Social media is here to stay. Like any other major development in the technological sector, there are advantages and disadvantages that accompany the use of social media. However, it will be wrong to ignore the positive impact of social media in society because one is blinded by the negative impacts. Most great things come at a price and a risk. Usually the risk is in being misused.
With rapid technological development in the world and the communication sector in particular,traditional means of communication like the television and radio station seem to be losing grounds as a means of communication in our society. This is because of the rise in the use of social media as a means of communication in society.
Looking Back in time.
In 1960, an American computer scientist Paul Baran developed a Distributed Adaptive Message Block Switching which was aimed at improving on telecommunication methods. By 1963, an American computer scientist by name Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider drawing inspiration from the history of computer sciences developed a new way of interaction between human beings and the computer.
The foundational work for social media as we have now come to know it began in the 1970s when the technocrats upon getting inspiration from a great computer scientist like Joseph Carl, upgraded the system of communication. The actual birth of modern social media was in the 1970s and in Chicago city of the United states of America. With the aid of ARPANET (Advancement Research Project Agency Network), social media was at the pick as circuit switching and the packet switching internet services were introduced.
The family of social media experienced a boost when the internet forums came up with the ability to login many people without any defect. From this period, people around the world came in contact with this technological advancements.
As the means of communication took a different dimension with the advancement in social media, our society has been impacted both positively and negatively. This is because in modern society people depend on social media as a means of communication and receiving news. The most widely used platforms in the world of social media are networks such as Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram etc. These have jointly impacted our society in various ways as will be seen bellow.
Positive impact of social media in our society
The positive effects of social media on communication
Advancement in social media provide a more affordable means of delivering information to the public than any other means of communication that has ever existed.
The world of Social media has positively impacted the communication sector in that one can be able to enjoy raw information from any part of the world while seated in his or her home without any stress. For example, with the use of Facebook, one can watch live broadcast, previews, rebroadcast of news or information from media houses with Facebook pages. Events such as football can also be watched through telephone using Facebook, YouTube etc. Social media is also quick in delivering information. For example, information of something that takes place in America can be seen in Africa with pictures or videos within a very short time. Thus the positive impact of social media in our society are worth appreciating.
The world of social media has also impacted modern society by making it possible for distant family members to be closer to each other. That is, with the use of social instrument or applications like WhatsApp and skype, one can make video calls. families and friends are able to communicate and see each other unlike other means of communication like normal telephone calls that allow only voices to be heard.
Social media communication and the business world.The effects of social media have also extended to the area of communication in contractual agreements involving parties or people who do not live in the samein the same place. That is, when there is a contractual agreement between the two parties though social media, there are possibilities that the contract can perfectly run to an end without both parties meeting face to face. The above practical idea which reflects the world of social media is important in all forms of business transactions.For example in the contract of the construction of a house, the contractor can be doing everything in European while the owner of the house is in South America. The contractor upon direct prove of work well done can call the owner through a video call and sent it through WhatsApp, Face book or Instagram and it is very effective.
There is also a positive impact of social media to the traditional media. When an event takes place at a location that is difficult or risky for reporters to reach and the media house cannot go to the field to cover the event, they will always rely on the social media for credible information. For example, the recent case of the Libyan slave dealers who sold humans was made known to the world because of quick delivery of information through social media. Also with regards to the recent case in the Syrian territory where there was an alleged use of chemical weapon by the Syrian authorities on the citizens of the said country, social media spread the news before traditional media like the television stations could be able to reach to the public. Some of the television stations depended on the videos sent to them through social media platforms.
One positive impact of social media in our society is that the public is able to listen to news in any part of the world without any television or radio waves since news information on mainstream communication devices like the television are now available online either on Facebook or YouTube for anybody who wants to revisit or who did not watch the live news broadcast. Thus making life easy in the world of social media
The effects of social media can be seen in the ease of research.
The world of social media has made it easy for an individual to carry out research and for the writers and bloggers to express their views and also get additional ideas from the outside world through comment from social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp etc. So when a writer shares his or her write-up on social media platforms and in the various groups still within the social media platforms, the people will be aware and the message will be spread to the public very quickly. The researchers who also want to carry out research on the same issue shared by the writer will also gain from the article since they easily visit the site through the shared linked. Thus social media as helped to bring writers closer to each other since most articles written by different writers can now be read by large number of people in the world through social media platforms
Social media has improved the rate of reading in our society. When information is being posted on Facebook or any other social media platform, due to the number of people using social media, at least some who are desperate in the post must go extra mile and read the full article or the write up. For example, if somebody shared a link of the article concerning the crypto currency which is still a new idea under development, the researcher will likely go extra mile for the information and to know more about the crypto currency.
Positive impact of social media on business
The population now in the world of social media need not to go the traditional media platforms for advertisement but they rather prefer to advertise their product online through the social media platforms like You Tube, Facebook etc. This is because many people are using these social media platforms in daily bases. The social media and society today is in a transitional generation to which in the near future the communication system will mainly be social media. The possibility of business men or the entrepreneurs meeting their clients after advertisement is certain because the entrepreneurs can have direct discussion with the client and even with photos and videos of the product
With the advancement in social media, there is an improvement in online marketing. There is growth in the business world taking into consideration the effects of social media and society in which the business is being operated. For example, it is easy for a seller to sale his or her goods and easy for the buyer to have his or goods with the development in social media. When you are staying in a city, you will be able to sit in your house and request for goods of your choice through online marketing which is fast gaining grounds because of the advancement of social media in our society. These marketing is very good for the modern society or in the world of social media since an individual can sit now in his or her home and chose the product online and the goods will be delivered to him within a short period of time
The world of social media made campaigns for general courses like the respect of human rights in our society easier.
