Impact of Social Media in the Society – by Esther .C. Odikanwa

Chinaza Odikanwa

Social media are internet-based technologies that ease communication processes, sharing of ideas and information which gives users quick electronic communication of content. According to Wikipedia, social media are interactive digitally mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.

They are interactive internet-based applications that ease the growth of online social networks by connecting groups or individuals with a user. Users generate service profiles for the website or app and contents like comments and digital videos or photos. The lifeblood of social media is basically the data spawned through all online interactions.

With the use of smartphones or tablets, users download services that offer social media purposes and access social media services via web-based apps on desktops or laptop. Users establish highly communicative platforms as they participate in these electronic services of which organizations, communities and individuals can occupy, share and revamp content created by these users. Social media serves as a diary as it helps to record memories and also advertise oneself or a business. It serves as a means of educating people, exploring things and organizes a mode of friendship with the development of ideas through the creation of blogs, videos or gaming sites.

Some of the most popular social media websites include Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Qzone and many others. Other platforms popularly interpreted as social media services include Youtube, Whatsapp, Quora, Telegram, LINE, Snapchat, Pinterest and many more. Social media can be a marketing tool for organizations, entrepreneurs, non-profit making organizations, political parties, government and many others. Traditional media like print magazine and newspaper and TV/radio broadcasting differs from a social media outlet in many ways as they are less active in quality, performance and immediacy and usability. According to statistics, it is estimated that in 2020, there are around 3.6 billion users of social media around the globe, up from 3.4 billion in 2019.

News media and television journalist has been a key feature in the conveying of information to the society. Nevertheless, the use of news media, journalism, TV and radio broadcast has grown irrelevant inasmuch as social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube has provided a constant supply of alternative news sources of users. A site like Facebook and Youtube gradually hinders or sabotage the traditional voices of news media as social networking becomes more popular both in the young and old generations.

Social media seldom involves negative interaction among users. Most times, emotional communication leads to interaction in reality which gets users into dangerous circumstances. A user sometimes experienced the threat of violence and some become prey to fraudsters. Social comparison is learnt by users in social media, people compare their lives to the lives of their friends through their upload or posts. Social media has been very helpful in society since it is the fastest and easiest means of communication. It also facilitates business purpose in terms of reputation as it gives the business owner an avenue to advertise or market their product to the public.

Social media is a platform and internet-based technology that qualifies rapid news sharing ability. It helps to create awareness to the public and stay connected with old and new friends, family, business partners and others. It is also good assistance for the unemployed who seek jobs online and for education purposes. Most especially in the year 2020 whereby most schools have lectures and conduct or take examinations online. It helps an individual learn new things and news media to exhibit or displays their news online easily. It also helps organizations like commercial banks through mobile banking which helps transactions to done easily online.

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