Today, social media is one of the greatest elements present in our life. With the rapid growth of social media platforms, we can send or receive any kind of information and even talk with people all over the world just by the click of a button. Adults and youths join platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat among others to dialogue with friends, family, and to even meet new people. Since the inception of these platforms, the world has changed in so many ways. While there are some negative associations with social media, the positive aspects outnumber the negative ones.
Social media gives the society an opportunity to grow and helps to widen the pathways for businesses. To a business, it opens the horizon to social media marketing and advertising, which can help to reach out to clients and even future clients. I can attest to this as my father owns an auto part business back in the Caribbean. He first met some of his suppliers through Facebook as he advertised his business there. After making that connection, he then took business trips sometimes twice per year to have direct communication with these suppliers. He was even granted opportunities to gain more suppliers while on these trips. Those that he met via social media went on and advertised his business to others on his behalf, and this brought in more business opportunities. To leave his home country to go out searching for suppliers would have been harder for my father if it were not for social media. It is an awesome platform for giving awareness of social causes. Potential opportunities can be obtained through social media as well, it is a platform where one can go to access information of all sort. It is also a popular way through which employers can reach out to people seeking jobs in any country.
Social media is more popular than the newspapers. People would find ads about job openings quicker while browsing through a social media platform because that is where they spend most of their time. One finds it hard to pick up a newspaper these days, especially the youth. They think that this is something for elders and older adults to do in their pass time. Social media helps one have good social communication with people all around the world. This can be for either business or pleasure. Some people meet their future soul mates and friends via social platforms.
Although some parents view social media as a distraction to their children, it can also be helpful to them. AJ Agrawal stated, “Teens want to be aware and informed just as much as adults. Using social media allows teens to follow organizations and causes that they believe in. It makes them feel like they are apart of something, even when they feel like an outcast in society.” Children tend to always want to be a part of what adults are doing. This can be toxic for them because there are some adult conversations that children should not be a part of. Allowing children the access to social media is a good distraction when adults are engaged in their own dialogue so that the children do not feel like parents are neglecting them. There they can find different social groups to become members of, organizations that they can learn from, and even just to pass the time by playing a game or socializing with friends. Social media can also help them with news and research for school.
Social media is used as a media platform to get news out that are not aired through the other media companies. There are many news media companies around the world, but they cannot give coverage to all the news on a daily basis. AJ Agrawal states an important fact when he says, “When natural disasters strikes and causes devastating destruction, social media is the ideal vehicle to deliver messages asking for support.” Take for example the 2017 hurricane season, when hurricane Maria destroyed the beautiful island of Dominica along with other beauties that make up the archipelago we call ‘The Caribbean’. In a situation like this, the companies there would have also been caught in the devastation on the ground. Media companies like CBS, CNN, and NBC are too far away to air what is going on. I can recall my Dominican colleagues here in Wichita Falls trying to contact their families after hearing of houses being damaged, excessive water everywhere, and roofs flying off. With tears in their eyes, some of them got relief when their families were able to use their mobile phones and shoot them a message via Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat to let them know of their situations even though it took a few days for some. Also, I remember Facebook flooding with messages seeking help. Even the Prime Minister had to seek help through social media because he was trapped in his house. Those good Samaritans who heard his cry got him the necessary help needed to ride out the storm.
Social Media can help people to follow individuals who can inspire them via their post, photos, and even life experience. Maggie R. Guinta and Rita M. John noted that “The depth of engagement with others on social media, not frequency or duration, is associated with a positive well-being” (198). Words from family and friends can only go thus far. ‘I love you, you are beautiful, and have a good day’ amongst others are some words you hear every day from family. Some say it just to lighten the mood of an individual and some just do not mean anything to it just by the tone or even the facial expression portrayed while saying so. Sometimes people need help outside of their families to tell them these things. Also, there are things that an individual feel more comfortable telling others. An individual can put his/her trust in an outsider based on past experiences as opposed to telling their family. Having access to social media to view other person’s photos and postings can help with positive well-being and self-esteem as it may motivate them to portray an image like that particular person. It also gives an opportunity to communicate with counselors or other peers at one’s own convenience.
Finally, social media is also helpful in the health care system. Yibai Li and his colleagues noted that “social media not only facilitates health information-seeking activities but also allows users to share health information.” This is an excellent approach as it is helpful. For instance, if a doctor has to refer a patient to another doctor for whatever reason, it is easier to transfer the patient’s file via social media. This is a plus for the environment because that is one less tree being cut down to get paper to print the information for the doctor. Also, it helps out the patients who sometimes misplace the information that the doctor sends them with. Yibai Li and his colleagues also mentioned, “Using social media, health care providers can post health information not only in text but also in more easily accessible forms, such as images and videos, which can be retrieved at any time of day.” This can relieve the institution of excessive clutter. Also, after having all the information on social media, it can offer some more space to move around or get more needed equipment for better care of patients.
Social media can be helpful and beneficial if it is used in the correct ways. It not only helps in the expansion of one’s business but also in keeping people motivated with other people’s stories as they learn from it. All in all, it requires a good balance to help social media be a good influence in one’s life. One must carefully weigh the benefits before engaging excessively in social media. Being a student, one must be on the ball with studies, find time for exercise, and limit social media for anything that does not pertain to school in order to live a proper life.
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