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In the era of science and technology, it would be quite unusual to find anyone who does not have a social media account. Based on a research carried out by the Pew Research Center in 2013, forty-two percent of the internet users have more than one social media account, which includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. In 2014, the percentage of the users using two or more social media sites had increased significantly to fifty-two percent. This shows that the engagement of social media sites by users are increasing as time passes. As the social media is introduced to the world, it brings a profound impact to the society. In my opinion, social media brings more advantages compared to disadvantages, such as real-time communication, providing wealth of information, providing a platform to share information, and allowing people to learn to socialize with others. Therefore, I strongly agree that social media is beneficial to mankind all depends on the hand that uses it.
First of all, some of the social media sites provide real-time communication. It is a communication takes place instantly without any delay between the users. Hence, it saves a lot of time as messages or any attachment can be sent to other users in the matter of seconds. For instance, Wechat and Whatsapp, both social medias offer time-saving and inexpensive means to communicate such as messaging, voice calling, and even video calling. It is an inexpensive way to communicate as both social medias provide voice call and video call without any charges. I would tend to believe that as the time passes, snail mail will be slowly replaced by social media. More precisely, Facebook provides a medium that allows users to connect with others. Therefore, it is capable of extending people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships. In real life, students who study overseas are now able to communicate with their parents or relatives using Skype or Facebook without distance barrier. Consequently, social media help to maintain and improve the relationship between one another. In addition, real-time communication provides a more convenient way for face-to-face interactions between users. In particular, it allows many businessmen to use video conferencing for meetings. Therefore, physical meetings are no longer constraining the corporations as it can bridge gaps when they need to exchange information and ideas.
Besides, social media also enable us to gain wealth of information easily. Students can look up the materials and information easily for them to complete their homework or assignments. They don’t have to spend hours browsing the books in the library to search information. Social networking has now provided a captivating way in teaching to engage all the students. Discussion forum such as Quora or reddit further helped the students in their educational studies. Students can discuss a topic together to understand further about that particular topic. As what Tom Clancy said, ‘a lively discussion is usually helpful, because the hottest fire make the hardest steel’. By using this Q&A (Question-and-Answer) platform, students can exchange their different point of views, study those opinions and discuss among themselves. In this digital era, online news through social media is now more popular than television and radio. Seventy-five percent of the respondents of a survey conducted said they get news from e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Users can share the link of a particular news article by e-mail, posting articles on Facebook or tweet them on Twitter. This method of information transmission is rather faster compared to television, radio, or the newspapers. In short, social media can provide a lot of information for its user needs.
In addition, in this modern era, technology has become more and more sophisticated. What is the benefit of using social media? Well, social media which acts as a platform for the users to express their feelings has become a crucial part of our lives especially for the young generation. Sharing their feelings and thoughts through social medias has become a culture among them. People share videos, pictures and status to describe their daily life. Therefore, it has become one of the best ways for them to release their stress and unwind themselves. For example, when a person gets a good advice or positive feedback from other users in social media and has been provided with support and encouragement, he or she may overcome a problem in a positive and efficient way. Thus, their problems can be overcome efficiently. Furthermore, in social media like Pinterest, users can share their passions in music, art, sports and photography with others. Most of the users report that they frequently receive comments on their photo and art content and often spark an online conversation. Users who share the same passion are able to learn from each other and improve themselves in a particular interest. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. Besides, blogging has also become a popular trend nowadays. Blogging helps people to discover who they are and what their identity in the world will be. As it provides a medium for people to express themselves either in formal or informal way. For instant, in an informal way, blogger can use blog as their dairy to write anything they did and felt. To illustrate, they can write “I bought a piece of cake from Secret Recipe and it really tasted delicious” in their blog.
Last but not least, it is important that a person must know how to socialize with others. According to Rosen, L. D., online social networking is able to help introverted adolescents to learn how to socialize. Introverted adolescents tend to be quiet in large group of unfamiliar people and hide their emotions. However, some of them find that sharing stories and articles on Facebook or Twitter to speak their minds out is one of the best ways to express their feelings and thoughts. Accordingly, in real life, they are able to step out from their comfort zones and establish friendships with others easily. However, it has been argued that social media makes teens obsessed with online life or even use online tools to bully peers. On the contrary, I would argue that social media allows its users to develop a variety of skills and obtains benefits from it. In this manner, social networking sites offer peoples the opportunity to navigate the world the world of technology every day, learn valuable computer and social skills and improve their language proficiency as all these skills will help them find jobs in their careers and prepare them for a professional environment in which computers are commonplace today. Therefore, people are able to gain skills that will prove extremely helpful in their future in an indirect way while they communicate with others through online. In brief, social media enables its users to socialize and communicate with each other and develop helpful skills for their future.
Perhaps, there are many concerns when it comes to the idea of using social media. According to Breakenridge, D. K., social media is a reflection of what goes on in real-word interactions between people. The norms, mores, and rules can be carried over to the “virtual” settings. However, it is undeniable that social media brings a lot of advantages than disadvantages to us. This is because communications remain the same, only the way we give and receive them has changed. Therefore, we must feel grateful for having these creations that have paved the way for progress and use it wisely.
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