Impact of social media on society

“Do you have Facebook?”

“Yes, of course. But I don’t think you can find me as there are too many people who have the same name as me. Try searching with my last name as well.”

“Hey, you celebrated your birthday at K-Box, right? I saw the pictures on your Facebook.”

“Brother, I saw your comments on the YouTube video that I posted on my blog. I am happy that you are also deeply moved by the ‘Dancing Peacock Man.’

Social networks or “social networks” have almost become part of our daily life and have been used for the last few years. It is like any other medium, such as newspapers, radio and television, but it is much more than sharing information and ideas. Social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Blogs have made it easier to create and share ideas as quickly and widely than conventional media. The power to define and control a brand is passing from corporations and institutions to individuals and communities. It is no longer about the 5Cs (eg, condo, credit cards, and car) that Singaporeans were talking about. Today, it’s about the new Cs: creativity, communication, connection, creation (of new ideas and products), community (of shared interests), collaboration, and (changing the game) of competition.

In January 2010, InSites Consulting conducted an online survey with 2,884 consumers from more than 14 countries between the ages of 18 to 55 on social media. More than 90% of the participants know at least 1 social networking site and 72% of the participants are members of at least 1 social networking site. On average, people have about 195 friends and they log on to social networking sites twice a day. However, 55% of users cannot access their social media websites at work. In the past, not many adults could make more than 500 friends, but with social media, even a child or teenager can meet more than 500 people in a few days with the click of the mouse. Social networks have devalued the traditional definition of “friend” where it means trust, support, compatible values, and so on. Although we got to know more people, we cannot build a strong bond with all the people we met, as our available time is limited. Thus, there is an upcoming social trend of people with broader social circles, but weaker ties (people we don’t know very well but who provide us with useful information and ideas).

Social media also influences people’s buying behaviors. Digital Influence Group reported that 91% of people say that consumer opinions are the number one aid to purchasing decisions and 87% trust a friend’s recommendation on the opinion of critics. You are three times more likely to trust peer opinions than advertising to make purchasing decisions. A word of mouth conversation has an impact of 200 television commercials. With the predominant use of social media, there are numerous related news stories, from the most watched YouTube video on “Armless Pianist Wins ‘The Talent of China'” to Internet-assisted suicide cases (for example, a college student from New Jersey who committed suicide after a video of him having a sexual encounter with another man was posted online). So does social media make us better or worse as a society?

Positive effects of social media

In addition to having the opportunity to meet many people quickly and easily, social media also helped teens who have physical or social mobility restrictions to build and maintain relationships with their friends and family. Children who travel abroad to study can still maintain meaningful contact with their parents. To a greater extent, there is anecdotal evidence of positive results from these technologies.

In 2008, President-elect Obama won the election by effectively using social media to reach millions of audiences or voters. The Obama campaign had generated and distributed a large amount of content and messages via email, SMS, social media platforms, and its websites. Obama and his campaign team fully understood the fundamental social need that we all share: the need to be “who we are.” Therefore, the campaign sent the message as “Because it is about YOU” and chose the right form of media to connect with people, make a call to action and create a community for a social movement. They encouraged citizens to share their voices, hold discussion meetings in homes, and organize their own campaign meetings. It really changed the transmission of the political message.

The Obama campaign had made 5 million “friends” on more than 15 social networking sites (3 million friends on Facebook itself) and posted nearly 2,000 YouTube videos that were viewed more than 80 million times. At its peak, its website,, had 8.5 million monthly visitors and produced 400,000 blog posts. To ensure that people found your content, the Obama campaign spent $ 3.5 million on Google search in October alone, $ 600,000 on, $ 467,000 on Facebook in 2008, and so on. Currently, Obama’s Twitter account has close to 6 million followers.

In 2010, after the earthquake in Haiti, many of the official lines of communication were down. The rest of the world couldn’t get the full picture of the situation there. To facilitate the exchange of information and compensate for the lack of information, social media was very useful in informing the news about the affected area about what happened and what help was needed. Many people’s tweets provided an impressive overview of the ongoing events of the earthquake. The BBC covered the event by combining tweets from the work of its reporter Matthew Price in Port-au-Prince on the ground. The Guardian live blog also used social media alongside information from other news organizations to report on the rescue mission.

