Social media allows the users to display their personality through a biographical profile. The users communicate and chat with friends, family, and strangers by using the social sites. One carries out research and shares ideas through the social sites. The sites also allow the users to share photos, links, and music. According to a study carried out in 2011, 48% of adults in the United States use social networking sites. These sites include face book, MySpace, and twitter. The use of social sites has increased by 24% since 2008. However, social networking sites have benefits and disadvantages.
Benefits of social networking sites
One benefit of social media is the assistance it has given to law enforcement. Law enforcers have turned the tables on criminals by using social networking sites. For example, the New York police department created a twitter-tracking unit. They are able to track down and arrest criminals who brag about their criminal accomplishments on twitter. In 2011, Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup. This resulted to riots and acts of vandalism. Social media identified some of the rioters. Social network users tagged the police the pictures of the people they knew and were involved in the riot.
Social networking sites have also proved useful in disarming social stigmas. Twitter has promoted the truth behind the misconceptions associated with mental disabilities. Face book is a social media that has aided in the reduction of HIV infection rate and the underlying stigma through educating face book users.
Educational resources are now available in the social sites. This has simplified the aspect of research for students and researchers. Education resources that were previously not available are now accessible through social media sites. Researching facilities as well as researchers share photos and collaborate with other professionals from various fields through social media networks.
Non-benefits of social media
Social media has a negative toll on students. A study shows students who use the social media have a lower GDP of 3.06. The students who do not use social media sites have a GDP of 3.81. Nicholas Carr in his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” supports this argument. He argues that social media has exposed the society to boundless amounts of data. However, the easy accessibility of this information has come with a price. He argues that because of the bulk of data, the reader does not carefully read the contents. The reader only peruses through the content. This lowers the reader’s concentration span.
According to Pew internet report, about 13% of the social network users have reported the destruction of a relationship through social media. Hal Niedzviecki in his article “Face book in a Crowd,” discusses how 700 of his online friends declined to come to a party he organized for them. Only one friend showed up for the party. Hal Niedzviecki ended drinking alone at the end of the night yet he had over 700 friends. This resulted to feelings of rejection and increased the stress levels of Hal Niedzviecki.
Personality and brain disorders are associated with the use of social networking media. Such complications include ADHD and self-centered personalities. Most people who use the social networks are lonely, depressed and experience general distress. In addition, people who use social media lack interpersonal skills. They are unable to relate with other people around them.