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Categories: Social Media

Effects of social networks on your daily life

Social Networks are amazing – it gives us the freedom to connect with people across the world instantaneously. No more long-distance collect calls to your parents while on a GAP year, or to your family while on a business meeting, no more phone calls to wish someone Happy Birthday, no more real social interaction…

Effects of social networks on your daily life
Effects of social networks on your daily life

A harsh statement to say the least but very true one, social networks has not only changed the way we interact socially, but also the way we see ourselves. It has been amazing in eliminating cross-border restrictions on business and has helped people connect with one another on an entire new level.

When social networks boomed round about 2002 people thought it was a fad that will soon fade away when something “cooler” emerges, but it hasn’t, on the contrary it has changed the way we do business, interact socially and see ourselves.

...world was then introduced to the land-line telephone...

For hundreds of years people had limited social interactions as it meant you had to visit your friend by foot or horse-carriage. When cars were invented people could easily drive to the next town to visit a friend, but there were still serious limitations as to the type of people that were interacted with. The world was then introduced to the land-line telephone, giving housewives the opportunity to gossip about the next door neighbours. Then the cell phone got dropped on the world giving people a way to communicate with each other no matter where they were. Up and till now all these amazing inventions merely made it easier to communicate with the people you already knew, what about the billions of people you have never met before?

Social networks opened up a new world allowing people to communicate with one another, to meet new people from different backgrounds and ethnic groups – it was amazing, but how did it really affect our daily lives?

Decreased productivity

One of the most obvious negative effects of social networks on the everyday life is the decrease of productivity. With all these new friends to communicate with who has the time to do their work? So many companies have banned their employees from accessing social networks in the hopes that it would improve productivity. Sometimes it does work, but that’s only if the employee does not have access to it one their personal mobile devices using their own internet service providers.

Social interactions

Social networks has affected basic human social interactions in two ways, the first is by allowing those individuals with severe social anxieties the opportunity to interact with their peers, friends and family in a more controlled environment – which has proven to be great. However on the other side it has had a negative impact on those individuals who do not suffer from social anxieties. Can you remember the last time you had a full conversation without someone taking a photo to later post on a social network, or tweeting about the conversation while it is happening? In a nutshell social networks have made people rude as they no longer give their friends their full concentration.

Freedom of speech

For many social networks has allowed them with the opportunity to speak their minds, to tell the world what they do and do not like or what gets under their skin – we can now live in a world where our say counts. So you might ask what the downside to this could possibility be – well, it seems that people no longer think about the things they say or do online. To many there is no real difference between the online and real world, but in reality what you say online counts as much as what you say in the real world.

Cyber-bulling

Saying it out loud seems ridiculous but it is a harsh reality. People in general are mean especially children. Think back to your school days where rumours could make or break your image. One small innocent rumour ruined many lives in the past, now just imaging rumours on social networks. They are no longer confined to the school walls but released to the public on a global scale. One innocent rumour could cause so many traumas in an adolescent’s life that they revert to suicide.

Marketing

One of the most obvious effects of social networks in your daily life is marketing. More and more companies are using social networks to market their products to you – why – because online marketing allows the company to target their exact market. Every time you specify your age, gender and location on a social network you are helping companies target you in their next marketing campaign. For companies that is great news but for the average user it means more options, more information, more products, and more possibilities of being scammed.

News

A couple of years ago we all relied on Newspapers and radio stations to break the latest news and inform us about a celebrity deaths, political movements, or local murders. Today we rely on the internet and social networks. There is no faster way to spread news than through a social network which is great for the public as you are always in the loop of the latest news in and around your country. So what would be the downside? Fact checking is becoming a thing of the past, by breaking news so quickly there is almost no guarantee that the facts were checked and since the sources are usually up for discussion there is no real way to know if anything is true online. To top it all there are thousands of scams that rotate on social networks breaking news about celebrity deaths and other gruesome news which never even really happened!

So the next time you log on to Facebook, Twitter or any social network take a few minutes to think about the way it affects your daily life – it will shock you, that’s to say you are old enough to remember the days without it.

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