How Social Media Influences All of Us IRL
Social Media is a controversial topic in today’s world. Its effects on the real life of individuals are debated by numerous psychologists, sociologists, and marketing specialists. At the beginning of its era, Social Media’s purpose was socialization between individuals from all around the world. However, nowadays, it fulfills many other purposes apart from socialization such as promoting products and services, sharing information about multiple topics, and promoting and organizing social gatherings in real life for various purposes. In today’s world, information and communication are both crucial for all aspects of our lives and Social Media platforms have made both of them more efficient and more rapid than ever before.
The use of Social Media by today’s generations seems to have both positive and negative effects leading to a formation of doubts by specialists who analyze its effects. Considering the context of the international debate of specialists on whether Social Media is negatively affecting our generations or helping them become better versions of themselves, let’s see what are the real effects are on our real lives.
Words such as “like” or “share” have completely different meanings in today’s societies of individuals who are frequent users of Social Media. We know them as tools used on Social Media platforms to share our preferences, hobbies and interests. By posting any type of content online, we are sharing information without realizing the effect. When spending time on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter we are not learning in the same way as when we read a book. The large volume of information we absorb on Social Media platforms is inevitably bringing a contribution to our baggage of knowledge. Whether it is a photo, a video, or the status of one of our virtual friends we are constantly learning something new. There have been debates regarding the quality of content found on these platforms since any individual has the freedom and the opportunity to share any opinion or perspective regardless of truth or fact. Each of us has the responsibility to filter all the information that we receive and choose which one is beneficial for us or not. Moreover, as long as you only follow Social Media pages or individuals who share the same perspectives as you, you can avoid having to see any type of content about subjects which you find irrelevant or offensive to your value system.
Isn’t it weird how we all have hundreds of followers and friends in the virtual world of Social Media while in real life we only know a few of them? Scientists have proven that an individual is able to maintain real-life social interactions with a very small number of people which is why they believe that the virtual socialization is, in fact, a charade which is far from the real purpose of social interactions. While some individuals claim that Social Media platforms will revolutionize social interactions, there are others who believe that they will tragically damage real-life socialization. Considering this strong debate of the dilemma of virtual or real-life socialization, there are few aspects which need to be mentioned. Indeed, social interactions in the virtual world on Social Media platforms seem to be far from reality, but can definitely take to real-life socialization due to the fact that people who start chatting online can definitely take it to the next level and meet in real life. Also, imagine how difficult it was back in the days before internet and technology became crucial aspects of our lives to maintain contact with people who were traveling to the other part of the world or to do a reverse phone lookup to find out relevant information about the person with whom you are dealing with. With the help of the internet and Social Media platforms we can easily connect with people from every corner of the world within seconds. It might be true that intensive use of Social Media for social interactions with the people around us can lead to the development of communication problems in real life; typing in front of a computer or a mobile phone screen is completely different than talking to a person face-to-face. But it is again a matter of choice whether you choose to take your eyes out of your phone and enjoy the people that surround you or focus all your social interactions in the virtual world. So, we can’t really blame Social Media platforms, can we?
Marketing is another field of interest which has been powerfully changed by the appearance of the internet and Social Media platforms. It is crucial to see how it affects our relationship with real life. You do not have to be a marketing specialist to notice how today Social Media platforms are used for marketing by every business. We have all noticed on our pages on Social Media platforms that products and services are constantly promoted, especially those we have searched for in the past. So, are Social Media platforms affecting customer behavior trends in any way? It is obvious that since the purchasing process is more simple and quick, customers tend to buy more products they may or may not need due to the constant access to deals and sales offered by businesses. Another aspect of change in marketing is the relationship between business owners and customers. Customer satisfaction has improved drastically thanks to easier and faster access to customer feedback. This not only leads to happy repeat buyers, but also innovation and product development.