Social media has grown tremendously in the last few years. From 2006 onward the growth rate is unexpectedly very high. Especially Facebook and Twitter have grown much faster and captured millions of users in just a few years. The way technology is growing;it is obvious that more and more people are going to grasp its benefits. It has brought a lot of advantages for the society. From progressed nations to under-developed countries, every nation is utilizing the power of social media to enhance life and use it for the bitterness of the people.
However, on the other hand it has also affected the society in the negative way. Just like anything, which can be used for both good, and bad, social media have also provided the negative and positive ways for the people. It is all about the usage and getting things done positively by using the power of social media. It is in the hands of the user to use to its advantage. But willingly or unwillingly it can still have negative impacts on the users.
Social media has been criticized a lot due to the effect it has on the way students produce and retain information. Some parents are of the opinion that social media can be very distracting and harmful for students. On the contrary, social media offers plenty of opportunities for learning and interaction. It is rather simple to see how students benefit from social media. By using technology in classrooms, the young generation is paving a new way of education and learning. Students are getting to explore and experience the world not only by books and assignments, but also by adapting a new form of communication. In a world where your networks and connections are important, graduates enter the workplaces with a lot more to offer.
What exactly are students learning by using social media?
Networks Social media connections are designed to increase your networks, form communities and interact easily. Today’s students are accessing Facebook,Twitter, LinkedInand other such social networking sites to connect and share information with those around them. One of the most fascinating things about social media is the way the users can interact and engage with each other through a mere web presence without having to meet someone in person. Web rendezvous Students share personal information, links to other sites or comment on someone’s post. By doing this, they get engaged with each other instantly. The use of social media has made it easier and faster to interact with peers or teachers about class-related topics. In a world where online engagements are important for businesses, these students are already experts at developing an online presence. Students are also experts in interacting with others on the Internet. They know how to use basic as well as complex functions on various social media sites.
Sharing Information Students are continuously connected to the Internet through their mobiles, tablets, etc. and hence rapidly transmit information to friends, family and other connections. This information is a lot more than just hilarious videos or vacation snapshots. People share views, opinions, tips, projects, study material and other such useful stuff with each other. They exchange helpful information for classes and examinations. Their ability to access, evaluate, maintain and share information is fantastic without even being aware that they are actually developing such skills day by day. The older generations need to understand the magnitude of this new style of communication.
Social Media Marketing We are all aware of social media marketing. The new media has led professionals to build a social media strategy to publicize their product and service. Social media marketing is seen upon as a skill, which is an emerging career option. Social media prepares young workers to become successful marketers. It has become essential for all types of businesses to incorporate social media marketing in their organizations. Students are extensively carrying out social media strategies for several companies all over the world. The benefits of social media for students are many. The above are just a few to begin with.
The Pros of Social Networking
·        Staying Connected
The main purpose of social media is to be able to stay connected to friends and families in today’s fast paced and ever changing worlds. You are able to rekindle old friendships, share family photos, and special events in your life with just about everyone you know, at the same time.
·        Finding People With Common Interests
Social networking is also a great way to meet entirely new people. You can seek out groups that are focused towards your special interests and hobbies and connect with local people that share the same interests. Online and social media dating is almost more common than traditional dating is in today’s world Invaluable Promotional Tool Companies, artists, and musicians can reach an impossibly large and diverse amount of people using social media sites. This allows them to promote and market themselves and their products in a way that has never been seen before.
·        Information Spreads Incredibly Fast
Breaking news and other important information can spread like wildfire on social media sites. Important things like recalls, storm information, or missing children are all communicated and taken seriously very quickly.
·        Helps To Catch And Convict Criminals
People often do not think of the consequences of what they post of these social sites. Pictures of themselves doing illegal things, or even bragging posts about crimes they have committed are all things that law enforcement use to persecute these criminals. They also use these sites to identify and solve existing cases.
Students especially use the medium to stay in touch with their old friends and also to meet new ones. Like any other technological innovation social media has its own share of Advantages and Disadvantages. Schools are adopting technology for pedagogical purposes and introducing social media into the classrooms. This is a trend that has garnered a lot of support as well as apprehensions.
Social media has several advantages for students. Social media can enable students to easily contact each other with regards to school projects and assignments. It is also possible for them to work on group assignments from the comfort of their own homes. Students that use social media can also participate more in class. When social media is used in pedagogy, students who have difficulty in expressing their thoughts in their classrooms can get involved in the learning process. It will help build these children’s confidence level as well. Social media is also useful for students when doing homework. Posting a message through social media can clear any doubts. Any questions that they may have can be asked on a message board and other students can also benefit from the feedback given by the teacher.
Teachers have many options to share useful links and this benefits the student. Students, teachers and parents can be on the same page with the help of social media. Sites like Facebook help teachers to stay in touch with parents and let them know about the progress of their children.
Along with the Advantages social media also has several Disadvantages. Social media can be a distraction for some students. Students may be distracted from their school work and the teachers will have no option of knowing which student pays attention. There is always a possibility that the students will not use social media for educational purposes. They may use social media for their personal communication.
Students that use social media regularly may lose their ability to engage in face to face communication. Even if the world is turning to technology, students must know how to communicate in the real world. Social media websites are becoming notorious for cyber bullying. This has become an alarming trend. Students may write hurtful messages about other students and this could scar students for life. Yet another problem with social media is that it is impossible to know whether students will use the medium in a constructive manner. Students may post inappropriate content like pornography on social media. This will defeat the purpose of the medium altogether. Social media is a rather effective way for students to make friends and also to get their education. At the same time there are certain disadvantages as well. The true challenge lies in overcoming the disadvantages and ensuring that the advantages create the desired impact.
