The invention of social media has changed our lives tremendously. With instant messaging, unlimited access, being a cheaper method of communication, raising awareness, and generating income by promoting goods and services, social media has revolutionized modern day society. However, by developing addictions, changing the definition of privacy, creating scams and spreading antisocial messages, social media can prove to be harmful to mankind. Thus, social media can be either a blessing or a curse to the world. It is left up to the public to decide.
With instant messaging people can get in touch with their family and friends anywhere across the globe in seconds. And all we need is an internet connection. For example, MSN Messenger is a social networking service that has drastically changed the speed of communication across the world. In the past, people used to send messages through letters and telegrams that would take days to reach their destination. Thanks to social media we do not have to wait for such a long time to hear from our loved ones. However, a major disadvantage of social media is that people get addicted. This can seriously affect the health and well being of individuals.
Another key feature of using social media is unlimited access. People can send as many messages as they please and stay connected 24/7. We only have to pay a fixed rate (either monthly or annually) for the internet connection. For instance, companies such as Rogers provide high speed internet connections for the lowest possible prices. Whereas, we have to pay a fixed rate per minute if we contact people by cellular phone. Thus, social media is less expensive. On the other hand, social media has changed the definition of privacy. In the past, mankind was careful not to share any private information over the internet. But now we have become so accustomed to social media that we provide all our private information to our loved ones across the internet. This can lead to identity theft which can pose a serious problem in our lives. Strangers can steal your money, property and other assets in an instant. Therefore, we must be careful not to disclose our private information on the internet.
In addition, the birth of social media has made it so easy, convenient and cost effective to raise awareness of the important issues happening all around the world. For example, Facebook is widely used to generate money for people that have suffered from natural disasters. Conversely, social media can be used to scam people for personal benefit. For instance, the Nigeria Letter 419 Advance Fee fraud is the most commonly known scam. Therefore, we have to be aware with whom we interact through social media.
Moreover, social media is the most effective way for businesses to conduct market research about the goods and services they promote to the public. Businesses can use the constructive criticism expressed by consumers to enhance their products and satisfy the demands of the public. For example, epinions.com is a specially designed website for consumers to rate, appreciate and criticize new products and services that have recently been launched to the public. However, one must be careful when commenting on goods and services. The spreading of antisocial messages can spread quickly from one person to another and can lead to severe consequences.
All in all, people have to weigh the pros and cons of social media to decide for themselves whether social media is a blessing or a curse to modern day society. I definitely think that social media is a blessing for mankind because it is easy to use with unlimited access, cost effective, I can interact with my family and friends instantly and sell my unused items to make money.