This is because most non-governmental organizations use social media platforms like Facebook pages, website etc in order to achieve their goals. This move in the world of social media is recording more success than before. For example, the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa headed by the Barrister Agbor Balla always advocates using Facebook pages for the spread of information and ideas to the public. Hence the coming into play of social media technology has given a good move and new strategy in fighting for the human rights and freedom.
Social media has provided employment opportunities to the society
Apart from the great number of people who are directly employed by these media platforms, there are millions of other people who have an earning from one activity on social media or the other. Running face book campaigns and ads, having and running a popular youtube page or even having a large following on other social media platforms could considerably increase one’s income. There is no telling the number of people who would have been employed if social media did not exist. Sad to say, addiction to social media is the reason why so many have been fired from their places of work. But at the end of the day we cannot rightly blame their plight on social media. At least we should all have a sense of self responsibility that keeps us within certain limits in our use of social media.
Negative impact of the social media world
In life, there is always a saying that no matter how good or important someone or something is, it cannot be perfect. This saying also applies to the effects of social media within our society, though the idea of social media technological development was for the good of society, the negative effect of the advancement of social media can be blamedpartly on the generation of the world of social media or the people using these social media platforms.
Negative effects on the principles of public information or communication
It is rather unfortunate that the development of social media and society is affecting the way in which information is being spread out for public consumption. This is a day to day issue suffered by the population as a result of the miss use of social media by some individuals to propagate false information to the public. Today in the world of social media, confusing and false information is being propagated by the use of social media through bad faith individuals for their personal interest or for the interest of a particular group. For this reason, there is always confusion between the real facts on the ground and the false facts about the information.
The spread of false information has affected the profession of journalism and the traditional media platforms drastically. This is because most of the people writing online have failed to understand some principles of journalism. For example, posting of immoral graphic pictures which are frightening for the good consumption of the public. This has made the critic population to referred to the traditional media as political media platforms because of their attachment to the states in which there are found. This is because these platforms operate according to the rules and regulations of the states in which if disrespected they will be sanction. Unlike the social media in which there is no control, people post information with no credible sources without any fear of sanction since they can create false account to propagate false information
Negative effects on some cherished social values of our society
Some traditional values which should be remembered by the entire society are fast decaying because of the advancement of social media. For example, the respect given to one another by fellow citizens, the normal greetings of elders with respect especially in the African society etc., are fast decaying. It is hurting when you are may be communicating or speaking with your daughter or your son and he or she is concentrating on the social media platform with the far off friends. This is a form of disrespect in which is fast growing among the youth and even some elders. Thus social media and society in which we are living is a calamity to the future generation since some of this cherish traditional values like the physical visit of our brothers and sisters will be completely wipe out if care is not taken to remedy the situation
Social media is the major cause and promoter of conflict in some our societies
It is clear that most of the strikes which usually leads to conflict and riots around the world are being spread out quickly because of the use of social media platforms. This is because false information about the actual situation on the ground is quickly spread to arose anger within mind of the population. It is easy for the group of persons to organize riot with the advancement of the social media in our society. For example, if there was no social media it will be very difficult for people to be organize before the demonstrations. This is evident in the recent case of the Catalonians quest for independence which is in a progressing because of the use of social media to pass out information
Social media contribute to the rise of terrorism in our society
Communication between agent of terrorist and the terrorist group is easy when they gain access to the use of social media platforms. This is because the attacks are plan easily with the use of social media. With social media, the environment in which the attack is plan to take place is being video tape and sent to their leaders through the social media platforms for the proper information about the area which the attack is plan before their departure from their hide out to the place of attacks. This is why it is very easy for the Boko Haram terrorist group to carried out several successful attacks on daily bases in Nigeria. Thus the social media is plays a very important role in favor of the terrorist groups around the world.
The effects of miss management of the social media platforms
There is a gross miss management of the social media platforms which as lead to uncomfortable enjoyment of the social media by individuals and their privacy in our society. For example, the recent Facebook scandal between the European Union and the Facebook management body in which the body is suspected of the use of personal data for the benefit of the management body without the prior consent from the owner of the Facebook account. Taking into consideration from the analysis provided by Christopher Wylie one of the worker in the data analytics company Cambridge who releases the information that fifty (50) million personal data have been exploited so far by the Facebook management body without the consent from the individuals especially for the political reasons.
The recent case is that of the president of the United states of America Donald Trump whose 2016 campaign is allegedly went successful because of the use of personal data for campaign with the aid of the App developed by a Russian-American Kogan a researcher who illegally extort the personal data of 50 million users, the political ideas of Donald Trump was allege to be posted in the personal data of these 50 million users during the campaigns of 2016. Thus the advancement of social media has leads to the invasion of the private information which is a breach of the principles of human rights and exploitation of the public for the benefit of the few individuals
The miss management of the social media as also lead to the rapid rise of cyber criminality in our communities. Cyber criminality is gaining grounds because criminals always hag peoples account for their criminal or immoral used. This come as a result of miss management because the social media management authorities have whole fully failed secure the existence of so many account per person or have failed to prevent the account of users from being invaded by the scammers or cyber criminals. This cybercrime affects our dignity negatively in the society since when this cyber criminals hag people’s accounts, they turn to use the account for immoral reasons on your name
Effects on employment opportunities on the youth
Sometimes youths miss job opportunities because of immoral information they post on their social media platform page or the information they shared to others. Since most of the employers now in the world of social media are very much concern with what the youths can produce in terms of morals on their job site. Because of the need for moral behavior, they will always investigate former activities of the job applicants right to their social media account to see their ideas toward the society and what they spread as information for public consumption