Inthe today’s world, people are practically living on the internetand social media. Social media involves websites and other computerrelated applications that people use in creating, sharing orexchanging information, ideas, videos, pictures such as Facebook,Instagram , YouTube, Twitter and blogging sites. Access to socialmedia is through the internet which has easily available information.It has many advantages as well as disadvantages. The masses ought tobe aware of the merits and demerits so that they can change in theiruse of social media and easily reachable information.
Easilyobtainable information has various advantages. Many companies use theinternet to service their customers. The customers make paymentsthrough the web instead of mailing the bills as well as do shoppingwithout leaving the comfort of their living rooms. Another advantageentails search of things where companies and organizations are onlineto promote their existence through search engines like Google, emailand poster advertisements (Okazaki& Taylor, 2013).This makes it possible for consumers to download games, videos,movies and favorite television programs which they watch at their ownconvenient time. Easily obtainable information has an added advantageof convenience. This means that one can be in one place and be ableto catch the hottest news, listen to the top songs on the chart,watch and share videos while conversing with friends through chats.This kind of multitasking makes it easy for one to complete severalthings at a go which would otherwise have been very difficult (SHRM,2012).Again, easily obtainable information makes it possible for one toaccess credit information, government as well as employmentinformation. Though the advantages are numerous, there are severaldisadvantages accompanying effortlessly available information.Critical or sensitive information is availed when it ought not to. One can learn of the death of a loved one through an accident via theinternet which is unseemly. It also presents an avenue for theft ofpersonal information. Mostly, while searching for things online, oneis asked to submit personal information such as name, address, socialsecurity number and credit card number all of which can be accessedby hackers. Visiting web pages while searching for things opens upones computer for viruses. This may be detrimental in that it canlead to the collapse of the computer.
Theuse of social media has merits and demerits at the same time. Themerits are numerous. Social media facilitates and improvescommunication and productivity in organizations by providinginformation efficiently to the employees. People are allowed todiscuss ideas and issues, make queries, post and share information.Social media also offers an opportunity to broaden contacts bothsocially and businesswise. When it comes to purchasing, potentialcustomers are directed to specific websites which saves a lot of timeand reduce the hassles. On top of these, social media offers people aplatform to air their views and opinions regarding places, things andpeople (SHRM,2012).From the social media, consumers are able to read the consumerreviews on products such as household items, videos, games andvehicles. This kind of information enhances people’s lives. Socialmedia is also a platform where people communicate to friends, familyand business associates. People keep in contact through Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and emails. Skype make it possible for one tospeak and physically see the individual one is communicating with. It has also made marketing very easy. Large companies use it topromote their products to consumers through advertisements doneonline. As much as merits are many, the demerits are also numerous.Social media can lead to purchasing other people’s information,forgeries and plagiarism. Many fraud cases are committed online(Okazaki& Taylor, 2013).Social media users fall victims of online scams which seem genuineand lead to information or theft of identity.
Knowledgeof the advantages and disadvantages of using social media may alterhow one uses it in many ways.A person has a chance to shy awayfrom the predestined conclusions. This makes one able to discriminatewhat is ethically right and wrong. This also helps in guiding socialmedia users in scrutinizing the kind of information they post on theinternet. The user avoids compromising information either to self orcompanies. Being aware makes one cautious especially when openinglinks that may have viruses.
Whenit comes to social media, there are several credibility issuesinvolved. They include misquotations, exaggerations, informationmisrepresentations and theft of identity. A piece of information maybe presented while partially complete. This may require fartherresearch to ascertain its validity as well as credibility. Bloggersdo research on credibility issues and supply feedback and assesscritically on companies, services and products (Okazaki& Taylor, 2013).
Theinternet and social media are valuable tools if used properly. At thesame time they are destructive tools if used in the wrong way whetherintentionally or otherwise. This shows that they affect people’slives both positively and negatively and therefore, discretion isparamount to a consumer while submitting and conveying information.It must be credible enough so as to make it useful to people.
Okazaki,S., & Taylor, C. R. (2013). Social media and internationaladvertising: theoretical challenges and future directions.Internationalmarketing review,30(1),56-71.
SHRM,(2012). SocialMedia: What are the advantages and disadvantages of social networkingsites? What should we include in a policy?– Retrieved fromhttp://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/socialnetworkingsitespolicy.aspx(Accessed June 11, 2015)