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ArticlesBenefits and Drawbacks of Social Media
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Social media is a collection of websites and applications that allow individuals to create an account, and carry out other activities like sharing content, connecting with others, and socially networking.

The rise of social media started with the creation of the Bulletin Board System (BBS) which allowed individuals to meet online and communicate with others instantly. Today, social media has flourished into a mass phenomenon in which individuals can reap many benefits but also be bombarded with a few downfalls.

There are many social media websites out there. Some examples are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, PInterest, and Instagram. I will discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of several of these social media websites.

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The Benefits:
  • Facebook: reconnecting with old colleagues
    Haven't seen a particular person in years? All you have to do is search for him or her on Facebook and hopefully, you will see the results you are looking to find.
  • Twitter: being informed instantaneously
    You can tweet what you are doing and read what others are doing instantly. This is a great way to inform other individuals of the exciting adventures that you are enduring.
  • LinkedIn: connecting with different businesses
    This benefit is a great way to connect with potential employers and with others who work in similar careers as you do.
  • Instagram: sharing photos right away
    You want others to see the amazing sight set before you? With a snap of your camera, you can take a picture, upload it to your Instagram account, and share it with the world!
  • MeetUp: schedule meetings with groups of people
    This is a really good one. You can type your interests and it will tell you when and where groups of people will be meeting up in your area. This is a great way of meeting new people and creating new connections based on common interests.
  • PInterest: a digital "scrapbooking" website for photos
    Individuals are able to "pin" or "like" images of items that they have interest in. Think of Pinterest as the social platform that allows consumers to promote products and services for free. They can categories their pins into categories that are of interest to them.
  • Connecting with the rest of the world
    Social media is an overall great way to connect with others who share your same interests, ideas, and experiences. Some of the best relationships and opportunities come about through social media.

The Drawbacks:
  • Can be time consuming when not being productive.
    Productivity can be obtained using social media. But when you are just strolling through catching up with the news of other social net-workers, time can slip away without you realizing it.
  • Reconnecting with people that you dislike.
    The downside of reconnecting with old friends is the possibility of reconnecting with old enemies or your buddies ex.
  • Deciphering between real and fake friends.
    It can be a bit difficult knowing if your social media friends are your real friends are and which are your fake friends. You must be careful who you communicate with online just in case one of your "friends" are not who he or she is portraying.
  • Risk of cyber-bullying.
    Social media can be a stomping ground for bullies especially because individuals are hidden behind a computer screen. Cyber-bulling can do just as much harm to others as physical bullying.
  • Invasion of privacy.
    You can choose what you post and what you want others to see. However, most social media sites including Facebook and Twitter can also access your location and inform your friends or followers of your location. If you wish to have details like such hidden, you must explore the options to have those notifications removed.
  • Once is sent, there's no turning back.
    Yes, there is a delete option on most of the social media sites. However, it doesn't matter how quickly you delete a post, picture, or video because social media works at a fast pace. Once you submit it, there is a chance that someone has already seen it. You must be extremely careful about what you post!

Overall, social media can be a wonderful tool if used properly and productively. It can also be the downfall of your social life by making one simple mistake. Be careful throughout your social media experiences and make the best of them.