Does social media affect the way in which we behave? Is social media influencing what we do and how we do it? Do you think social media affects you?
It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without your smartphone…isn’t it? As saddening as it sounds we are becoming increasingly hooked to our mobiles, tablets and other devices. Social media is often perceived as being a platform for teens, however this is no longer the case! In 2013, 71% of online adults used Facebook.
There are issues surrounding social media and how much it’s used, especially (it would seem) by younger generations as parents may worry about high usage of social media leading to poor spelling, grammar and textspeak. However, social media isn’t all negative as it offers many opportunities, if used in the correct way, and it provides us with a whole new way of communicating.
Learning the lingo
Some social media sites restrict their users with a character limit. For example Twitter, which forces its users to post updates which are no longer than 140 characters long (including any pictures, links and hashtags). To begin with, when you start using Twitter, this can be an issue, however you learn to condense your ideas into 140 characters after using Twitter for so long. The character limit, however, results in people overusing textspeak; which involves a lot of abbreviating. For example; LOL which means laugh out loud, BTW which means by the way and so on…
Improving your writing
Gone have the times when you’d just write to one single person, as you can potentially reach hundreds, even thousands, of people with just one singular post. Therefore, the issue surrounding social media eroding our writing skills could be viewed as being a load of nonsense, because actually social media offers many great tools to improve writing skills, such as blogging. Blogging doesn’t just improve your writing skills, it also helps build your audience…social media has enabled writers to reach a large audience and fast!
Distinguish between Proper Grammar and Textspeak
Twitter encourages the use of textspeak because of the 140 character limit, however Facebook doesn’t have a character limit. Therefore, Facebook users can afford to use proper grammar; also as there is no character limit this would encourage users to use proper grammar (although I guess it’s a personal choice)! Meaning users of social media have to learn when it is and isn’t appropriate to use textspeak (such as abbreviations, slang etc.). Although blogs, emails and even some written papers can, occasionally, include some textspeak, slang or abbreviations, most writers know the correct way to write according to their audience, and they often do so.
Do we overshare on social media?
Social media has opened up people’s lives, as people post Facebook status’ about things they wouldn’t necessarily tell their friends face-to-face, or on the phone. This could, potentially, open up conversations in person, likewise using “social” media sites such as LinkedIn to display and showcase your expertise can also gain you connections in your desired area/field and potential employment. Thus social media isn’t as isolating as people may think!!
Positive effects of social media
- Connects you to others, whether it is to talk about general interests or it is strictly professional.
- Social media has enabled ‘normal people’, who wouldn’t have without social media, to become writers; to express their opinions, share their insights and experiences.
- Connects like-minded people.
- Possible job opportunities.
- Oversharing can be useful, if the information which is being shared is useful.
Negative effects of social media
- If social media is used in the wrong ways it can, potentially, stop you from getting a job. For example, posting pictures of you getting drunk on Facebook isn’t professional and so wouldn’t look great to anybody wanting to employ you.
- Can become a platform for bullying, snide comments and generally putting people down; which is the perception some people have of social media.
- Oversharing can become very irritating if the information which is posted is irrelevant to you, i.e. pointless Facebook status updates.
These are a few points on the effects of social media, out of thousands. So, if you’ve got anything you’d like to add feel free to comment below!
What other effects do you think social media has?
Let me know your thoughts, opinions and insights in the comment section below…as always I look forward to hearing from you!!
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