Social media has changed the way we communicate and interact with each other. With its arrival, many technological advances came along with it. Constant change and innovation have become a part of our everyday routine.
We see young people glued to their phones and older generations voicing their skepticism about apps such as Facebook. And while everyone is welcome to have his or her opinion on social media, we cannot underestimate its power. Here are six common misconceptions about social media that really needed to be clarified.
1. “Social media is making us antisocial”
It’s a common belief that apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are making us antisocial. There is some truth to that notion, but it’s important to recognize that such adverse effects come with the extreme use of those social networks. Most users fully enjoy the community-building capabilities of the applications without recurring to obsessive use. It all comes down to moderation and being aware of how much time we spend using them.
2. “Only millennials use social media”
Millennials and Generation Z are the prominent users of social media, but that doesn’t mean that older generations don’t use social media. As a Pew research study reports, older generations have increased their use of apps such as Facebook in recent years. Baby boomers are recognizing that social media presents an easy way to communicate with friends and family that are not nearby.
3. “Using social media is a waste of time”
Social media has given businesses a new tool to promote their services. This type of online marketing helps companies create brand awareness and communicate directly with their customers. Social networks have become a necessity in almost every profession in the world, not only in business. It is not a waste of time, but an investment in the future. Just make sure you use social media productively.
4. “Social media doesn’t have a direct effect on our lives”
Obsessive use of social media apps can lead to serious mental health issues, according to Forbes. Depression and anxiety have been on the rise, especially in teenagers. It’s all due to the tendency to compare ourselves with the people we see online. Instead of being comfortable with our lives, we follow people who appear to be better, prettier, richer than us. So please, keep in mind that social media is like advertising — many images are photoshopped, and real life is hardly ever shown online.
5. “Because of social, the world has become too politically correct”
The most meaningful and important social movements, such as the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter campaigns, have started online. Minorities have used social media to communicate to the masses the ways they are being oppressed. This has led many people to demonize these efforts by calling the people who want change “too sensitive”. The matter is not a question of sensitivity, it’s about respect, demanding change, and as simple as empathy.
6. “You can’t gain anything from social media”
Internet users have revolutionized the job landscape by introducing new careers that couldn’t have been predicted years prior. Bloggers, vloggers, influencers — gaining a large following online means that you can monetize These influencers are characterized by their large following and the capacity of gaining a moderate income from their engagement with their followers.
Without a doubt, social media has countless positive and negative characteristics. It’s up to us to inform ourselves about its different components and not let ourselves be caught in the two extreme sides: those who choose to demonize it and those who choose to ignore its problems.