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The social media outlets: a haven or a curse?

Aug 09,2018 - Last updated at Aug 09,2018

In an age dominated by hi-tech and supreme digital advances, social media outlets (websites and other applications that enable users to create and share content in social networking activities) are very much accepted today as part of people’s modern life to the extent that roles might change if they are taken away.

To be sure, social media is not only used for communication and amusement purposes. It can also be used in businesses on a large scale, though businesses do not embrace such outlets because of fear of the loss of their data. But social media can still be used to find, communicate and deal with customers all over. Some businesses also use it as a mode of advertisement.

Facebook, as a starting point, had a humble beginning as a modest networking tool for college students to let their colleagues know where their classes and professors were, and possibly to share some of their photos. But, nowadays, it has emerged as a major tool for marketing products, offer deals and commercial brands.

Like Facebook, Twitter, as another example, began as a social networking tool, a way for people to stay in touch, but has flourished into a complete business marketing tool. Twitter uses short messages by all the users who have an account. Businesses can use these to release news, market their products and direct attention to their special offers.

Google+, on the other hand, is a beginner but it is also becoming an important tool for businesses looking to increase their presence in the world of social media marketing.

WhatsApp too has become a cell-phone tool for exchanging videos, photos, publications, business offers and news so much that at times it edges into being such a bother when used carelessly for individual and group fun! 

The two main tools that college students prefer to use more than anything else are Facebook and YouTube. And people in the academics believe that the role of social media in education is to increase student awareness of and engagement in the institution. For social media can be an excellent way to engage students and make sure they are aware of all the activities on campus.

Be this argument as it may, however, social media outlets, in my opinion, have become more of a societal, communal, horrendous, dreadful setback than a beneficial, profitable tool. I think many of us have missed the point on how to make “friendly” use of what is supposed to be fruitful communication and outreach tools.

Albeit, in an ideal situation, social media can help improve our sense of connectedness with real, as well as online, human communities, and can be an effective communication tool for corporations, entrepreneurs, organisations, groups, political parties and governments alike. Almost a quarter of the world’s population is on Facebook today. Without doubt, social networks furnish interactions among people, and they have become even more powerful as they further develop.

Thanks to the Internet that each individual can now see that she/he is not alone in the universe. When individuals find one another via social media, they can create online worlds that boost their view of the world and other societies. It can open an entirely new window on the experiences of other people and other nations and cultures.

Without social media, moral, societal, economic and political problems would go unnoticed. Moral visibility of diverse issues has shifted the balance of power from the hands of those on the know to the masses of common people, bringing an increased perception of societal issues, questions remain as to whether this perception is leading to a real change.

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