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Pros and Cons of Social Media Essay

pros and cons of social media essay

Example #1

Communication is an essential part of the human life when it comes to connecting and advancing our society. Ever since the beginning of time, different forms of communication were established such as: sign language, body language, visual communication, and written communication. Now in modern culture, communicating has taken a whole new level with social networking. The endless social media sites, from Facebook to LinkedIn, makes it accessible to interact between a multitude of people.

Our generation has grown attachment to the leisure of staying linked to the whole world via these sites. Although these sites has good motives – like instantly connecting people everywhere to what’s most important to them, others also believe that there are many bad motives social media ushers.

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Walking through the mall, the heads of numerous shoppers is all one can see. Hunched over with their eyes glued to their phones, eager to catch up with the latest tweets, see the just posted “selfie” of their favorite celebrity on Instagram, or liking funny posts on Facebook. Instead of interacting with those around them, our generation tends to fixate more on how they could build up their character of having a great time or being funny, but in reality, can all be fictitious.

Social media includes many positives aspects, one being that they help you keep in touch with friends and family that live far enough away that you can’t visit them on a regular basis. These sites provide a way of communication for any and all kinds of relationships. 93% of adults on Facebook use it to connect with family members, 91% use it to connect with current friends, 87% use it to connect with friends from the past, and 72% of all teens connect with friends via social media (ProCon, 2017, p.1).

Social media sites also help students do better in school. It helps create social communities and groups for learning, developing and collaborating on innovative ideas and products beyond the confinement of a classroom (Bennett, n.d, p.1).

Additionally, they help those who are socially isolated or introverted connect with others. More than 25% of teens report that social media makes them feel less shy, 28% report feeling more outgoing, and 20% report feeling more confident. Youth who are “less socially adept” report that social media gives them a place to make friends and feel more comfortable being vocal through a social media platform (ProCon, 2017, p.1).

Although to many social media has its upsides, others also agree that it has its downfalls, one of the biggest factors being cyberbullying. 52% of students have reported being the victim of cyberbullying with 84.2% naming Facebook as the site through which they have been bullied, followed by Instagram (23.4%), Twitter (21.4%), and Snapchat (13.5%). Middle school children who are victims of cyberbullying are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide (ProCon, 2017, p.1).

Social media has made teens emotionally weak and disconnected due to lack of social engagement. Despite having a plethora of emojis (expression of feelings) available on keypads of ones smartphones, it is difficult to express real feelings through machine due to the fact that it creates a barrier to face-to-face social communication. One could doubt if the expressions of the opposite person are authentic since the quality of communication on social media is harrowing simply because you cannot sense their emotions (Bennett, n.d, p.1). These outlets also implement the spread of inaccurate and misleading information.

To sum up, social media outlets has both its advantages and disadvantages. It gives people the power to share and make the world more open and connected while on the other hand can make people out of tune with their surroundings. Both sides of the debate can be favored by different people, yet it’s how one supports and backs up their data with factual and reliable information.

 

Example #2

There is a type of discrimination that occurs every day in our modern society. It goes largely unnoticed and unacknowledged, but hurts millions with its silent sting. It is the discrimination against fathers and is perpetrated by the long tendrils of the media. Every father, no matter how adequate, inadequate or superb, is affected by this constant defamation. This discrimination consists of the constant degrading of the parenting role of the father and is, as well as has been a detriment to the fostering of positive relations between a father and his child or children increasingly over the past years. This treatment is unfair, unfounded and harmful. Unfortunately, it is also prevalent in our society.

The media, as the largest shaper of social constructions, is most effective through two of its most popular subdivisions, the entertainment media and the advertising media. Both parts have a long-standing record of discrimination against fathers and show no sign of recognizing the implications of their actions, let alone stopping them. The reason why this is such a tragedy is that the images that the media portrays are so often taken as fact, that these beliefs have sunken into our societal consciousness and become “truths” in the mind of the average American when they truly are not.

With few images to hint at the contrary in our lives, how can we defend ourselves from falling victim to the unfounded dominant belief? The truth is that we cannot, but at least we can attempt to recognize the roots of our beliefs and at least begin to question the “givens”. The discrimination against fathers is an issue of culture and not of nature.

