The first question that comes to an individual regarding social media today is whether it is a blessing or a curse. The topic is really debatable. Every single thing has its pros and cons, and what we really should put our focus on is the side that it tilts. Does the advantages of using social media overshadow its disadvantages?

First of all let us talk about the advantages of social media and how it shapes our life. Social media provides a global platform for everyone to put forth their views and ideas without any means of biasness or reservation. It is because of social media that we communicate and interact with people living thousand of miles away. Social media is a great tool for promoting businesses. It is cost effective, and has shifted the paradigm in the way companies promote themselves. Have you ever noticed a small text “Sponsored” written at the bottom of a post? They are all paid promotions done by companies and are meant to target a particular region or a particular age group. Clearly they are reaping the benefits of social media.

Social media has also created new avenues for learning and job creation which never existed before the advent of social media. Governments of many countries are leveraging social media to engage with the citizens and to garner their support, suggestions and views on policies for effective governance. Utilization of social media for general election by Prime Minister Narendra Modi played an imperative role in his success.

But the disadvantages of social media are the major issues today that needs some critical thinking. Don’t you think that the main purpose of social media is being demoralized? Social media nowadays is being used in the wrong way more than it being used for beneficial purposes. Cyber bullying takes the first place here. People can easily access someone else’s information just in a few mouse clicks. The social networking sites have taken away kids from their school books and have diverted them into every possible way. Students today, rather than focusing on their studies are more concerned about the number of likes and comments they get on their profile picture.

While many users think that their personal data is safe on the social networking sites considering the fact that they have set high levels of security settings, research suggests that it is not the case. Consider a recent case where a researcher linked to Cambridge Analytica (CA) had accessed details of 50 million Facebook users. The data was shared with CA, which used online data to reach voters on social media with personalized messages and swayed the 2016 US elections. Once you are a victim to data breach, you can’t to anything to undo the process.

Social media is a great source for entertainment and for infotainment purpose. One should not misuse it; only then it will be tagged as a boon and not as a bane.

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