Over the past decade, social media has evolved from the early adopter’s marketing experiment to a trusted channel for marketing.
But like any other technology, social media has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a pros and cons of social media essay for insights into the nuances of social media.
23 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Essay
Find the list of the best advantages and worst disadvantages of social media essay. If you want to add more points to this, feel free to reach out to us.
The Best Advantages of Social Media Essay
Some of the biggest advantages of social media include:
1. Faster Spread of Information than Other Media
46% of Americans get their news from social media sites. While the top news source remains television, with 66% of Americans staying in the loop watching news channels, many incidents are reported on social media much before they appear on TV. The Paris attacks in November 2015 are one good example of this.
It’s also worth noting that 78.5% of reporters use social media to find the latest news.
2. Helpful in Solving Crimes
Authorities such as The NYPD use Twitter and other social networking websites to locate and arrest criminals that post about their crimes.
What’s more surprising is that a survey conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police revealed that 85% of police departments scour social media to find evidence and solve crimes.
3. Aids Students in Performing Better Academically
After Elizabeth Delmatoff introduced a social media program to her seventh-grade students in George Middle School in Portland, Oregon, their grades shot up by 50%, and absenteeism was reduced by a third.
With 59% of students reporting that they use social media sites to discuss their education, social media is certainly not all bad.
4. Improves Relationships and Helps Make New Friends
About four of every five teenagers affirm that using social media helps them feel more connected to their friends. 68% of the survey respondents reported that social media helps them feel supported when times are difficult.
What’s more, roughly three of every five teens make new friends online. But it doesn’t stop there. Roughly 90% of adults use Facebook to connect with family and friends.
5. Empowers Businesswomen
Only 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, making it difficult for them to find like-minded people that can offer support. Social media makes it easy for businesswomen to connect with each other and find refuge in each other’s struggles. This point could be expanded into an entire social media essay topic.
6. Enables Employers and Job-Seekers to Connect
You’d be surprised to learn that 96% of recruiters use social media to find prospective employees. LinkedIn is the most popular platform amongst recruiters, with 87% relying on it to find capable candidates.
About half of surveyed employees report that social media helped them find their current job. Social media is also a popular means to find internships.
7. Increases Quality of Life and Reduces Risk of Health Problems
A 2009 report revealed that using social media can improve life satisfaction, memory, and overall well-being by connecting users with a large social group.
Furthermore, looking at friends post about their exercise, diet, and smoking cessation goals has a contagious effect that motivates the user.
8. Facilitates In-Person Interaction
When comparing the advantages and disadvantages of social media essay, one of the best things about social media is that you can connect with virtually anybody over private messages.
Plans to meet in person are often made on social media, with users messaging close friends 39 days of the year but meeting with them 210 days of the year on average.
9. Increases Voter Participation
If you’re looking for a social media essay example, you could easily write an impactful essay about increased voter participation. Facebook users are more likely to vote when they see their friends vote on the site.
10. Facilitates Political Change
There is an abundance of examples of people using social media to start movements. Perhaps the most relevant example considering the current political climate is when Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students in Parkland, Florida, used Twitter to promote gun control protests after a deadly shooting.
Their posts drew over a million participants and resulted in thousands of voter registrations. This is one of the best social media essay example.
11. Good for the Economy
With social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter adding between $900 billion to $1.3 trillion to the economy, the added productivity and improved customer service facilitated over social media seem like secondary advantages.
The day Snapchat began trading on NYSE, it was valued at $24 billion, which is a testament to social media’s contribution to the economy.
12. Drives Social Change on a Community Level
One excellent example of social media essay topics is the incident in Hillsborough, CA. Freshman goalie Daniel Cui was bullied for being the reason for the season loss. But his teammates and classmates came to the rescue, changing their profile pictures to a photo of Daniel saving a goal.
13. Helps Senior Citizens Feel More Connected
One of the best things about social media is that senior citizens feel happier using it since it allows them to connect with their families.
Additionally, social media provides them with access to things like church bulletins, which are no longer printed and distributed, and are simply posted online.
