Pros and Cons of Social Networking

Learn the ups and downs of how to connect digitally with people

Social networking has changed the way we communicate, do business, get our daily news fix and more. But is it really broken?

It depends on who you talk to and how you use it. A site like Facebook can become an opportunistic launching pad for new owners, or it can become an inevitable source of negative peer pressure for young teens. Everything in life has pros and cons – and that includes our social networking habits.

Here are some key pros and cons that most people will be familiar with. As you go through them, ask yourself how you can take advantage of the pros while minimizing the pros and cons, should you decide to check out your favorite social networks.

What are the advantages of social networks

Ability to connect to other people around the world. One of the most obvious advantages of using social networks is the ability to reach people anytime, anywhere. Use Facebook to keep in touch with old high school friends you’ve redeployed across the country, join Google Hangouts with relatives who live around the world, or meet brand new people on Twitter from a city or region you’ve never even been in before heard about it.

Easy and instant communication. Now that we are connected wherever we go, we don’t have to rely on our landlines, answering machines or snail mail to reach anyone. We can simply open our laptops or grab our smartphones and immediately start communicating with anyone on any platform, such as Twitter or one of the many social messaging apps available.

Real-time news and information discovery. Gone are the days of waiting on the TV for the six o’clock news or the delivery guy bringing the newspaper in the morning. If you want to know what’s going on in the world, you just have to hop on social media. An added bonus is that you can customize your news and information discovery experience by choosing exactly how you want.

Great opportunity for a business owner. Business owners and other types of professional organizations can connect with existing customers, sell their products and expand their reach using social media. There are actually a lot of entrepreneurs and businesses that thrive almost entirely on social networking, and couldn’t even operate without it.

General fun and enjoyment. You have to admit, social networking can be easy sometimes. Many people turn to it when they are taking a break from work or just want to relax at home. Since people are social creatures by nature, it’s often satisfying to see comments and likes displayed on our own posts, and it’s handy to be able to see exactly what our friends are up to without having to ask them directly.

What are the disadvantages of social networks

The information is overwhelming. With so many people tweeting links, posting selfies and sharing YouTube videos on social media these days, it’s bound to get pretty noisy. It’s not that uncommon to have too many Facebook friends to keep up with, or too many Instagram photos to browse. Over time, we tend to hoard a lot of friends and followers, which can lead to a flood of news feeds with too much content that we’re not all that interested in.

Private issues. With so much sharing, privacy concerns have always been a big one. Whether it’s a problem with a social networking site owning your content after posting it, being targeted after sharing your location online, or trouble at work after posting something inappropriate – sharing too much with the public can trigger a variety of Questions sometimes cannot be undone.

Social peer pressure and cyberbullying. For someone struggling to fit in with their peers—especially teens and young adults—the pressure to do something or behave a certain way can be more acute on social media than at school or any other offline setting. In some extreme cases, the intense pressure on everyone to post on social media or be the target of a cyberbullying attack can lead to severe stress, anxiety and depression.

Online interaction replaces offline interaction. Since people are now always connected, a friend’s social profile is just a mouse click away or a tap away on a smartphone, but it’s much easier to use online interactions as a substitute for face-to-face interactions. Some argue that social media actually promotes antisocial human behavior.

Distraction and procrastination. How often do you see someone looking at their phone? People get distracted by all the social apps and the news and information they receive, leading to all sorts of problems like distracted driving or lack of full attention to someone during a conversation. Browsing social media can also procrastinate procrastination habits, becoming something people turn to in order to avoid certain tasks or responsibilities.

Sedentary lifestyle and disrupted sleep. Finally, since social networking is all done on some sort of computer or mobile device, it can sometimes have too many people sitting in one place for too long. Likewise, staring at artificial light from a computer or phone screen at night can negatively impact your ability to get a proper night’s sleep.

All the advantages outlined in this article focus on using social media, but be careful about falling victim to the dark side of online interactions. Which do you think are the most popular social networks.

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