Issues like cyberbullying are always making headlines but there are many positive effects of social media too. And it’s a good thing because social networking is here to stay! The Pew Research Center recently reported that, «Today, 90% of young adults use social media, compared with 12% in 2005, a 78-percentage point increase. At the same time, there has been a 69-point bump among those ages 30-49, from 8% in 2005 to 77% today.» All of those new users aren’t just responding to peer pressure — most would agree that the pros of social media outweigh the cons.
In fact, it helps to take a glass-half-full approach to social networking because most of the aspects that can make it harmful are the exact same things that can make it so incredible too. And when your kids’ social media-speak starts sounding like a foreign language, just remember the older generation always thinks their way is best and the kids always think their parents are clueless. That’s one thing that never changes!
Communication on social media
Being connected and a feeling sense of community are two of the most positive effects of social media. When we’re too busy to pick up the phone or send a card, Facebook lets us keep in touch with old friends in far away places. Even better, we get a real taste of what their lives are like — complete with (usually too many) pictures.
This has been a life-changer for elderly folks and others who can’t get out much. For every cyber bully, there’s a cyber community that welcomes kids who struggle with face-to-face interactions. Watching everyone’s virtual reality may encourage us to start comparing ourselves unfavorable to others but it also is one of the best ways to truly know that, no matter you’re going through, you’re not alone.
A bit of what is not bad
Crowdsourcing is another one of the amazing pros of social media. Whether you’re fundraising locally or globally, social networks have taken it to a whole other level. There’s no more immediate way to make large groups of people instantly aware of news, keep them informed in an emergency or alert them to injustices or important issues. Just think about how cell phone videos of police brutality have so drastically changed the way we view law enforcement and made it impossible for the powers that be to ignore those kinds of issues.
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