Per a 2015 study, senior citizens stand among the fastest-growing demographic groups on social media platforms, seeing a 32% increase between 2008 and 2015.
14. Helps Socially Isolated People Connect
One in four teens say that using social media helps them feel less shy, with 53% of teens identifying as shy. 28% of the respondents feel more outgoing, and 20% feel more confident using social media platforms.
Naturally, shy adults seem to feel the same way, reporting being comfortable interacting with people online.
15. Enables Quick Dissemination of Public Health/Safety Information
Organizations such as the WHO use social media platforms to deliver reliable health information over social media platforms. They also use it to debunk rumors.
The WHO’s efforts reap great results. An excellent example is when the organization refuted claims that ingesting salt helped combat radiation after Japan’s earthquake and nuclear disaster in 2011.
16. Disarms Social Stigmas
Social media played an important role in removing the stigma of homosexuality, but that’s not all. It also helps people such as Jenny Lawson, the author of The Bloggess, discuss their struggles with mental illness and lessen the stigma of the diseases for people in similar situations.
17. Facilitates Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing
Social media can be extremely helpful to people in need. One example of this is when a mother found a kidney donor for her child by posting a video about it on Facebook.
Everyone remembers the Ice Bucket Challenge – it helped raise $100.9 million for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in a month.
18. Makes Academic Research More Accessible
The general public does not have access to expensive databases and restricted journals. Social media enables researchers from across fields to share updates about their research to the public, making it more transparent and helping prove incorrect information false.
19. Helps Businesses Grow
This advantage of social media can also be used as a social media essay example. 85% of customers that find a business’s products helpful recommend the products to others on Facebook.
What’s more, 71% of a business’s social media followers are more likely to purchase their products.
20. Aids Teachers in Collaborating and Communicating with Students
With 80% of university faculty using social media, the instructors of the modern world connect with their students more closely. 50% of teachers report using social media to teach, and 30% use it to communicate with their students.
Social media also makes it possible for educators to connect with experts over sites such as Twitter and give guest lectures using tools like Zoom.
21. Helps Artists Garner a Fan Base
About three in five teens listen to music on YouTube, allowing talented artists to reach their target audience without much hassle. YouTube has become the “hit-maker” of this generation, with fewer students listening to the radio.
22. Enables Colleges and Universities to Recruit and Retain Students
You’ll find it surprising that 96.6% of institutions offering four-year courses use Facebook to recruit students. Other popular platforms for this purpose include Twitter and YouTube.
Social media platforms are also utilized to provide a support system to students, helping increase student retention.
23. Facilitates Rapid Communication During Crises
Twitter became an invaluable tool for French citizens during the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015. Thousands tweeted #PorteOuverte to help those who were stranded find shelter.
Over a third of law enforcement professionals use social media platforms to spread the word about emergencies and disasters.
Worst Disadvantages of Social Media
Social media, just like any other technology, has some unique disadvantages:
1. Enables the Spread of False Information
Fake news is abundant on social media, with 64% of Twitter users reporting finding information on the platform only to discover its falsity later. 16% of these respondents said they retweeted the information, not knowing it was false.
It’s no wonder that false news spreads six times faster than factual information on Twitter.
2. Exposes User Data to Corporations and Governments
In 2015, the US government submitted about 37,000 data requests to Facebook and over 7,000 data requests to Twitter. About 80% of these requests were honored at least partially.
That’s not all. The NSA can read your private social media messages without any hassle – they only need to put your name into their system.
3. Negatively Impacts Student Grades
Students that use social media have an average GPA of 3.06, while those that don’t use it average a GPA of 3.82. This is an excellent topic for a negative effects of social media essay.
What’s more surprising is that students that use social media during their study time score 20% lower on tests.
4. Leads to Stress and Relationship Problems
Per a 2016 study, social media overuse in adolescence can result in decreased relationship success later in life. This is because communicating online hinders the teens’ development of conflict management skills.
5. Wastes Time
With internet users between the ages 16 and 64 spending an average of 1.72 hours on social media, it is one of the most common ways of killing time.
