So­cial me­dia is here to stay

There will al­ways be those who abuse it, but the good su­per­sedes the bad

New Straits Times - - Opinion - kushairi@me­di­aprima.com.my The writer is editor of BOTs, the weekly tech sec­tion in ‘Life & Times’. Trained in maths, he has since traded his prob­lem-solv­ing skills with writ­ing about how tech has helped to trans­form the world for the bet­ter

TECH­NOL­OGY starts with good in­ten­tions. In fact, the evo­lu­tion of tech­nol­ogy has re­ally helped mankind in nu­mer­ous ways. Un­for­tu­nately, tech­nol­ogy has its down­side too when used in­cor­rectly.

So­cial me­dia for in­stance, started out as a place to con­nect with peo­ple all over the world. It al­lows in­di­vid­u­als to share their ex­pres­sions via vir­tual com­mu­ni­ties such as Face­book, In­sta­gram, Twit­ter, Snapchat, YouTube, Tum­blr and more.

It’s pow­er­ful and fast. We prob­a­bly could even say that the so­cial me­dia’s vi­ral power is faster than a speed­ing bul­let! It has be­come very in­flu­en­tial in the lives of many to­day. In fact, many thrive on so­cial me­dia feeds. It feeds the at­ten­tion that many crave and those who are con­stantly cu­ri­ous. It con­nects peo­ple all over the world through vi­su­als and words.

But, when so­cial me­dia is abused, it can back­fire, dis­rupts lives and ruin peo­ple’s rep­u­ta­tion and in­tegrity. Take the re­cent ex­am­ple of the girl who did ex­tremely well in her ex­am­i­na­tions, but her jeal­ous peers made neg­a­tive sto­ries about her and posted them on so­cial me­dia.

The fake news caused the girl and her fam­ily much dis­tress. There are many other ex­am­ples of un­sub­stan­ti­ated news which go vi­ral and are shared by Ne­ti­zens.

So­cial me­dia is also said to be ad­dic­tive as many peo­ple spend too much time on th­ese plat­forms. The ex­treme use of so­cial me­dia is said to re­duce the level of hu­man in­ter­ac­tion. Too much time is spent in the vir­tual in­stead of the “real” world.

It’s not all as bad as it seems with so­cial me­dia though. There are many fruit­ful out­comes, too, when used in the right con­text.

Like I said be­fore, tech­nol­ogy is not to blame for the neg­a­tive out­come, but rather on how it is be­ing used. We are now bet­ter con­nected all over the world than ever be­fore. You might have just found your long-lost school mates through Face­book or Twit­ter.

Though ev­ery­one is busy with their lives, we are still able to keep in touch through so­cial me­dia. So­cial me­dia has the power to con­vey mes­sages across con­ti­nents within sec­onds on any­thing one wishes to share.

Many are also learn­ing to ex­press them­selves more with so­cial me­dia. It is a great uni­verse for ex­pres­sions, whether its art, mu­sic or beauty. It is also a great stress re­liever as one can share and let out their emo­tions. So­cial me­dia is a great place for en­ter­tain­ment af­ter a long day at work.

When shar­ing pos­i­tive and in­for­ma­tive news, in­for­ma­tion or data, so­cial me­dia is great for busi­nesses, too. Many are now us­ing so­cial me­dia to pro­mote their prod­ucts and ser­vices, sim­ply be­cause it is the fastest way to com­mu­ni­cate and send a mes­sage across glob­ally.

It is cost ef­fec­tive, too. It even lev­els the play­ing fields for small­medium-sized busi­nesses as they can now have a wider reach de­spite their tiny bud­get.

So­cial me­dia is our su­per­hero in some ways. There will al­ways be the few vil­lains who abuse the so­cial me­dia, but the good def­i­nitely su­per­sedes the bad.

So­cial me­dia has come a long way and it’s cer­tainly here to stay. So, it’s up to us to make the best of its jus­tice league points to over­come the bad ones in our world to­day.

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