Through the television and movies, all we see, in regards to fathers, is the media’s portrayal of their fabled inability to effectively parent. It is rarely directly said that fathers are not as well equipped to parent as mothers, but it is greatly implied. Every night it gains way into our living rooms through the evening news and our favorite sitcoms. Through television shows such as Home Improvement and Coach, we learn to see men, and more specifically fathers, as insensitive and preoccupied with “manly” things, and overall not as able to parent as mothers. We see the television characters that have come to symbolize the “average” man in our society, a symbolization that they truly do not deserve.

On their funny shows, they are seen doing all they can to get out of family activities to go watch football games. We laugh at their foolishness when they cannot figure out how to put a diaper on a baby and blow up the baby’s bottle in the microwave. We swallow these story lines and laugh at them and say, “oh, that’s so true”. By seeing these daily images in such a humorous and entertaining manner, we do not view them as harmful, but it is this comfort level which makes us blind to their detrimental effects.

These messages are also conveyed through the almost weekly “TV movie” which all too frequently airs on the major networks. These sappy movies, more often than not, are about a “mother’s story”. The specific movie topics range from stories of the hardships that a mother must go through to get her child back from an evil father to how difficult it is living as a single mother. These kind of stories surely happen in our society, but I have never once seen a story about the love a father has for his children in fighting against a psychotic mother. This type of show just wouldn’t be successful, as people like to play to their current stereotypes and rarely to the truth.

A survey that I conducted yielded revealing results as to the media’s affect on people’s formulation of perspective. Twenty percent of the respondents said that the media’s image of the “deadbeat dad” was a noticeable contributor to their images of the current perception of fathers. One student said that mothers were better parents because “Fathers abandon their children”. Another said that she admired mothers so much because they are always there when “the father runs out on the child”. These are clear images of the media’s profound affect on us when it comes to our gendered beliefs. The further solidification of this assertion is that neither student had a parent that left them nor did either report to favor one of their parents over the other. If their beliefs do not come from personal experience, then where do they come from?

In the same survey, when asked for a television show, movie, or advertising campaign that demonstrated, for them, the perfect family, twenty-five percent of the respondents said that Leave It to Beaver was their choice. One student even partially acknowledged the roots of his reply; “I guess because the media always says they’re the picture perfect family and it seems to be implanted in our heads.” Responses are both shocking and disturbing.

They hint at a lack of acknowledgement for changing social norms. Another student noticed the fault in this antiquated image; “The media is caught up in the past, a world of unequal social ‘rules’; its time to move on.” It was refreshing to read one male student’s response regarding the “perfect family”, he said, “These days there is no such thing as a perfect family because there are so many types of families.”

With this statement, he solidified the argument for a progression away from the gender governed days of the fifties into a more modern and equitable family situation. One example of this was many of the respondent’s belief that The Cosby Show was their definition of the perfect family because everyone was valued and shared both love and responsibilities with their children.

Stereotypes sell at the box office too. Movies such as Liar Liar, The Santa Clause, and Donnie Brasco all did extremely well while all three had main characters that were horrible fathers to their children. The fathers in these movies each forgot an important day for their children (birthday, Christmas and Holy Communion) while the mothers were there to comfort the children about their father’s absence.

Why in the entertainment media are fathers always seen as irresponsible and ignorant while the mothers remain a pillar of stability and support? We, as consumers of this bunk, fall into the belief, through our constant exposure to this image, that this is obviously the case. We receive the same barrage from all facets of our media exposure, including the news, the Internet, radio and most affectivity, through product advertising.

Discrimination pays in the consumer market when it comes to children’s commodities. All products seem to jump on the “anti-father” bandwagon. Cereals such as Kix have found it useful to show their preference for mothers with their slogan, “Kid tested, mother approved”. What does this imply to the consumer? That buying this product is okay because mothers say that it is good? Jiff Peanut Butter believes that “choosy moms choose Jiff”.

What do choosy fathers choose? Pull-ups Diapers tells its customers that when their toddlers use their product, they will say, “Mommy wow, I’m a big kid now”. If this phrase were to be taken literally, this would imply that only mothers are proud of their children’s accomplishments. All of these slogans should lead the consumer to ask the question, where are the fathers?

The reason why these types of ad campaigns are so successful is that, in large part, the fathers are in the isles buying these products along side mothers and are blind to the severity with which they are being shafted.

