I’m going say might make me sound like a hypocrite but I do believe internet provides many more positives and negatives. There is always going to be excuses and different studies that can indicate that it does more bad than good but for now it’s a brilliant way to find out all the answers and stay connected to the people you care about, which in my case is very important because I’m not from Australia. The Internet in general is a brilliant innovation that keeps expanding and new practices are being applied daily, this gives us knowledge that could change the ‘’status quo’’ of us as a species to a better one.

If you use technology to the benefit for yourself and other people than I would say that you are on the right side but if you just use for watching videos or to glare at your phone all day I have news flash for you, you’re using it wrong and its not going to get you very far in life.

The Internet has a lot of potential to do well and benefit you in many ways; it all comes down to how you use it and how much you use it.

References:

  1. Social Media. 2015. Social media ups and downs. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.journalnow.com/social-media-ups-and-downs/article_4feca791-3a9c-5408-9aff-4755d75cdee9.html. [Accessed 16 November 2016]
  2. 3.  Collective Evolution. 2016. Notification Nation: The Ups & Downs of Your Addiction to Social Media – Collective Evolution. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/10/07/notification-nation-the-ups-downs-of-your-addiction-to-social-media/. [Accessed 16 November 2016]

4.  BBC News. 2010. The ups and downs of social networks. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj1zKTkvazQAhWCUbwKHQaTAl4QFghHMAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Ftechnology-10719042&usg=AFQjCNFRmo0J99QpoZmBMwW4oWe3nq2lLA&sig2=4fWEFHXz_yHS2xP2D_-VVQ. [Accessed 16 November 2016].

5.  Karen Petersen. 2014. Ups and Downs of Social Media. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141020132054-59453187-ups-and-downs-of-social-media. [Accessed 16 November 2016].

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One thought on “Social Media… Is the glass half full or half empty?

  1. Vuk, overall I thought your points are well put. Some really resonated with me, but I got the impression that the internet and social media are one-and-the-same.
    I think your comments on Internet Addiction are anecdotally accurate. I can relate to your observation that use of social media can be “unproductive” – just using social media for the sake of it. Also, your points on “…feeling…disconnected…” and “uncomfortable” when (near) phoneless are spot-on. These feelings would not have existed to this extent prior to social media (maybe leading to more anxiety in the 21st century?).
    Your point on shortened attention spans also rings true. Today, we seem to be satisfied with frequent short “bites” of amusement, news, etc. A parallel could be drawn with T20 cricket becoming more popular than Test cricket for the younger generations. A well-put Tweet can be as effective/devastating today as was as an old-school newspaper critique or magazine article.
    If I have a criticism, it would be that you interchangeably use social media and internet. Social media leverages the technology of the internet, but they aren’t one-and-the-same. For example, when you talk about businesses in Meeting and Connecting, to me this is more of them having a “web presence” rather than social media.

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