I chose to write on this important topic because of its need and relevance. I think a better understanding should be thrown on the concept and use of social media. Social media is an online platform that enhances interactions between people. According to wikipedia, Social media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks
Some popular social media platforms are Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, instagram, whatsapp, skype, snapchat, pinterest, Google+ etc. If a proper research is carried out, it will be discovered the highest user of social media are the youth.
As popularly known, everything that has a good side also has a bad side and social media is one of those things. I will not be so wrong to say that the negative side of social media outweighs the positive. Hence its misuse. But then, we must bear in mind that these platforms were created to solve certain problem. So the misuse of these platforms is not directly caused by those who built the system, but rather by the end users, for whom the system was built.
Advantages of social media
Social media has lots of advantages which must not be neglected. These advantages include;
- Bridge communication gap: Social media is a great tool that must be deployed to bridge communication has. Indeed, it has successfully bridged such a gap. Social media fall under the Information Technology cum telecommunication industry. By telecommunication, we mean communicating in a far distance. Taking a close look at each of these social media platforms, you will agree that each of us has one or more friends whom we are geographically separated from each other.
Nature creates a geographical divide among us but social media comes in to bridge such a gap. In some cases, we interact with people whom we do not know and we might never know them in the real world. Also, with social media, you can share an information and it will be seen by millions of people (especially for boosted posts). Therefore, this is the very first importance of social media.
- Enhances interactivity: As much as social media bridges the gap in communication, it is also important to know that it enhances interactivity. We see many groups and pages on these platforms and as such the goal of enhancing interactivity is achieved.
- News gathering: It is also a platform through which many people gather news of daily happenings. Since the world has moved into the digital, newspapers are now in low demands and with time might become obsolete. Many of the internet users are not aware of websites that provides news. All they know is Facebook, whatsapp, instagram etc. Many other people who are aware of news websites, goes and get news and then comes and shares the news via various online platforms. Therefore, those who knows about social media platforms and nothing more will have the privilege of also staying updated as a result of the information share by a friend.
- Communication at a low cost: Online platforms also enhances communication at a low cost. The only thing we do is to subscribe frequently to have internet access. Consider all the communication you make via online platforms. If they were to be made as calls, check out how much it will cost you. Then you will agree with me that social media saves you more than 10 times of the money you use for calls.
- Means of learning: Also, social media is a great medium for learning. If you have fully engaged the social media, you will agree that there are lots of things that you have learnt via some of these platforms which you might not have learnt from anywhere, not even in the classroom.
For example, we see some boosted posts on our Facebook timeline title “thing to consider before choosing a project topic”. If you click on the ink, it takes you the website where such content was published. After reading the content, you find it so helpful. You might not have heard about the website that published that content before and you might not remember to memorize that name. Still you might not even know the person who composed the content but you have benefited from it. So you see how Facebook has helped in learning.
- Means of socializing: As the name implies, it is a means of socializing. Hangouts are done via some of these platforms. Virtual meetings are held via some of the platforms too. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries etc are done via some of these platforms. Therefore, social media is a means of socializing. Most times, we make more friends on the on social platforms than we make in the real world. We see people who are introverts having thousands of friends on their various social platforms, yet in the real world, they might not have up to two hundred friends.
- Job creation/awareness: LinkedIn is very good for this purpose. Companies use their various social media pages to advertise vacancies in the organizations. These platforms has created tons of jobs and has also published various job openings.
- Business promotion: Businesses are also promoted via these platforms. For example, I have gotten more traffics to my two websites (christianityupdate and infoducation) by promoting my contents on social media than through search engines and direct links.