In our society now social media has become a key form of communication between many people across the world. Billions of us everyday decide to use social media in order to communicate with friends , peers and employers. However the question has to be raised as to the full impact that social media is having on our lives. In recent years a growing number of people within the UK have raised concerns about how social media is changing society and the way we perceive the world. Through this article we will explore the impact of social media and the effects it may be having on society as a whole.
The Origins Of Social Media
Social media was in its very early stages around the start of the millennium. The first main social media sites were msn, bebo and twitter. These websites were the first main social media channels and allowed for communication across the internet. In later years came even larger names such as Facebook and YouTube which have dominated the online world since their creation. Originally social media was designed as another form of communication than email , faster and more informal. Bebo adopted a blog style site where you could visit other users profiles and message them. As time went on demand for social media grew and so did the use of the internet.
Benefits To Social Media
Social media can bring a number of unique benefits which we will detail below:
- Social media allows people across the world to connect with each other regardless of distance.
- Social media can keep people up to date with what people are doing
- Social media can be used as an outlet for groups and societies to build communities as well as promote their group
- The vast majority of social media applications are free allowing for fast and easy communication.
Social Media And Politics
Social media and politics have a complex and intertwined relationship. In some of the largest political campaigns the UK has seen social media played a very prominent role in hosting campaigns. One such notable political campaign was the Scottish independence referendum. During this period in 2014 Social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter hosted both the leave and remain sides and arguments from both sides were widely publicised online in order to make the case for either side. Millions of people engaged with polls and posts via social media channels and this illustrated the impact social media can have on political issues. What should also be noted is that a number of risings across the middle east in previous years such as in Libya , Egypt and Bahrain were partly due to social media. Social media allowed rebels to organise themselves , coordinate protests and in some cases civil war.
Overall Findings On Social Media
Overall there are a number of different findings that can be concluded about social media. One of the main ones is that social media is undeniably a tool which connects many people across the world. However the effects excessive use of social media can have on mental health as well as other societal issues still have to be fully uncovered by research. Until this point we should use social media with caution as whilst it is handy and easy to use it could be detrimental to society in the long run if it is not moderated.