Social media has become one of the most used features of the Internet. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter are used by hundreds of millions of people around the world every day.As the virtual world becomes ever more ubiquitous, a lot of people are spending even more time using social media than they do actually interacting with people in the real world.
While social media offers tremendous benefits such as being able to keep in contact with friends around the world easily and freely and for businesses to advertise their products and services, it is certainly not immune from criticism. The following takes a look at the four of the most often cited disadvantages of social media.
Perhaps the greatest concern of all regarding social media is privacy. Facebook in particular is infamous for its lack of privacy. If you want to delete all of your messages and chats, for example, or posts on your timeline, you have to do so one at a time. This can take countless hours for most people! People use Facebook and other sites like it every day to find out more about potential employees or even partners. For these reasons, it is essential that you think before you post something as, even in spite of your privacy settings, what you post can easily end up being available for the whole world to see.
Many people spend more time on Facebook and other social networking sites than they do interacting with people face-to-face. As far as a lot of people are concerned, this does not even really constitute social interaction. Many claim that ‘socializing’ with someone solely over the Internet is no substitute for real-life interaction. It gives people an entirely different outlook on the world and can greatly impact real social lives in a very negative way. Many people who spend too much time using social media services claim that they feel lonely in their lives.
Another major concern about social media is the massive grey area surrounding the ownership of content posted on a social media site. All social networking services have an intricate set of terms and conditions, but when it comes to ownership of content, it is often somewhat of a grey area. While this might not be such a significant concern among personal users, it can be problematic for businesses which use social media marketing as a way to advertise their products and services.
Social media can be incredibly distracting. Many people are in the habit of keeping their Facebook or Twitter pages, for example, open throughout the day. If you are constantly receiving messages and updates, you will likely end up being distracted from other more important things in your life such as work and study. For this reason, many employers have a strict ban on the usage of such services during working hours. As is the case regarding loneliness, a heavy reliance on social media can also distract people from learning even basic social skills which they will find themselves needing in everyday real-life scenarios.