Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Week 2: Social Media

Posted by Beryl at 01:41

My second post!

This time, I am writing about social media.
This is kind of ironic because I do not have ANY social media.


Yes, I admit it. And I am proud of it! Unless you count Whatsapp as a form of social media, I have no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. and have no intention of getting any of them despite pressure from well-meaning friends (Sorry guys!). My non-conformist tendencies can be explained with several reasons. My circle of friends is small and I am not exactly the most social person around, so I do not see the point. Furthermore, my life is pretty boring so I would not have anything to report on these platforms. Not only that, less sincerity is involved when utilising these platforms, such as with friends' birthdays. With so many people using social media, I feel that there should be at least someone to go against the flow, lest it consumes my life, like how it does with others, and render the good old days of traditional communication obsolete. I know the feeling of how social media occupies a significant amount of our lives, as it is with handphone game apps for example. Believe me, it is hard to look away and not think about it constantly.

Despite me not having any forms of social media, it does not mean I am completely clueless to their functions. I am surrounded by people who all have some form of social media, so it is natural for me to need to remain relevant and adapt somehow.

The proliferation of social media and its users is amazing. Over the years there are many that have mushroomed on the Web to become the successful platforms that they are today. The few earlier ones include Friendster, Myspace and LiveJournal. However, these platforms bowed down and gave way to the likes of the wildly popular Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest just to name a few. Below is a quirky song about social media by local singer Shimona Kee:


What is so good about social media that has everybody using it? For starters, social media is convenient (due to many people owning smartphones and other digital technology), free and easy to use. It allows us to communicate and stay connected with our family and friends, regardless of where they may be. We could even make new friends. We can get news and information even faster than before. From another viewpoint, it is easier for businesses as well as people to advertise their wares, due to its inexpensive and far-reaching nature. People can also make use of social media to gain greater exposure and prominence or promote a meaningful cause. There is little wonder why social media is widely used.

While there are plenty of benefits of using social media, there are various drawbacks as well. The associated dangers of social media include scams and meeting unsavory characters. There are cases of hoaxes being passed around through social media, with quick diffusion of the (mis)information. Not to mention, making friends with strangers online could lead to terrible consequences as no one knows who is hidden behind the persona that was created. The stranger might turn out to be a stalker or pedophile preying on innocent young schoolgirls, one never knows.


Furthermore, one cannot connect to social media without an internet connection or a data plan. I for one do not have a data plan, making it another reason why social media is a hassle for me. Lesser face-to-face interactions could arise as a result of social media as well. As we can just use social media to communicate with our friends, the need to physically meet up with friends for a chat becomes irrelevant. We become more impersonal, making no effort to remember a friend's birthday when it is up on Facebook for easy reference. It is also easier to hurt people on social media, through thoughtless rants and discriminatory posts that can be easily spread. This could lead to conflict and disharmony.We are also bombarded with excessive advertising that appears on social media platforms. The more worrying thing about social media is that our privacy, something I am rather protective of, might be compromised. Our personal information is out in the Web for anyone to find, and we might even be under surveillance from external sources. Your future employers might just do a check on your Facebook account to see what you have been up to too. Moreover, it is scary to think that our personal information is given to advertisers in order to customize the types of advertisements we see on these platforms. All these reasons are in my list of 'Why I Choose Not To Have Social Media' as well.

Here are some interesting facts about Facebook users:

Facts that might freak you out into NOT having Facebook, or any social media for that matter, lest you become part of these numbers.
The obsession with social media is mind-boggling. I'll stick to surfing the Web, thank you very much.

Social media is good and all, and one could always take measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, but I am sticking to good ol' text messaging.

To end off, here's a funny video about the types of people that use social media, which I find quite accurate. Maybe you yourself will think twice about how you use it. ^^


Signing off!

2 comments:

Huien Loi on 15 September 2013 at 14:10 said...

I really do applaud your decision to not cave in to the evils of social media despite peer pressure (from us haha!). It really takes a lot of will to not follow the crowd and honestly, you are just as updated as many of us. So it also points to show that you don't necessarily need to be on social media platforms to access the same information we do.

It's more worrying that young children nowadays are exposed to social media at such a tender age and many often do not understand what a scary world it can possibly be out there. I've seen young kids posting vital information on their accounts and it is made public for anyone to see!

Yikes. Wished more parents would educate their children on online security.

Huiwen on 17 September 2013 at 01:13 said...

You pointed out that the Internet isn't safe, which is a great point that many forget. Even teenagers can be stupid and unsuspecting about strangers online... not to mention that as Hui En said, the age of kids going online get younger and younger without being aware of the dangers. At least as young adults, we can be more suspicious and discerning!

I do agree though that one of the main benefits of social media is the increase of information transmission, which is something I've mentioned on my blog too :) I can't begin to list down all the things I've learnt solely through social media that I couldn't have learnt through traditional means.

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