There has never been a time in history more deserving of equality amongst parents than in our present era. With both children in daycare and women in the work force increasing (21.1% in 1960 to 58.2% in 1990), there is no better time for fathers to rise and take their position as respected and loving parents (www.xenocide.nando.net). According to the same source, children in daycare is also on the rise; this can only beg for greater time for fathers to spend more time with their children and demonstrate all that they have to offer.

The only reason these one sided images are prevalent in the media is because we allow them to be. As one respondent in a survey of Boston College students shared, unknowing of the full implications of his response, “Media = reality.” Believing this, it is all too easy to fall in line of culture. It is too often held as fact that mothers are the better-equipped parents of the children. This concept holds its strength in its longevity. The media needs to recognize that fathers are taking a larger role now, than ever before, in the upbringing of their children. The movie Mrs. Doubtfire is one example of how the media can portray fathers in a more positive light and still be well

The survey also indicated that respondents with mothers who worked and fathers who stayed home with the children had completely different responses. They had the same general perceptions of society’s view that mothers are better parents, but had different personal beliefs. Unlike nearly all of the other respondents, they equated nurturing, loving and supporting to their fathers and strength, rationality, and toughness to their mothers.

This hints at a correlation between the family’s division of responsibilities and the respondent’s perceptions of which parents occupy which characteristics and speaks of a connection between. Another evidence that these beliefs are cultural and not natural.

received. More films, television shows and advertising campaigns need to open their minds to the realities of fatherly roles. In order for fathers to successfully continue to increase their role in the upbringing of their children, they need equal treatment with mothers. We no longer live in the 1950s and the media needs to recognize this in its portrayal of fathers.

How easy would it be to give father characters in the movies and television shows a more updated societal definition and, in advertising, say “parent”, instead of “mother”? The answer to this question is sadly not at all easy. This is the case because the viewers have such strongly engrained images that fathers will not soon be accepted in the public eye. Fathers don’t sell in the media-how can we expect them to appear when we, the public don’t want to see them.

We have to ask ourselves why we so often believe, as one of the survey respondents replied that, “mothers are more caring and loving than fathers.” This “fact” is all too often cited and supported by phrases such as, “mother knows best”, “a face only a mother could love”, and the sacred “maternal instinct.” Not only do these phrases speak to mothers’ abilities, but they also, by lack of opposite gendered accompaniment, imply that fathers do not bear the same characteristics. Is there no paternal instinct? no father’s love for ugly children? These beliefs use the “natural” argument in their own support, that females are born to be better parents that men, are preposterous.

As the well respected sociologist Anderson questions: “we have to wonder why biological differences are so often claimed as explaining inequality between the sexes.” (Anderson 28) The problem with such questioning such a societal “given”, is that its tendrils lay in every facet of our lives. If we were to look at the television, down the street, or into any part of our lives, we wold see nothing other than the furtherance of these images. It is only when we see the networks of tradition holding up these beliefs and shadowing the true equality between the sexes, that we will be able to agree with the sociologists who believe that sex and gender roles, “[are] a cultural and not a biological phenomenon.” (Anderson 31)

The belief that mothers are more innately able to parent than fathers is far from truth. This belief which rests so firmly at the heart of our core beliefs is all too often taken as fact. The derivations of such beliefs are curious yet obvious. These hegemonic ideas are proliferated in the name of culture and are accepted because, “that’s the way it has always been and always will be.”

Why is this the case? This is true because we have grown immune to the stinging effects of culture. We see our cultural lives with rigid boundaries when in fact, they are an ever-changing region of social acceptance. Where once homosexuals and minorities were viewed as obviously lesser people, the boundaries have shifted to, at least in name, include them in the dominant beliefs of society.

Who knows how long it will take for fathers to receive their recognition, but one can only hope that this change will occur sooner than later. In order for such social inequalities to be remedied, social recognition and acknowledgement must take place. It is only when we challenge our definitions of “obvious” and “natural” that fathers will receive their just recognition. But with bias cultural margin setters such the media in the way of this shift in acceptance, it can only be hoped that individuals will take notice to the inequalities surrounding parenting roles. It is only when we acknowledge these cultural ills that they can be fixed.

As Anderson concurs: “People are not mere receptacles for social life; rather they actively participate in and create social change.” (Anderson 49) We see these images in the media because the media knows that we want to. How can we expect to see anything different when we truly believe what we see, that mothers are better parents than fathers? How can we expect the media to change its point of view when we ourselves refuse to question the validity of our beliefs?

