“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it ” Whatsapp, BBM, Instagram, TWITER,VIBER,line,wechat,facebook and much more applications that recently became a daily life need. People now a day’s look to these applications in the same way they look to food and water meaning they consider essential for survival. Social media are sites that allow individuals to easily and freely interact with each other’s using internet.
Social media was first found in order to allow friends and families to communicate with each others across long distances .and here it is important to take an overview about history of social media knowing that it was present centuries before. First, social media was present in a form of letter that is delivered in hand using another person (500BC). Then in 1972, telegraph was first discovered. A telegraph is an electric device works with the strategy of transmitting a message by distance through codes, and by that the message was delivered in a faster.
In1865, another method was discovered , and it is to send the letter using pneumatic post a device that use a air tube to deliver message by a capsule from one area to another. After that the most important device was discovered. In 1890, 1891 the telephone was created and individuals started to communicate with each other using the telephone by oral communication, after the telephone discovery technology rapidly started to develop. And this was clear in 1940 when engineers and scientists discovered the internet. Internet is a global network that supports us with all kind of information we would like to know and helps us to communicate easily, rapidly, and in a way freely with others.
In1960 internet was used on computers were emails were first used then in 1970 individuals were able to communicate by virtual newsletter after that in 1980 people became familiar with using computers in their homes and here social media started to develop until reaching its climax today, Where it transformed from a complementary need to a basic need that individuals can live without. Social media has obviously proved that it is with big benefit for individuals and states. But this doesn’t mean that it has no disadvantages .Social media is as a sword, it is a must but we should use it carefully and in an organized manner to return in benefits for both individual and state or it will loss it track and affect them negatively.
First and commonly known, social media offered a faster, cheaper, and easier way of communication. Immigration now a day’s became one of the most common phenomena, a late study had proven that the percentage of immigrants in middle east in 2015 have became double that in 2005 and this is due political, economical ,social ,and physiological factors that triggered people to leave their countries searching for a more safe place where they can find good job opportunities ,education ,or even to live without threat. Social media here is the hope for these immigrants, since by using social media they can communicate with their friends and family, know what is happening in their mother country, or even they can use the social media before immigration for check in, to find work abroad, or even search and register online for a school or university to continue your education.
To emphasis on this issue let me take Syrian war as an example, because of callous war circumstances that Syrian people are suffering from till know around 79% of Syrians choose to immigrate, some of them took this decision as a personal decision and others as a family decision. For those who chose it as a personal decision they left some or all their family members there. And here the role of social media is to promote easy, free and a rapid way to communicate with them. Another example to emphasis is education. A study was done to prove that5 the number of students who graduate and decide to continue their, master, doctoral is about 35%. And for these students to choose and register the collage that suits them and in order for them to communicate with their friends and families the use of social media for them is considered as a must. And the fact that social media is the cheaper way of communication is that applications are free so you have to pay for nothing but internet which is found today almost everywhere. And the fact that it is the faster way is because the message requires about 5 seconds to be delivered from one device to another regardless of distances between the two devices which make the communication much easier.
Second is that social media promotes educational benefits for both students and teachers. Education is a big term that can’t be limited to schools and universities, since education has many faces and the most known face is school and university education but there are many more such as physical education, health education, religious education, political education ….. Having social media do promote the chance to be introduced to such type of education that schools and universities do not offer, and after a statistical study I did in PU university asking my colleges how much do social media offers them education about 65% of them answered that they depend on social media to educate their self’s, and one of most common example that they gave me when I asked about an example is sports and diet they said that they prefer to read online researches and watch small videos that explains how will body work and how to practice a certain exercise that putting a personal trainer or even going to a dietitian. Another good example that they gave me is religious one they said that they prefer to read the analysis of religious issues (for example Quran) than hearing an opinion of a certain party and follow the parties’ opinion. And hear let me add that social media is the most updated reference so if you want to know latest news about a topic the probability of finding it on social media is greater than that of finding it in books.
Third social media in last 6 to 7 years was used as a place to establish awareness campaigns on certain issues that will affect individuals and society. There are many campaigns that were established on social media and returned with great benefit for both society and individuals, and one of the most important campaigns is cancer awareness campaigns. 7 years ago people and especially women were afraid of hearing about breast cancer but then social media started promoting awareness campaigns about breast cancer they shed the light on it by allocating October as the month of this awareness campaign. So in October you will find the pink ribbon all over the social media sites and with collaboration with many organizations that spread breast awareness and motivate people to raise funds for breast cancer patients. In addition to helping women’s knowing the drugs they need and supporting women with information about checking their breasts. And by that women will not stay afraid of listen the world breast cancer since this campaign allowed them to be more familiar with topic.
