Social Media: Is it Doing More Harm Than Good?
Social Media is a massive influence in today’s culture, with almost everyone you know having at least one account, and checking it pretty regularly. It’s no longer just something that people use for fun, though. For a while now, businesses have been tapping into social media as a marketing tool, with brands making use of influential social media users to promote their products to their audiences – giving them a brand new marketing perspective. There are issues with social media on both a commercial and personal basis, however, and this is what we’ll be looking at today: whether social media does more harm than good in the online community.
The Social Media Conundrum
Over the years, magazines have been blamed for promoting body image issues, unrealistic expectations and goals that are higher than any “normal” person can ever expect to achieve. Initially, social media was heralded as a realistic equivalent, showing people’s real lives, real appearances and a lifestyle that was attainable by the average person, but for the most part this is no longer the case.
The rise of “Internet Personalities”, “social media stars” and those who have made a glossy seeming lifestyle their livelihood has turned social media from the real person’s answer to glossy magazines into the digital equivalent, and it’s because of this that it seems to be doing more harm than good. An air of consumerism lingers above most big social media accounts; sponsorship from big brands looking to sell their products and the need to keep up with the latest big thing has resulted in many accounts being nothing more than a catalogue by themselves, and this is certainly doing more harm than good.
It isn’t all bad, though. Social media accounts for a large part still represent normal people, albeit normal people showing only an edited version of their lives, and this is certainly something to be celebrated. Additionally, social media allows people to connect with others from all over the world, reconnect with long lost family and friends, and even find people who share the same interests as them to make brand new friends. Social media networks can often form support systems and give people the encouragement they need to succeed.
Whether social media does more harm than good really depends on how you use it. If you use your social media accounts as a source of inspiration for a life that is unrealistic by many standards, then it’s almost certainly going to do more harm than good. However, if you use it for its intended purpose, to be social, to share and to enjoy, then it’s a worthwhile tool that deserves the popularity it has.
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