 

Example #3

Never before humans were connected to each other as in today’s world. The popularity that social media (mainly Facebook) has gained over the last decade has inspired several researchers to adopt this platform as a topic of their research. According to various research works conducted on Social Media, it is astounding to know that the youth spend at least 20 minutes scrolling down the content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – the most famous Social media platforms. Considering the active presence of the millennial on Social Media and the scale at which it has an impact on them, companies, today, are compelled to change their traditional marketing and communication strategies.

According to Shea Bennett, Head of Digital at Identity, the millennial tend to spend 1 minute out of every 10 minutes they browse the internet for, on Facebook and Instagram. Such is the influence of Social Media on the youth today that it has almost become a part of their irresistible diet. It was only after the ‘birth’ of social media that the term ‘viral’ came into being.

It has changed the world in many ways that anyone could barely predict until about a century ago. While there are several advantages of Social Media both in terms of connectivity and fame it can bring to you, there are few disadvantages of it, too.

Apart from various attractive features included in social media, it empowers youth, or any class of generation for that matter, to create social groups and pages to attract like-minded people, thereby forming a network whereby people can share similar interests and interact with one another.

Surprisingly, few students – who were randomly picked as samples from different universities – revealed that social media has changed their lives in many ways, and even went on to say that it has been instrumental to their both personal and professional growth and also helped them be more empathetic.

 

Example #4

The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we’re really disconnecting from each other. Communication is a crucial part of the human life when it comes to interacting and progressing our society. Ever since the beginning of as much as we can remember, we’ve communicated in many forms such as body language, sign language and written language.

Nowadays, we’ve taken socializing to a whole new level. We’ve constructed a form of typed language with the given name, social networking. There are endless social media sites that make it obtainable to connect between various amounts of people. In consideration of the ability that people can interact through social media, most people own an account for engaging.

Social networking makes keeping in touch with a vast circle of friends easier. Anyone can send personal emails and letters to individuals, or post a simple message for everyone to see at once. They can let everyone know where they are, what they’re doing and how they’re feeling, and it only takes a few seconds. The most genuine complication of social media is addiction. A reporter on Salem health characterized that text messaging is no longer the biggest teenage obsession, and enormous phone bills from lengthy phone calls are no longer the biggest doubts for parents. These teenage addictions still remain, but in our generation and in analogy to the Facebook mania, it’s quite insignificant. Facebook addiction is advised to be a disorder driven by a craving.

Not being able to access Facebook creates anxiety among fanatics. It is one of the most prominent social networking sites and has over one billion users without exception. People detach themselves from family and friends. Further symptoms of Facebook addiction have been related with needy sleep patterns. Researchers have also attempted to evaluate certain personality traits to the obsession.

Being in touch with friends and family might clarify the logic why people are unreasonably obsessed. Some people evolve into becoming isolated after using social media.

 

Example #5

There are many different pros and cons of social networks. Social networks allow for easier communication and allow people to make new friends. However, these sites allow pedophiles to groom kids and allow for bullying.

Social Networking sites have allowed easier communication between family and friends. This means that instead of having to meet in a certain place to speak to your friends about school or what they are doing at the weekend, you would now be able to switch on your computer and go onto a social network such as Facebook or Twitter to do this.

This reduces the chance of kidnappers of taking kids when they are walking to get their friends. This also reduces the amount of kids walking around the streets committing crimes.

Social Networks also remove the problem of speaking to someone on the other side of the world and someone who follows a different religion. Inserted of just speaking to people from the same area as you, people can now speak to people from America to Australia who has the same interests as you.

This allows people to make new friends and gives the world a more friendly society because more and more people are becoming friends across the world.

These sites are also very interactive so you are able to upload pictures or videos, so you can see what your friends and relatives are up to. These sites also allow messages to be sent and received, which allows people to keep in touch. For example people may not speak to family members to often but because of Facebook they are able to have a chat whenever they want which allows for a better family relationship.

These social networking sites can be taken advantage of by the wrong people. People could pass themselves as a sixteen year old girl but could actually be a forty year old man who is looking to take advantage of someone who will think they either know the person or they are the same age. As these pedophiles have the use of Google images or yahoo images they are able to post profile pictures of whatever or whoever they want and pass as that person.

Even though we know this is happening there is no way to stop this unless social networking sites were shutdown. These people will often go for young kids and are able to receive dirty pictures because they tempt the kids into doing these things. If u make your page open to the whole world to view pedophiles will use this to their advantage and take any pictures or videos you have uploaded for their personal use.

