The main question: what are the behavioral issues and overall impact of social media on society?
Secondary research question: in what way can the society target social media issues?
Primary sub-questions: what advantages and disadvantages characterize social media? In what way does social media influence marketing? What are the primary social groups influenced by social media?
Social media has become one of the vital parts of contemporary world which penetrates the life of every person. It is impossible to imagine a day without social media as one of the main informational and communicational sources. The digital era has made it possible to interact with relatives, friends, business partners, educators, and people working in different spheres of life with the help of social media. Today, it is common to see teenagers exchanging their ideas in the myriad of social networks. Internet as an outlining part of social media made it possible to connect millions of people from the most remote parts of the world. Nevertheless, an overwhelming desire to overuse the benefits of social media has made it necessary to reconsider its role in the contemporary lifestyle. In particular, the topic is alarming in the light of discussing behavioral issues and impact of social media on the surrounding world. It is worth paying attention to social behavior, business issues, and educational transformation along with advantages and disadvantages of social media.
Social media plays a significant role in shaping tendencies in the behavior of people regardless of their age, gender, and occupation. The major categories of social groups include children, teenagers, and families. It became common to have a personal page in such social networks as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (Aljenaibi, 2015). Both children and teenagers can hardly spend their day without talking to their friends or making new ones via one of the aforementioned social networks. Nevertheless, such behavior leads to the development of abusive patterns of communication which transforms from routine life into virtual reality. Privacy issues, sexting, and cyber bullying are the most widespread issues resulted from social media use among youth. As a result, their overwhelming desire to interact via social networks leads to the development of family issues. Often, parents cannot find a common language with their children and feel alienation. In this way, families may lose connection and not understand how to avoid the gap between generations.
Education is another sphere of life which continues to transform under the influence of social media. On the one hand, social media can hardly change the quality of education. On the other hand, it changes the scope of students’ worldview based on their obsession with social media services. It has become common for students to experience lack of concentration and discipline during their learning process. Frequent usage of social networks distracts students from prioritizing their tasks according to their possibilities (He & He, 2015). Furthermore, students may find information irrelevant for their assignments due to the lack of high quality sources, which are present at the library (Aljenaibi, 2015). Finally, a narrow-minded worldview prevents students from looking for reliable sources of information. Instead, they prefer trusting social media rather than wasting time on searching for relevant information or consulting professors.
Business is another sphere of life which continues to change due to social media. The transformation also happens within the behavior of companies. First, the contemporary business makes significant investments in advertising, social networks, and marketing campaigns. It happens for the reason of rising rivalry based on online services of social media. Increased competition has become a widespread phenomenon among companies which penetrates online sources with rising intensity. As a result, social media has an excessive amount of advertisements presented in applications, social networks, websites, and e-mails (Zhu & Chen, 2015). In this way, it has changed the course of business development which must target social networks in order to achieve success. Otherwise, competitors will make it impossible to increase the market share and win loyalty of customers.
Regardless of the behavioral issues of social media, it is possible to discuss both advantages and disadvantages of social media in the contemporary world by assuming its role in different life areas. Since social media connects people irrespective of their distance, teachers have an opportunity to contact their students as soon as it becomes important (He & He, 2015). Students, in their turn, have easy access to educational sources in order to learn. In addition, there are some educational forums which foster learning different topics by discussing them with peers and professors. Another benefit of social media lies in its outlining influence on politics. People have gained an opportunity to influence the elections and make online petitions against unfair political acts and transformations. In this way, they have a chance to participate in historical development of the country. Finally, social media is a valuable source of job opportunities. The Internet made it possible for people to look for jobs in the comfort of their homes. As a result, social media plays an important role in reducing unemployment.
Nevertheless, there are several disadvantages of social media which should be considered in order to avoid its negative influence. As for the educational sector, social media influences not only grades of students due to cheating and plagiarism but also college admission. Admission officers tend to check students’ profiles, which influences the decision based on information presented by students. In business, social media reduces productivity of employees as a distracting factor. Employees tend to spend more time networking rather than working on their current tasks and projects (Kim, Sin, & He, 2013). In addition, employment depends on employees’ social media profiles. The companies make regular checkups of social networks on the topic of sexism, racism, poor grammar and spelling, references to drugs and alcohol, religious, and sexual content, which may become a background for dismissal.
Marketing is the sphere of life, which indicates the initial influence of social media on business and social development in general. The impact of social media is enormous as it leads to the growth of sales. It happens for the reason of manipulating desires and intentions of the potential customers by placing advertisements on appropriate sites (Zhu & Chen, 2015). People tend to develop their needs and demands by looking through products offered by companies in the contemporary social networks (Kim, Sin, & He, 2013). In this way, social media contributes to the growth of prices. Since customers are ready to pay for the price they see in the company’s profile, it becomes easier to use the customer’s desire in the interests of the company. In addition, social media is a separate topic of interest in every marketing campaign which requires investment. As a result, companies spend more financial resources and are willing to receive more in return.
The discussion allowed formulating several ways to address the negative impact of social media by emphasizing its positive aspects. It is worth shaping the solutions in three directions: social, educational, and commercial. The main solution should come from parents showing an example to their children. It does not mean that social networks and various Internet sources should be banned. However, it is worth learning how to use the gifts of the digital era in moderation. Parents should strive for uniting their families by spending time together and being involved into interesting activities. Further, it is necessary to develop a social campaign along with family events which would show teenagers the beauty of the world in all manifestations. Youth should know that it is convenient to put their devices away and enjoy the surrounding world instead of spending time with friends via the Internet (Zhu & Chen, 2015). Education, in its turn, should take care of banning the use of gadgets and devices during the learning process at the classroom. In addition, it should provide students with valuable resources for the enhancement of their knowledge. It would also be beneficial if educational institutions could teach students how to use social networks for their personal development. Business is another aspect which should look for reduction of costs related to social media marketing, avoid excessive advertising, and build fair prices according to the manufacturing process. These efforts will improve the role of social media in the development of social groups, educational sector, and business.
The topic is important not only in the global scope but also in terms of the UAE, in particular. The contemporary youth spends too much time on social media which could be spent on the developmental interests. The society used to develop faster without social networks. The problem lies in moderation, which the majority of people can hardly sense. In this way, the topic brings a special importance in terms of further growth and development of the UAE. The future depends on the contemporary youth,which seems to focus on wasteful activities. In terms of the UAE, it would be important to know more about the impact of social media on the society including youth, families, students, entrepreneurs and their business, and politics. Social media has become widespread and overwhelming and leads to the idea that the future is fragile due to the reduced pace of mental development. My personal research will become a window to the culture of the UAE shared among youth in terms of digital era. It will outline the latest tendencies and changes in the educational and business sectors related to the impact of social media.