Social structure is undergoing a change with networking powered by digital information and communications technologies. Socialization of media is a milestone in the development of networked societies and taking human communication to next level. Social media becomes a reliable source as the person receives information from known sources like friends and family. It has become a channel of learning and expanding the vision of the world. Networked societies have emerged to facilitate the generation of new information which was not possible in a traditional structure of society.
Digital revolution has given birth to current networked society which is signifying many sociocultural changes. One of these trends is that society is becoming centered towards individuality. There is a general perception of a society filled with individuals who live with their own perspectives. Focus on individual growth has increased and a decline in socialization in terms of work or family is observed. The acceptance of global culture and multiple ways of life has been enhanced. Social relationships have taken a new shape and are reformed based on the individual area of interests, values, and short-term business relations.
Today, social networking sites are a preferred platform for all kinds of activities, both business and personal, and sociability has dramatically increased. But it is a different kind of sociability. Most social media users visit the site daily, and connect on multiple dimensions, but only on the dimensions they choose. The virtual life is becoming more social than the physical life but still reflects the reality of people facilitating real-life scenarios and living.
Pros and Cons of Social Media
Modern networked societies are developing in such a way that the privacy becomes everyone’s responsibility. The people interacting with each other may affect the privacy unless suitable measures are not taken. Just by downloading some of the apps which may look decent and secure, users may end up sharing their own and their friend’s data without even knowing it. Social media has brought the people all over the world closer to each other. Customers can communicate with their favorite brands and convey exactly what they want. They can receive tailor-made products and services while businesses can then use the collective information for appropriately designing the products and services.
There are many popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube which are an effective means of spreading the brand name and getting customers attention. The social media has gained attention as the most viable communication choice for bloggers.
In spite of all the positive benefits, there are many disadvantages of social media that have been discovered in recent years. Overuse of social media may lead to addiction. The medical community is now aware that people are prone to many psychological disorders like depression as a result of overusing social media. People may lose the focus from a particular task. The attention span and motivational levels reduce, especially in teenagers and students.
Another disadvantage is that people share obscene, violent content which affects the behaviors of kids. There are many incidents where friends made on social media are found to be cheating or deceiving people. People are also faced with financial losses by transacting with strangers only on the basis of trust developed through social media.
Any media is assigned with a responsibility to spread the reality of any matter concerning the society without disturbing the social harmony. Social media houses today are the best medium for broadcasting news and information about any event from anywhere in the world within minutes. The agencies in rescue missions have used them effectively during natural calamities.
In fact, as any person receives information from trusted sources like friends or family, they are more prone to believe whatever is sent. This calls for a greater collective responsibility while using the social media equated to using water from a common river in historical traditions. Communities are evolving with a new perspective of an enormous opportunity to connect with everyone but the choice always remains with the individual as to with which small or large group he wants to identify himself with. Everything from children’s education to senior citizens health issues can be taken care of through a society that is connected in every dimension. Social media in a networked society is an opportunity of our civilization to progress towards a shared future.