With this I will explore the Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media,
10 Disadvantages of Social Media.
1- Cyber bullying – According to a report published by most of the children have become victims of the cyber bulling over the past. Since anyone can create a fake account and do anything without being traced, it has become quite easy for anyone to bully on the Internet. Threats, intimidation messages and rumors can be sent to the masses to create discomfort and chaos in the society. Check out the 6 cyber bullying stories that turned into suicide stories.
2– Hacking – Personal data and privacy can easily be hacked and shared on the Internet. Which can make financial losses and loss to personal life. Similarly, identity theft is another issue that can give financial losses to anyone by hacking their personal accounts. Several personal twitter and Facebook accounts have been hacked in the past and the hacker had posted materials that have affected the individual’s personal lives.  This is one of the dangerous disadvantages of the social media and every user is advised to keep their personal data and accounts safe to avoid such accidents.
3- Addiction – The addictive part of the social media is very bad and can disturb personal lives as well. The teenagers are the most affected by the addiction of the social media. They get involved very extensively and are eventually cut off from the society. It can also waste individual time that could have been utilized by productive tasks and activities.
4- Fraud and Scams – Several examples are available where individuals have scammed and commit fraud through the social media. For example, this list contains the 5 social media scams that are done all the time.
5- Security Issues – Now a day’s security agencies have access to people personal accounts. Which makes the privacy almost compromised. You never know when any investigation officer regarding any issue that you mistakenly or unknowingly discussed over the Internet visits you.
6- Reputation – Social media can easily ruin someone’s reputation just by creating a false story and spreading across the social media. Similarly businesses can also suffer losses due to bad reputation being conveyed over the social media.
7- Cheating and Relationship Issues – Most of the people have used the social media platform to propose and marry each other. However, after some time they turn to be wrong in their decision and part ways. Similarly, couples have cheated each other by showing the fake feelings and incorrect information.
8- Health Issues – The excess usage of social media can also have a negative impact on the health. Since exercise is the key to lose weight, most of the people get lazy because of the excessive use of social networking sites. Which in result brings disorder in the routine life. This research by discovery will shock you by showing how bad your health can be affected by the use of the social media.
9- Social Media causes death – Not just by using it, but by following the stunts and other crazy stuffs that are shared on the internet. For example bikers doing the unnecessary stunts, people doing the jump over the trains and other life threatening stuffs. For example in this video 14 year old from Mumbai was doing stunts on a running train, which caused his death. The teenagers because of the successful stunts made and shared over the social media perform these types of stunts.
10- Glamorizes Drugs and Alcohol – One of the disadvantages of the social media is that people start to follow others who are wealthy or drug addicted and share their views and videos on the web. Which eventually inspires others to follow the same and get addicted to the drugs and alcohol.
Meanwhile here are the 10 Advantages of Social Media.
1- Connectivity – The first and main advantage of the social media is connectivity. People from anywhere can connect with anyone. Regardless of the location and religion. The beauty of social media is that you can connect with anyone to learn and share your thoughts.
2- Education – Social media has a lot of benefits for the students and teachers. It is very easy to educate from others who are experts and professionals via the social media. You can follow anyone to learn from him/her and enhance your knowledge about any field. Regardless of your location and education background you can educate yourself, without paying for it.
3- Help – You can share your issues with the community to get help and giddiness. Whether it is helping in term of money or in term of advice, you can get it from the community you are connected with.
4- Information and Updates – The main advantage of the social media is that you update yourself from the latest happenings around in the world. Most of the time, Television and print media these days are biased and does not convey the true message. With the help of social media you can get the facts and true information by doing some research.
5- Promotion – Whether you have an offline business or online, you can promote your business to the largest audience. The whole world is open for you, and can promote to them. This makes the businesses profitable and less expensive, because most of the expenses made over a business are for advertising and promotion. This can be decreased by constantly and regularly involving on the social media to connect with the right audience.
6- Noble Cause – Social media can also be used for the noble causes. For example, to promote an NGO, social welfare activities and donations for the needy people. People are using social media for donation for needy people and it can be a quick way to help such people.
7- Awareness – Social media also create awareness and innovate the way people live. It is the social media, which has helped people discover new and innovative stuffs that can enhance personal lives. From farmers to teachers, students to lawyers every individual of the society can benefit from the social media and its awareness factor.
8- Helps Government and Agencies Fight Crime- It is also one of the advantages of the social media that it helps Governments and Security Agencies to spy and catch criminals to fight crime.
9- Improves Business Reputation – Just like it can ruin any business reputation, It can also improve business sales and reputation. Positive comments and sharing about a company can help them with sales and goodwill. Since people are free to share whatever they want on the social media, it can impact positively when good words are shared.
10- Helps in Building Communities – Since our world has different religions and beliefs. Social media helps in building and participating in the community of own religion and believes to discuss and learn about it. Similarly, people of different communities can connect to discuss and share related stuffs. For example Game lover can join games related communities; car lover can join communities related to cars and so on.
In conclusion I can say Social media has taken the world by storm. It has become one of the best mediums for transfer of information and knowledge in the world. It is usually the younger generation that uses social media than any other demographic and it has a lot of benefits. 
This article was written by Mr Babangida Ruma. To know more about him, click here.
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