It’s been two years since CNN officially launched iReport as a section of its website where people can upload video material, with contact information. During the Haiti crisis, CNN had posted a variety of material on social media, but not all of the materials were verified. Editorial staff would examine citizen journalists’ reports and tag them differently compared to unverified content. On Facebook, a group, called “Haiti Earthquake,” was formed to show support and share updates and news. It had more than 14,000 members and some users even asked the group’s injured Haitians for help. Through email, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook, thousands of volunteers as part of the Ushahidi Project were able to map reports sent by people from Haiti.

The most impressive part of the impact of social media in Haiti is the charitable text message donations that skyrocketed to more than $ 10 million for victims in Haiti. Those interested in helping victims are encouraged to text, tweet, and make their support known through various social media sites. The Global Philanthropy Group had also started a campaign to ask wealthy people and celebrities, such as Ben Stiller and John Legend, to use Twitter and Facebook to encourage others to donate to UNICEF. A humanitarian worker, Saundra Schimmelpfennig, allowed advice from other aid workers and donors to be posted on her blog about choosing charities to support. Meanwhile, donors were asking questions on Twitter, Facebook and blogs about their donations and the endorsement of their favorite charities. After every crisis, social media for social causes becomes a more effective means of spreading the word.

Negative effects of social media

There are always two sides to every coin. Social media is just a tool or medium that people can use. It is up to users how to use this tool (just like a knife, it can help you cut food or hurt others). The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center conducted a study on “The Future of Online Socialization” from a diverse and highly engaged group of respondents to an online survey which included 895 stakeholders and critics of the technology. . Negative effects reported by respondents included time spent online robs time of important face-to-face relationships; The Internet mostly encourages superficial relationships; the act of taking advantage of the Internet to participate in the social connection exposes private information; The Internet allows people to isolate themselves, limiting their exposure to new ideas; and the Internet is being used to generate intolerance.

Some respondents also highlighted that some new psychological and medical syndromes will develop which will be “variations in depression caused by lack of meaningful quality relationships” and a “new world society”. The term “social networks” has begun to mislead users into believing that they are social creatures. For example, spending a couple of hours using Farmville and chatting with friends at the same time doesn’t turn into social skills. People become dependent on technology and forget how to socialize in a face-to-face context. A person’s online personality can be totally different from their offline persona, causing chaos when the two personalities meet. It is evident in online dating when the couple meets face to face for the first time. Their written profiles do not clearly represent their real life characters. It is more attractive for people to write something that others want to hear than to tell the truth.

In addition to “friendship”, the creators of social networking sites and users also redefine the term “privacy” on the Internet. The challenge in data privacy is sharing data while protecting personally identifiable information. Almost all information posted on social networking sites is permanent. Every time someone posts photos or videos on the web, it goes viral. When the user deletes a video from their social network, someone may have saved it and then posted it on other sites like YouTube. People post photos and video files on social media sites without thinking and the files can reappear at the worst possible time. In 2008, a video was circulated of a group of ACJC students hazing a female student at school on her birthday and another video of a recruited SCDF being “welcomed” (washed down with water and tarred with shoe polish) in a local fire station. your way online.

A lot of news has been reported about online privacy violation on Facebook and Facebook is constantly reviewing its privacy policy and changing its privacy controls for users. Interestingly, even when users delete their personal information and deactivate their Facebook account, Facebook will still retain that information and will continue to use it for data mining. A journalist asked if the data will at least be anonymized. The Facebook representative declined to comment.

In the corporate world, HR managers can go to Facebook or MySpace to find out a candidate’s true colors, especially when job seekers don’t set their profiles private. Investigations have found that nearly half of employers have turned away a potential worker after finding incriminating material on their Facebook pages. Some employers have also checked the candidates’ online details on Facebook pages to see if they are lying about their qualifications. Today, younger generations have a complete disregard for their own privacy, opening doors to unwanted predators or stalkers.