Social Networks are also poorly censored. Kids, of a very young age, could end up downloading pornography or other unsuitable images. Kids will click on unsuitable images or videos but no warning will come up or something blocking people under a certain age to block this. However many people will lie about their age which will allow many very young kids the opportunity to view these unsuitable pictures.

“Trolling” is also a major issue with social networking sights. “Trolling” is when someone posts rude or nasty messages on someone’s online forum, chat room or memorial page just to receive and emotional response from the readers. Trolls get a buzz from doing this on people’s pages and receiving responses as they think it is funny and they just love the attention they get from sending these messages. As Twitter and Facebook got bigger and bigger more and more trolls began to appear ruining sites and making people very upset. As the issue of “trolling” got bigger and bigger the police became more involved and have started jailing people.

For example Sean Duffy, who wrote abusive messages on tribute pages for example a girl called Natasha MacBryde who was hit by a train. He also did this to many other pages. In the end he only received ninety weeks in jail. Like many trolls Duffy was unemployed and an alcoholic who spent his days sitting on social networking sites making people very upset. Even though we know “trolling” exists there is not much we can do to stoop it apart from not allowing people to view the tribute page or forum unless you know who they are.

Cyber bullying is the main problem of social networking sites. Cyber bullying is when someone is threatened, harassed or humiliated using social networking sites, mobile phones or any other type of digital technology. Many people have either been cyber bullied of they have cyber bullied themselves. From the introduction of the big name social networks cyber bullying has become a very big problem. On sites such as Formspring people can post anonymous comments about people who they dislike which end up to people not wanting to leave there house or even committing suicide.

For example Phoebe Prince, an Irish immigrant in America, killed herself after three months of bullying because she was dating somebody who was older then her. She was bullied through text message and Facebook. She hung herself because of who she was dating. Cyber bullying is very common and will never be stopped due to lack of supervision on these websites.

In conclusion, social networking sites are have pros and cons but mostly cons. Even though these websites allow people to make lots of new friends they don’t actually know if the person they are talking to is actually who they say they are. Religions are able to mix but sometimes this is not a good thing. People will start posting racist comments and then arguments will start because someone follows Christianity but the person doesn’t like that religion so they become racist.

Pedophiles thrive on pictures being posted and they also love using things such as the Facebook chat system to their advantage. Trolls make peoples life’s, who has lost someone they love, a misery so they can feel better. Bullies get a kick out of being a coward and ruining someone else’s life because they have their own problems. Therefore social networking sights are not good for the world and cause more anger and hatred than people getting along.

 

Example #6

In today’s society, billions of people across the world are accessing the internet multiple times a day. Why wouldn’t they? Many people have the internet on their smart phones, and at the touch of a button can check their email, their Twitter, their Facebook, their bank account balance, you name it. Any social networking site or application, actually, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube or something similar, it seems to easily suck up hours of a person’s day.

Teens and children are accessing these sites while at school, and as soon as they get home from school. Adults are accessing these sites while at work and are often choosing to spend time checking their “walls” or profiles rather than spending time with their loved ones. There is no doubt that there are certain social benefits to these sites, many people say we need them to keep in touch with friends. However, the benefits do not outweigh the problems they cause.

Social networking causes children and adults to be lazy and overweight, less productive at school and work, distracted, and, ironically, causes them to be anti-“social.” For these reasons, social networking is bad for society and should not be used.

The Pros and Cons of Using Social Media

In today’s society, billions of people across the world are accessing the internet multiple times a day. Why wouldn’t they? Many people have the internet on their smart phones, and at the touch of a button can check their email, their Twitter, their Facebook, their bank account balance, you name it. Any social networking site or application, actually, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube or something similar, it seems to easily suck up hours of a person’s day. Teens and children are accessing these sites while at school, and as soon as they get home from school.

Adults are accessing these sites while at work and are often choosing to spend time checking their “walls” or profiles rather than spending time with their loved ones. There is no doubt that there are certain social benefits to these sites, many people say we need them to keep in touch with friends. However, the benefits do not outweigh the problems they cause.

Social networking causes children and adults to be lazy and overweight, less productive at school and work, distracted, and, ironically, causes them to be anti-“social.” For these reasons, social networking is bad for society and should not be used.

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