The pros and cons of social media


By S3CD (8) Lam Hillary

As technology keeps improving, social media has become a major part of our lives. Let’s do a poll, who uses social media here? I bet more than 50% of people do. Since the numbers are so noticeable, shall we consider the pros and cons of social media?

First of all, social media helps us connect with more people. You may ask why we should connect with people. Well, research has shown connection with people increases happiness, reduces loneliness, and helps to have better health as well as a longer life. In the social media world, you can create posts, stories, share different photos and videos, and connect with those who live overseas. This is convenient for many people. On social media we can also share information easily. For instance, the Instagram account from the school’s student council, shares first-hand information, allowing us students to stay informed and up-to-date. Also, because of the large amount of users on social media, it is more effective than transferring information in a traditional manner.

Secondly, social media helps us expand our social circle. On social media, we find many people with different nationalities, gender, and beliefs, and through their profile, we could get to know them just a little. This feature of social media allows people to find people they are interested in and would like to get to know. By expanding your social circle or just getting to know more people, you can find more interesting events, career opportunities, or learning opportunities.

Despite having such benefits, it is also true that social media has some harmful effects.

It is too easy to bully people online. As the numbers have shown, cyberbullying has been rapidly increasing through these years, and hundreds of thousands of people have become the victims of it. Since it can be done anonymously online, people, especially adolescents, aren’t aware of the consequences of cyberbullying. Maybe the bully doesn’t understand that what he or she is doing is cyberbullying, but even without intentions, great harm can be done to the victim. There are also many famous examples of this, such as Zyan Malik. He experienced online bullying and was attacked because of his race while he was a part of One Direction. In 2012, he told The Sun, ‘Nasty things [were said] like I’m a terrorist, and this and that.’ Selena Gomez, who is one of the most followed people on Instagram. But despite the large amount of positive comments she receives, negative comments always get into her. She once described the comments as ‘like a cut to your soul’. These all prove that online abuse can have a huge impact on the abused person and even cause mental health problems.

The second point is that false information is always seen on social media. Although technology nowadays creates infinite convenience to humans, as the saying goes, a medicine always has its side effects, and social media is the same. Now that we are stuck in this pandemic situation, we surf on social media for an average of 144 minutes a day. The amount of online fraud has increased significantly. Some people fall for scams and are tricked out of their money, or even worse.

In this article, I'm not saying that social media is good or bad, I am just writing to list out the common pros and cons of social media. I hope this article allows you to think about how you would use social media from now on.