Sunday, 21 October 2018

Essay on Social Media Advantages and Disadvantages for Students

Essay on Social Media Advantages and Disadvantages for Students

Social Media Advantages and Disadvantages
The world seems a smaller place ever since the evolution of internet. With what started as a result of globalization and digitalization, internet has become the reason of tremendous increase of social connections and communications among people throughout the globe. Social media websites have slowly become the most visited sites by the users. The mainstream popularity of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Skype and other similar services have seen an upsurge in the last ten years. These websites allow the users to communicate, share pictures, links, messages, ideas and thereby facilitating social interactions. With the advantage of being accessible, simple and interactive, these services promote positive social behavior as one gets to interact with their friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances thereby also fostering a profound sense of online community.

In today's fast paced life, social media networking is what everyone seeks. Computers and mobiles are the most commonly used social media transmission devices. People now use the social media platform to share any information or express their emotions. By posting a picture of a newborn child will ensure everyone in your friends list on Facebook gets to know about it. It is that quick. One doesn't need to make any calls to share their joys. With its growing popularity, even politicians have joined the band wagon and initiated programs and created pages to reach out to millions by a single click. These websites also play a significant role in gathering people for a cause and mass movements. Social media nowadays is the best way to stay updated. Businesses-big or small are using the social media to market and advertise their products and services build customer loyalty and understand the market a very cheap and effective way.

But everything on social media is not that hunky dory as it seems. Social media has several disadvantages, too; the most important of that being one's privacy. Users share significant personal information on various social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype and Twitter which can be exploited in by many private players of the business world to reach out to you. Data mining is one of the repercussions of these social media websites. Cyber bullying and online harassment are other few outcomes of social sites. Thus, one needs to be weary of what information is being shared and with whom. 

Apart from this, social sites are the root cause of a host of fake news. Information on these sites spreads like fire in the jungle. And many careless and unscrupulous people resort to social sites to spread fake data in the form of images, content and even voices. Recent examples of some fake news which did the rounds were presence of a GPS chip in the new currency initiated by the government. This was in connection to stop people from hoarding the new currency and to allow proper circulation of money in the country. Apart from this, death hoax of famous celebrities have often seen the fake limelight. Veteran actor Dilip Kumar and yoga guru Baba Ramdev were the recent victims of such fake death hoax. In May 2017, a Whatsapp rumor led to the killing of seven people in Jharkhand. The repercussions of this fake news can be brutally extreme. Because of these, one cannot totally rely on what one see on these sites. 

The virtual world of internet often has many fake Ids in the name of different and wrong persons. With easy accessibility of these websites, people can mask their original identity and spread rumors and spam content online. The consequences can be barbaric. 

The information feed on social media is being infected by fake news. Because of the large amount of information available on the social media and the advent of targeted advertising, purveyors of falsehood are directly infecting the most susceptible and valuable victims who are likely to spread the infection. This false news usually sways during election time and during other important events. Many tech firms like Google and Facebook are working out to find a way to root out this weed or at least help the users to spot it. Critical thinking is required to judge between false and true information. To spread the fake news, purveyors are working with utmost precision to target those initial set of believers who would comment and share the fake news and then recommend it on other social websites. These news items spread further and farther to reach to the poorly informed persons who believe in it and have a hard time to judge its authenticity.

Thus, it is the users only who are unwittingly developing a social media environment which is becoming inherently prone to false news epidemics. This technology when exploited in the wrong hands can be hazardous for the society also. Techies are working upon finding ways to change the current scenario without altering the advertising centric business model of social media. It is time that social media companies come up much stringent guidelines to counteract fake news by preventing marketers and advertisers from targeting the users on the basis of personal information and political views. But advertising becoming a serious source of income, also makes it impossible for the companies to bar them. The only way out is to be alert and aware of the content which one comes through on the social media. Reverse policy should be applied on these purveyors by using the same targeting technology to identify and educate the most vulnerable people. This can be done by providing links to the real news which might help them to avoid getting fooled and spreading the fake news in the name of reality. 

Only awareness and critical thinking about fake news can work to stop this menace on social media. It can be summed up that if fake news is an infectious agent, then education is the only immunization which can provide comprehensive defense. There should be no room for any fake and unwanted content on the social sites and it is time that they should vanish too. This can be done if people across the globe join hands and work in the direction to wisely use the social media and exercise caution to avoid being a victim to online dangers.

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