Social media is the principal communication channel in the present-day world. It is extremely useful when it comes to increasing politicians’ activity, informing citizens on the latest news, or covering all population groups, thereby instilling a sense of belonging. However, this widespread instrument implies specific challenges, and most of them relate to equality issues. Since social media affects people’s perceptions and their social life, it is vital to consider the problems deriving from its popularity.
Types of Social Media
In the information age, it is becoming easier to access data, and this fact defines the increased probability of discrimination. As one of the primary sources of such information, social media includes various online platforms with different orientations but similar goals. The primary types of social media are networking websites, content sharing platforms, community blogs, discussion sites, and sharing economy networks. They intend to provide people with extensive information on critical issues and give them an opportunity to speak up. In this way, social media shapes perceptions and leads to biases and inequality.
Pros of Social Media Regarding Equal Opportunity
The benefits of social media are apparent since it implies the creation of opportunities for information exchange between members of various population groups. These sources are especially valuable since they are accessible to all citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, or age. In this way, social media can be considered as a tool supporting the concept of equal opportunity that means fair treatment of all people by the government and social institutions. Moreover, it is cost-effective, easy to use, and can reach target groups depending on a governmental body’s objectives. Hence, the use of social media is beneficial in terms of promoting equality.
Cons of Social Media Regarding Equal Opportunity
The advantages of social media sources are accompanied by specific drawbacks, and their consideration is essential for proper assessment of online platforms. They primarily relate to the exclusion of the offline audience and, therefore, the emergence of equality issues. Thus, for example, people who have no access to online sources are not aware of current world trends in the economy, and this lack of information can worsen their wealth. It will contribute to creating a gap between population groups and undermine the concept of equal opportunity. Another factor that can negatively affect the situation is the phenomenon of hate speech. Social institutions cannot solve this problem, and it adds to discrimination of specific population groups.
The Effect of Social Media on Adults and Kids
Social media has an impact on all people, and it is easier to trace it when considering adults and kids. The former experience it mostly in the workplace since companies have blogs facilitating the exchange of information between employees. However, people with limited access to social media platforms have fewer chances to keep up with the news or get a job, and this situation does not correlate with the principles of equality. The latter, in turn, have more opportunities for communication, but they also struggle with anxiety deriving from comparing themselves with others. Therefore, various online platforms provide opportunities while promoting inequality and discrimination.
The effects of social media on the principles of equality in opportunities are tremendous. Online sources seem to be advantageous in terms of receiving information, but no one guarantees its quality and objectivity. This situation gives a cause for concern for the government and social institutions that cannot eliminate negativity that accompanies accessibility. Thus, people benefit from the use of social media but suffer from the provision of unequal opportunities and the distorted perceptions instilled by it.