The Pros and Cons of Social Media
Social media seems like such a controversial topic these days. Whether it's linked to a tragedy, or the reason for a positive shift in behaviour there's no doubt that the digital world has its effect on all of us. like most things in life, there's pros and cons, and this blog breaks down everything good and bad about the online planet were inhabiting, providing you with some food for thought.
At Tekitin we like looking at the brighter side of things, and while there are many cons to social media, we believe the pros outrun them by a mile, especially on a larger scale.
Social Media is a Market places great haven, not just for business owners but for consumers too. The online world has created many opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs to exploit market trends and create new streamlined products and processes. The benefit of this on consumers, is that they receive improved products, content and prices.
As well as those, more benefits come to consumers through security, as they can look up a company's credibility, and improved customer service due to the competitive nature of online.
Staying In The Loop (Best Pro)
One of the biggest benefits and arguably the greatest benefit is the information various platforms provide. wether it's keeping up with local and global news or educating us on our passions or problems, the ease of access to this information makes social media an incredible tool.
Easy and Instant Communication
Think of your friends, old and new. How many of these friendships have you created, nurtured or maintained due to social media? if you're like the majority then it'd be a lot, Social media is a great place to stay in touch and meet new people.
Self-expression and entertainment
Social media allows you to showcase your best self. Post about your hobbies make content and entertain others, the whole lot. There's nothing wrong about inspiring others to live their best life and sharing you at your best does just that.
Gives people a voice
Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? yeah the challenge that raised over $115 million for Lou Gehrig's disease. Well, that was a movement created on social media. Social media gives people a voice to create positive movements and call out bad behaviour, something that reflects positively on individuals and the world.
We know there's always a bright side, but this wouldn't be a pros and cons list without any cons...
Once you put something out there, it's out there forever. One mistake, one inappropriate post, one misinterpreted caption and all of a sudden your a villain. Job applications will get knocked back, your social credibility will fade and you will regret having ever made that post. You just have to look at numerous celebrities and the outrage they've caused with old tweets.
Probably the most regarded con of social media is the social pressures it places on people. Through edited photos, lavish lifestyles and numeracy as a way to measure someones social prestige, the online world creates a perception of a fake social hierarchy and makes some people place high value in fabricated features such as followers and likes. This can create the unhealthy habit of comparison.
Distraction and Procrastination (Worst Con)
The online world distracts many. The way these platforms are designed is to keep you on them for as long as possible, essentially creating an addiction. This takes away from an individuals productivity. As well as this it can mean people aren't present in the moment and disrupts/distracts from real-life communication. next time you are out, I encourage you to observe interactions between people. Youll find that many of these interactions aren't actually interactive.
Screen time and health issues associated with smart devices is a topic that's much talked about at Tekitin. Social media is highly addictive and only increases the amount of time spent on screens. More time spent in front of your screens leads to UV radiation issues as well as tech neck (posture problems)
Gives people a voice
But you had this as a pro? yes, sadly it's both. While having a platform for people to share views, have dialogue and make judgements can be positive, the backhand is, that it can also be extremely negative. Social Media can be a breeding place for negative people/trolls to inflict their views on the mass. It equips people with a platform to spread uneducated/misguided information, hate towards others and unfortunately discrimination.
If you are personally feeling the negative effects of social media then here's what you can do...
Detoxes are a great way to discipline yourself and reset from social media. Whether It's for a day, a month or a whole year, removing yourself from the online world can give you clarity.
Content Diet (Our Recommendation)
Creating a content diet is the perfect way to reap all the benefits of social media while minimizing the cons. A content diet is like a normal diet, if you consistently eat bad food your body will wear the side effects, You will get fat and will feel sluggish and unenergized. The same goes with what we visually consume. We rapidly consume thousands of different content every day, over time this content has a drastic effect on our conscious.
Filtering the content you consume, will not only create great habits but remove the negative loops you find yourself in, in regards to online. By re-evaluating what pages and people you like, follow, engage with etc. you can ensure social media is benefiting you to the max.
It can be helpful to limit your time online. Giving yourself a daily time-limit or Setting designated windows to go on social media are a great solution
Get rid of it altogether (extreme)
While we think it's extreme, if it suits you then run with it. Getting rid of social media is truly the only way to get rid of all the negatives of the online world. However, that means you also get rid of all the benefits...
Social media is always so quick to come under scrutiny, and we believe wrongfully so. Social media is an incredible way to stay connected to people and the world, it creates a heap of opportunities and is a source of inspiration and expression for many. However, we must hold ourselves accountable if we don't want to wear the side-effects it brings.
With so many of us spending so much time on social media it's important that we track our behaviours and re-centre our priorities so that we can truly reap the benefits of the online world.