Fourth social media helps in building up communities, since we live in a world that has people with different believes, religions, and thoughts. Social media helps in promoting information about most of thoughts , religions, and believes that people care about and by that people with similar thought believes or religion can be introduced to each other and learn more issue from each other. In addition to that it allow people with different thoughts believes and religion to be introduced to new thoughts religion and believes and to people with different believes to discuss and share related stuff. And a good example here is feminism, where men and women’s who are feminist can communicate using social media to raise their voices and make campaigns that shed light on the rights freedoms and believes they want to spread out to the world.
These advantages are some of many others found on individual level, besides all of these advantages there are advantages on economical level which will return in benefit for the state and individuals at the same time.
First social media is considered a good place for business promotions. Since social media is targeting almost all ages, it is targeting people with different nationalities, color, and gender. So when you promote for your business using social media people from all around the world will be able to benefit from the business and this will lead to increase in business profit which will benefit owner of business and the state since an improvement in economic revenue has been found. A good example for business promotion is online shopping where you post products you want to sell and people order them online and today upon a survey I did on a group of 25 individual 17 out of 25 prefer to buy and order things online since they think it is easier and saves a lot of time and sometimes money. another example on promotion is when local shopping places download images for their products to incour4age people to visit the store, try and buy these products where shopping places for example (Zoughaib jewelry post of a jewelry on instagram to encourage women to interact with him by sharing, liking and commenting on his post and by that he promoted for his product and encouraged people to visit him and buy the product.) On the other hand social media helps in building a good reputation for a business. Since social media gives the opportunity for individuals to like, share and comment on a post it is giving the good business the opportunity to take high percentage of likes and good comments which will lead to building a very good reputation for business which will affect the business positively.
Second social media is the best place to find real ranking percentages for any kind of business, and give the business the opportunity to know the costumers feedback about their products and activities. Social media do offer applications that rank certain places, companies, restaurants, shops, hotels, schools, universities and much more either by offering people right to go online and write reviews or by putting wide range of background information which will give us opportunity to take a look on real percentages of ranking. The most used example is hotels usually people before travelling to another country dive into social network sites (such as Trivago, booking.com, expedia, Travelocity,agoda,hotels combine…) to find the best hotel with the best price. On other hand costumers have a better opportunity to write their feedback about the products and activities the business is offering freely and without any restriction which will allow business the opportunity to know the feedback of costumers and work on negative ones to improve and to first save their reputation and second strengthens the loyalty percentage of its customers.
Third is recruiting, social media is a good platform to post a tweet or even a picture that has certain requirements, skills, certificates, or even experience for a certain position in business. This kind of advantage is mostly found in companies and stores were we find on their social media site such post that has certain qualification requirements that a person must have to give him a certain position in company. Opponents of advantage usage of social media believe that although social media has some advantages but they will evacuate in front of its numerous disadvantages. First, social media grants a high risk of cyber bullying (using social media to bully a person by sending humiliating and threatening massages). A late study has proven that about 25 percent of teens have been subjected to cyber bullying. And the cause of this percentage increasing is that anyone is able to go online and create a fake account and commit whatever acts he/she wants without being punished for the threat that they have planted on individuals and society.
Another disadvantage they rely on is the threat social media poses on personal data of each individual and his/her privacy through hacking. Hacking is a using a certain technique that enables a person to interrupt another person private account and make benefits of information found on his account. A third cause they rely on is cheating and relationship issues. Social media has given us a greater opportunity to communicate and get to know new faces. Facebook and instgram are playing a major role in getting people to know new faces to interact and communicate with which has created a new way to gain new friends. In addition to that social media have become a new method for going in new relations and discover new people. But on other hand these friendships and relations may be a fake since the account can be a fake account or a person might be already in a relation and here cheating percentage will increase. And sadly this is what is happening today the percentage of divorce and breaking up relations is increasing due to going into new relations through social media.
Fourth is that social media affects the reputation of business and lead to its economic loss. Social media is a free platform where people can go online and write whatever they want and about anything, and this is a good point for business that compete with each other for example if we have 2 companies X and Y that work in the same domain, here workers, owners, or even loyal clients of any of companies can go online and write bad views about the other company which will affect its reputation negatively and decrease the chance of economic gain for the company.
Last but not least for those on opposite stand is that people using social media will have a kind of addiction on it. People using social media will get used to use it repetitively and get used to it as a daily habit, People now a day’s look to go to social media even if they are busy and have plenty of work or study to do, since they are afraid to miss a certain post, tweet, story or even an image. Although the disadvantages that the opponents rely on are real in a way, but yet we can’t neglect that the advantages of social media on individuals, state, and states economy, the latest studies had proven that social media has played a major role in development of economy of state which will affect the individual positively. In addition to another study that mentions that continue using social media in this manner will allow the social media to be the bank of the future, and this is by starting to increase the idea of investment on social media.
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