Top 9 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Networks
Social media networks have generated new dynamics for communication, entertainment, and business management. They have become the part of our lives in every aspect and it seems that lives without these social networks can never run smoothly. Some of the benefits they offer are interactivity, the variety of formats or the ease of disseminating ideas or projects at a professional level.
The other side of the coin shows us some inconveniences such as excessive exposure of privacy, harassment situations and fraud attempts, etc.
Given the growing evolution of the digital world, we must pay attention to the advantages and disadvantages that social media networks cause to make better decisions regarding their use. Let’s discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of social media networks:
Advantages of Social Media Networks
Social media network like Facebook was created for personal use and enjoyment, it ended up transforming the way we access information and communicate, paving the way for many other uses. Let’s see some of social media advantages:
1. Better Communication
The networks allow communication through text, chats, private messages and video chats. This multiplies the options to communicate, while creating new dynamics depending on each resource.
For example, people who are in different parts of the planet can contact each other through a Facebook chat, send each other videos on Instagram, or make a live broadcast in real-time on any of the social media platform.
Therefore, social networks do not know physical barriers and facilitate communication without restrictions.
2. Variety of formats
Social networks have contributed to the development of formats that a few years ago were non-existent.
Today it is possible to attend a class or follow a live event through an Instagram live, have access to a tutorial in the form of a post, stories or image gallery.
3. New forms of Entertainment
Social networks have become new forms of entertainment. Videos, memes, chats, video chats, gifs, live broadcasts, short videos are just some of the content that we can consume anytime at a low cost.
Entertainment for all tastes and ages without the need for many technical resources, beyond a mobile device with an Internet connection.
Social media have introduced new form of advertisement. Online marketing and advertisement have far more easier and better through social media. One can promote his product and service with ease and at the lowest cost.
5. Get instant responses
Both by companies and users, social networks allow them to express opinions, resolve doubts and provide suggestions about products or services in a direct, fast, and effective way.
The possibility of receiving an answer at the moment favours the communication process on both sides of the screen.
6. Decision-making is far easier
Thanks to social networks there is the possibility of reading recommendations on places, events, products and services of interest to users.
They are a communication channel where reviews, complaints and criticisms can be reflected. In this way, users can learn about the negative experiences of others and make better decisions about the place they are going to visit or the product they expect to consume.
7. Access to job offers
Social media networks made it possible to improve and disseminate the professional profile, expanding the possibilities of finding work online.
Networks like LinkedIn, created exclusively for professionals, allow you to display a resume or curriculum vitae with entrepreneurs. They facilitate contact with other colleagues, allow you to generate content of interest to the community, participate in groups and, of course, apply for job offers.
8. Greater professional projection
Social networks help to generate a greater impact and reach in professional and business projects.
Those who want their idea or project to reach a greater number of people can rely on social networks and the resources they offer.
Today, it is very common to see specialists in an area on the networks offering lectures, advice, practical tools, tutorials, conferences and other content in different formats like text and images, infographics, videos, etc.
9. Meet people with common interests
Through social networks, it is easier to meet people with similar interests. Whether you want to share a hobby, want have a romantic date or participate in a social gathering, there are many options to meet people with the same tastes and concerns.
Image downloaded from Unsplash
Disadvantages of Social Media Networks
1. Increase distraction
Mobile phones, tablets and personal computers are distracting if not used properly.
Social networks can be great allies at an academic and professional level, but there is a risk of ending up consuming content that has nothing to do with our obligations.
2. Exclusion of disadvantaged people
There are many people who, due to economic difficulties, do not have access to digital devices.
This dynamic in which social networks become an indispensable tool in certain areas, generates the risk of excluding those who do not have enough resources to adapt to new technologies.
Many cases have been reported of people creating fake profiles, identical to existing ones, in order to impersonate them to obtain something in return. It might be money or any other sensitive information.
This practice poses a risk to the privacy of the impersonated person and that of their contacts, since they do not know that they are interacting with an impostor account and may provide personal data.
4. Digital bullying
Bullying has become digitally an extension of a problem that already existed in the offline world: school and professional bullying.
With this practice, the aim is to humiliate and subject a person to public ridicule, either through insulting messages or the publication of their privacy.
Although today many platforms have tools to avoid or reduce the impact of cyberbullying, it is a problem that is increasing day by day.
5. Tendency to social isolation
Due to the excessive use of social networks, people spend more and more time alone, immersed in the screen and away from the people around them.
This preference for online activities (games, publications, purchases, etc.) generates an excess of connection that disconnects the individual from their real community and social gathering.
6. They influence the reputation of companies
Poor management of a company’s social networks can affect the digital image and, therefore, the company’s reputation. A bad customer experience in the digital field can be transferred to an experience with the brand in the offline world.
7. Mental health
Some of the disorders that excessive consumption of social networks can generate in mental health are addiction and low self-esteem.
The immediacy, the overload of stimuli and the need to be updated at all times can generate dependency. This need leads to various problems such as changes in mood, sleep disorders or anxiety etc.
On the other hand, social networks function as a permanent window into the lives and experiences of others. The tendency to compare the life that is shown in networks with life in the real world can generate feelings of frustration that directly affect a persons’ self-esteem.
8. Computer crimes
Millions of fake accounts exist over the Internet. These accounts on social networks for less than legitimate purposes, such as fraud or stealing from other users, are becoming more frequent.
There are multiple techniques to achieve this, such as the sale of products or services that do not exist (the user pays and the product never arrives).
In other cases, it consists of requesting money in exchange for a product test, requesting collaboration or donations for causes that do not exist or whose identity has been cloned, etc.
9. Use of personal data
There is some controversy about the existing privacy policies in social networks, and the use that companies make of their users’ data. Through the permission to access personal information, a huge database is generated that is used for advertising purposes.
Each application can request different permissions, and almost all agree to request access to images, location, phone data, list of phone contacts, among others.
Facebook has been linked to the use of its users’ data without confidentiality and without respecting privacy policies. Other companies, collaborators of Facebook, also have access to this data, so users do not have real control over it.
advantages and disadvantages of social media
These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of social media networks. I hope you will agree with them and will share your thoughts with us.
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