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Our world today thrives on the use of social media as the primary tool for communication for people in all walks of life. There is no field where dependence on the social media is not pervasive. It controls technology (it is technology), advertising, marketing, education, religion, music, literature, all aspects of world cultures and people - just to list a few.

Through social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, people make contact with the public. The coverage is global and fast! Through social media, several non-profit organizations have succeeded in achieving their goals of service to humanity. Also, many educational accomplishments have been made public; not to mention the proliferation of knowledge. Again, these illustrations of the benefits of social media seem to scratch only the surface. We can spend all day adding to these. They are huge and seemingly indispensable.

However, there are downsides to the social media. For one, many people find it difficult to achieve the right balance and so get carried away with feeding the public information that is irrelevant or that decorum (decency) dictates as personal. We know of instances where the police have cautioned people about information they make public that compromises their safety. Also, some people put up pictures that may be wise to show to only friends and family. How would you feel if someone said, "I didn't know you have folds around your waistline or your arms are saggy until I saw the photos you put up." It would be an inconsiderate, unkind remark since everyone has flaws and everyone is beautiful. But why show the world these photos? My understanding is that celebrities get some uncomplimentary pictures of them taken when they'd rather not have such photos made public. That's a price they pay for being celebrities. No offence meant but what's the purpose of showing these to the general public except you have a public following and just want to keep your fans updated?  If you need to share pictures with the public, how about showing meaningful photos about nature, the world, animals and the like.

Another 'evil' of social media is that when someone posts or blogs about something, some people who know them assume that they are the subject matter even when they are not. There's no gainsaying that social media has knocked many heads together. On the other hand, social media also gives us an insight about what people are really like. For example, when people put up bitter, hateful, shallow posts or comments you would be embarrassed of if you were their friend or family, then you have a good idea of their character. It's like in the poem "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning where the Duke inadvertently castigates himself.

Recently, I was reading an online journal and found a social sciences article very interesting. The electronic paper was the summary of a postgraduate thesis on people creeping their ex's Facebook pages. This dissertation provided statistical data on people who do that and why. Following up on that, another article called it a pathetic activity but offered some consolatory remark that there are some others who make the same mistake; so, you are not alone.

I have attempted to discuss a few pros and cons of social media. It is a reliable and effective tool. It is a technological breakthrough. It is indispensable. Yet it can be dangerous and problematic if wrongly used.

Social media people icons

As individuals, we need to become more accountable to ourselves and society in our use of social media. What's your goal? Each time you put up something for the public, what are you out to achieve? That's a question we all need to answer.

Enjoy the rest of your week.


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  1. Social media is not indispensible. It is not a necessary technology and, especially for our kids it's a big problem and harms their development. Kids would be better off without it.

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