Social media refers to networks developed to enhance social relations and interactions among people visiting cyberspace. Although they were initially developed for social purposes, they have currently expanded favoring economic activities. As a result, small, medium, and large organizations have developed social networks in order to keep the consumers updated and informed. However, there are different forms of social media. As a result, some are purposely used for social purposes as commercial organizations can neither benefit nor use them as they are too personal or inappropriate (Imtiaz 1).
Types of Social Media
The most common type of social media is Facebook. It was developed as a network connecting people across the world through cyberspace. It has currently expanded as it is rare for an individual to ignore the various benefits it provides although they are mainly allied in sustaining social interactions. People therefore use Facebook to publicize private photos describing their lives and lifestyles while capturing important and special occasions. As a result, people believe the most precious and unique moments should be posted on Facebook in order to update friends and family. Through Facebook, users are allowed to post photos and videos as well as a description in order to informer the reader (Kelsey 978).
Snapchat is also a form of social media. It is a photo messaging social network allowing users to take pictures as well as record videos while adding texts and drawings before sending them to a list of recipients. The users are solely provided control of the Snapchat account in order to avoid unauthorized cyber criminals accessing the photos and videos known as snaps. The users have to be keen on the time limit in order to control the amount of time a recipient can view the snaps before they are hidden and eventually deleted. The time limit ranges between one and ten seconds. By 2014, this social media was being used to send more than seven million snaps per day. More so, the Snapchat texts and stories were being viewed more than five million times per day. Thus, it was greatly used especially by young adults to send private, harmful, funny, entertaining, as well as dicey snaps that were putting them at risk of cyber criminals (Kelsey 978).
Instagram is the most recent social media allowing people to take pictures and transform them into professional magazine-like photos. Thus, it can be described like Snapchat with more advanced applications and programs. This is because it provides users with the ability use fancy filters to remove blemishes and any spots diminishing the quality of the photos before they share with friends and family. Between 2013 and 2015, Instagram has increased users from at least eighty million to over one hundred and fifty million on a global platform. Tinder was a social media developed in attempts to build relationships among global people. The users which are commonly referred to as ‘Tinderers’ are neither denied nor limited from judging pictures posted by their colleagues before they can decide if the interaction deserves a face to face meeting. Thus, this social media is mainly and commonly associated with dating among heterosexuals, gays, bisexual and even curious partners looking for love and social interactions within cyber space (Kelsey 981).
Twitter is a social media network allowing users to use only one hundred and forty characters to describe an event as they post pictures and videos. It has also the ‘Hash-tag Trend’ option allowing users to use the hash-tag to ensure a person or subject drawing public attention is fully addressed. Compared to the rest of social media networks, it provides users with an opportunity to maintain a higher sense of security and privacy. More so, users can use Direct Messaging application to send private and confidential messages, videos, and pictures. MySpace is also a social media, which emphasizes on use of music. It was developed by Specific Media LLC and Justin Timberlake who is a globally recognized musician hence the emphasis on music. For more than three years before Facebook was founded, it was the most visited social media in United States. It influenced users’ tastes and preferences in pop culture and music while creating gaming platforms such as Zynga and RockYou to entertain the users. YouTube is also another social media relying on pictures and videos to educate and entertain users. The users are allowed to upload music videos in order for other people to view and share them within cyberspace. It also allows television clips, video blogging, and educational as well as original videos to be uploaded and shared among users (Kelsey 985).
Positive and Negative Uses of Social Media
There are various positive effects of using social media including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tinder. Foremost, social media provides economic opportunities to individuals and organizations willing to seize them to grow and expand socioeconomically. For example, MySpace provided Facebook with an opportunity to develop a more advanced social network allowing people to interact, get entertained, develop, and share business ideas. More so, manufacturers and consumers are able to connect and interact for free at any time hence, lower marketing costs and convenience. More so, social media has expanded allowing bloggers, content creators and writers to earn a living and improve standards of living at affordable networking costs, convenient timelines, and energy (Imtiaz 1).
Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Tinder, and Instagram also provide users with an opportunity to develop clear, reliable, and convenient communication channels. Tech savvy global people are also provided with an opportunity to remove communication barriers in order for creative, viable, and like-minded perceptions, opinions, topics, and ideas to be developed for the benefit of the global community. Ultimately, the positive effect of social media has been uniting people globally through the large expanding and advancing platform. As a result, positive socioeconomic benefits continue to be reaped (Imtiaz 1).
Social media however also presents the following negative effects. Foremost, it can be addictive. For example, it is rare for a Facebook user to spend less than an hour visiting the networking during early morning and evening hours. This negative effect mainly affects teenagers and students as they are now relying on technology for social, learning, and practical purposes. However, it can be challenging to plan the schedule ensuring the social purposes are not overwhelming hence addictive. Social media also provides an opportunity for cyber bullying which can lead to low self-esteem, violence, sexual abuse, and other damaging behaviors to be witnessed by young vulnerable users (Lane 1).
For example, Tinder and Snapchat were considered as risky social media platforms as sexual predators could use them to lure young innocent teenagers resulting to sexual abuse, violence, and even death. Instagram has also fueled people to develop criminal behaviors instigated by jealousy. Thus, people who share too much personal details are prone to cyber criminals fueled by jealousy. More so, downloading corrupted videos, pictures, and texts containing viruses and malware can risk the users’ privacy and security (Lane 1).
The positive effects outweigh the negative effects of using social media. Thus, social media usage should benefit individuals, groups, and organizations. For example, Facebook should be used to find lost friends and family members despite the distance. Thus, it should be used to unite global communities despite cultural and religious differences to achieve and sustain diversity. Twitter can also be used to teach people to prevent ills across global communities denying diversity as well as socioeconomic growth and expansion through the hash-tag trends. Ultimately, social media should be used to unite people without relying on peer pressure, cyber attacks, bullying, and violence to push for personal selfish benefits to achieve diversity and global development.
Imtiaz, Ali. Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society, 2013. Web May 2015, http://www.techbead.com/positive-and-negative-effects-of-social-media-on-society/
Kelsey, Todd. Social Networking Spaces: From Facebook to Twitter and Everything in Between. Springer – Verlag.
Lane, Anderson. The Instagram Effect: How the Psychology of Envy Drives Consumerism, 2014. Web May 2015, http://national.deseretnews.com/article/1294/the-instagram-effect-how-the-psychology-of-envy-drives-consumerism.html