Today, Facebook has approximately 2.01 Billion users the world over. While this is only one of the major social networking sites, it gives one a glimpse of the widespread usage of social media platforms across the globe. In light of this, psychologists, teachers, and business persons have been debating whether social media is good or bad. This paper asserts that social media is good since it expands one’s social circle, enables one to learn new skills, helps young people to generate income, helps consumers to express their concerns to businesses and promotes tolerance of diverse cultures and ideas.
To start with, social media helps one to expand their social circle since it is possible for a Facebook or Twitter users in Africa to become friends with other users in Asia or America. This is something that would not be possible in the absence of social media as a result of geographical barriers. Hence, thanks to social media, an individual can network globally thus, stand a better chance to excel in their career and build a stronger social support system (Evans 2010, p.67). Secondly, social media sites gives young people an opportunity to learn new things. Through formation of a social media group such as a WhatsApp or Facebook group, people with similar interests can come together and if the aim is to learn, then they can gain new skills and knowledge to help them perform optimally. Also, Non-Governmental Organizations such as Young African Leaders Initiative offers lessons on topics such as Public management in Facebook and a young person can utilize this opportunity to become more informed and knowledgeable (Razmerita, Kirchner &Nabeth 2017, p.76).
Thirdly, social media has created another avenue for people to generate incomes hence provide for their families and contribute to the development of their country’s economy. Since the advent of social media, jobs such as content writing, social media marking and tasks related to search engine optimization have emerged giving people more career options. In countries experiencing high unemployment levels like Brazil where unemployment stands at 13.0 %, social media can absorb some of the skilled unemployed people as social media marketers, content writers and social media managers and coordinators (Evans 2010, p.67). Additionally, social media helps customers to express concerns and complaints to businesses which was very difficult before the introduction of social media. In today’s, world, social media has given consumers a lot of power since a disgruntled customer only has to report a complaint to a company’s social media site and the company will respond swiftly to prevent reputational damage. For instance, social media users increased pressure on Samsung Company regarding a series of explosions of Galaxy Note 7 battery and ultimately, the company was forced to halt the production and sale of this product (Razmerita et al.2017 p. 88).
Finally, social media promotes tolerance of diverse cultures and ideas. In a way, social media deconstructs the way a person define themselves and develops a sense of identity that is not constrained by their culture, religion, level of education or any other social status. Hence, an individual becomes more open to ideas and more tolerant to people who hail from different cultures (Razmerita et al. 2017, p.79). This is important since it promotes a harmonious co-existence enabling people of diverse backgrounds to work together towards the common good.
In conclusion, the discussion above has succinctly illustrated that social media expands one’s social circle, enables an individual to learn new skills, helps young people to generate income, helps consumers to express their concerns to businesses and promotes tolerance of diverse cultures and ideas. Therefore, social media is not only good but beneficial to society. However, social media users must understand that the freedom of communication comes with great responsibility and therefore the need to maintain sobriety and to express empathy while communicating on social media platforms.