Social media: Beneficial or detrimental? 

Provides platform for creativity and connections

Social media has played a huge role in our lives for years. With nearly 40% of the world’s population being consumers of these platforms, could this lead to positive effects in businesses and society? Or could this be adverse to our mental health and take a toll on our well-being?

Some say social media is what you make of it, like everything in the world. Consider the positive effects of social media platforms.

The purpose of social media was to connect friends and family from all over the world. Humans are essentially social beings, meaning we need other people to truly flourish. Therefore, social media can lead to strong relationships with others. Every consumer has a voice. A person can post any opinion and anyone has the ability to view it. Individuals who feel like they have no one to go to can have an outlet where they can get support and feel accepted.

Social media can give people a platform to display technological savvy, creativity, self-confidence, and the ability to create lifelong friends. Any individual can find other people who share similar interests and ambitions.

With marketing on social media, small and large businesses have opportunities to expand their business by marketing that can reach anyone. This exposure in the media can attract customers and can contribute to business growth. Social media can also provide easy access to educational resources that wouldn’t be available otherwise.

Now let’s consider the negative effects of social platforms.

Many news outlets can give misleading information that can easily cause negative effects to people, the environment, and businesses. It’s become much harder to determine whether or not something is real or fake. This is an inevitable consequence of social media and news outlets.

Social media also has negative impacts on productivity. Many people can fall into this trance of constant scrolling that will lead to severe consequences in work, school or family. Reduced productivity can lead to addiction to social media. The number of times consumers log into social media can be problematic. Academic research shows that social media usage can increase instances of depression. However, based on a consumer’s usage of social media, this can differ in certain individuals. Cyberbullying is also a very real thing in the social media world. People seem to feel bolder and inclined to attack others behind their screens, which in effect can lead to anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, and depression.

Ultimately, the effects of social media vary in each person, taking usage, age, and mental health into consideration. Excessive use of anything never has a good outcome, but we cannot say that social media is a universally bad thing because there are many benefits when it’s used moderately.