Over one in three people think social media is the biggest waste of time. When social media users receive a notification, it takes them between 20 and 25 minutes to return to the original task. 30% of the time, it takes two hours for the user to get back to their work.
6. Harms Employment Prospects
More than half of recruiters reconsider hiring an applicant after looking at their social media activity. Recruiters tend to negatively react to things such as profanity, poor grammar, sexual content, and illegal drugs on a prospective employee’s social media.
7. Social Media Use Correlates to Brain and Personality Disorders
Social media use is associated with increased depression in adults between 19 and 32. What’s more, social media addiction is proven to reflect increased narcissistic traits.
8. Reduces Time Spent Interacting In-Person
One of the most concerning disadvantages on this list, 34% of people reported spending less time with family in their home in 2011, up from 8% in 2000.
9. Social Media is Used to Promote and Commit Crime
Criminal gangs use social media platforms to coordinate violence, threaten other gangs, and recruit young members.
Furthermore, many criminals record their crimes and post them on these platforms to show off. This has resulted in the phenomenon of “performance crime.”
10. Endangers Journalists and Activists
ISIS killed a freelancing journalist in 2015 for reporting about life under the regime on Facebook. But this is only one case of thousands.
Several Bangladeshi bloggers were killed by religious fundamentalists between 2015 and 2016 for posting their thoughts about atheism on social media.
11. Reduces Employee Productivity
More than half of employees that use social media for work report that it distracts them from their tasks.
12. Facilitates Cyberbullying
52% of students have been victims of cyberbullying at some point, with 84% reporting that they were bullied on Facebook. This is concerning since victims in middle school are two times more likely to commit suicide.
13. Enables Sexting
Two of five teenagers post or send sexually suggestive messages and images, with 22% of girls and 18% of boys posting nude or semi-nude photos online.
Many teens and adults have been charged with the possession and distribution of child porn, even when the picture was their own.
14. Increases Risk of Social Isolation
Using social media can enhance the feelings of disconnection, putting children at a high risk of depression and other issues. Doom scrolling and passive consumption of social media are related to loneliness.
15. Enables Spread of Hate Groups
The hate groups focused on former President Barack Obama are one well-known example of social media hate groups. These groups cause a resurgence of racism that hasn’t been in mainstream media for decades.
16. Endangers Children
Around 600 Dutch riot police officers intervened and broke up a teen’s birthday party after 30,000 people were invited to it accidentally. The post was meant to be private on Facebook, but it went viral. Incidents like these are more common than you’d think.
17. Enables Cheating in School
Two Maryland students were accused of cheating in 10th grade after posting the Common Core tests’ questions on Twitter. Social media makes it easy for students to find such information.
18. Facilitates Advertising Practices that Breach Privacy
When a Facebook user clicks a brand’s like button, the brand gets all the info they need about the user. They can learn everything from their work to their birth date and interests. Marketers can leverage this data to make profits.
19. Facilitates Inappropriate Student-Teacher Relationships
In the 2015-16 school year, the Texas Education Agency opened over 220 cases about inappropriate relationships between students and instructors. Educations experts believe the rise of these issues has resulted from the increased use of social media.
20. Makes Artists Vulnerable to Copyright Infringement
Accounts that share content created by other social media users rack up millions of views and generate profits. This loss of intellectual property and income is quite common. Many YouTube vloggers lose thousands of dollars because someone else shared their content on Facebook.
21. Harms Students’ Chances for College Admission
One in four admission officers look at the applicant’s social media profile to learn more about them. Poor grammar, profanity, and other negative content often lead to a student’s application getting rejected.
22. Posts Cannot be Completely Deleted
All public Tweets since March 2006 are archived by The Library of Congress. Additionally, details of issues such as an affair posted on Facebook can be used against someone in court during divorce proceedings because the information can never be completely deleted.
23. Social Media Users are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
Social media platforms are not equipped with virus scanners, making it easy for hackers to send virus-loaded files via chat. Furthermore, with many making sensitive information such as their birth date, phone number, and high school name available on their social media, identity theft becomes a threat.