Facebook: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Facebook, and other social media sites, have pretty much taken over our lives, and influences us dramatically. Whether this is in a good or bad way, everyone has their own opinion. Personally, I believe that the majority of the time, the good overcomes the bad. Being able to communicate easily with people around the world, therefore bringing the world closer together, I am all for it. This is especially beneficial for businesses and even charities to advertise and communicate with potential customers and supporters. I am, however, aware of the bad and even the ugly side. I have written this article to weigh up what I think are the pros and cons of Facebook.
Captain Obvious is sitting right here when I say Facebook is incredible for communication. Facebook gives us the ability to contact family and friends across the globe at any time for free. We can view and share photos and other elements of our life with them to feel a part of their world despite how big or small the distance between us is.
There is also the ease of communication between customers and businesses. Customers are able to tell businesses what they want and businesses can easily access this information to tailor their products and services. This saves them huge amounts of money on marketing and saves customers from spending time on the phone to deal with a complaint or another problem.
Not-for-profit organisations and other causes use Facebook to promote awareness campaigns. Facebook has made it possible for people to discuss important topics and spread the word of their campaigns to receive further support. This includes socially shared petitions that are able to reach thousands of people across the world. Like-minded individuals are able to widen their knowledge and discover so much more in their topic of interest. Facebook can reach hundreds of thousands of people, this in itself is rather incredible.
Okay, time to look into some cons. As much as we can talk freely over the internet, this has allowed people to ‘hide’ behind their screens and limit their face to face interaction. Facebook gives the ability to feel social without having to leave your home or actually see anyone in person. On the same line, it can feel like you have plenty of friends without actually putting in the social work of having friends. Have a look at your friendship list on Facebook, how many do you talk too? Quite a few. Okay, now have a think, when was the last time you saw these people? Or even at all…? Bit scary right?
Now, when we do go out in public or finally do socialise with others, how many of you, or your friends, are constantly scrolling their Facebook newsfeed on their phones! This can be another problem, the issue of social media taking over our lives. It can be a constant distraction. People catch up with each other, go grocery shopping or even go for a walk and every few hours or even minutes, majority of you check your phones. Come on guys, don’t view the world through a digital box, its right there in front of you to see and experience! You don’t have to retreat into your phones or computers.
Continuing on the distraction side of Facebook, human productivity is being influenced hugely. Alright, even I do this but you also have to admit, you’re sitting at your desk or wherever at work and you find yourself wondering through Facebook to see what’s going on or have a chat with a friend. If you don’t admit it, you’re lying! Try this, make a stroke on a piece of paper each time you visit Facebook or another social media website during work hours. By the end of the day, I am sure you will be shocked at how much estimated time you may have wasted… Can be a worry.
There is also a bit of an ugly side to Facebook. Your life can, if you let it, be very public. Relationships could be ruined because of it. This isn’t because of Facebook itself, but of the people using it. They use social media as a tool too quite frankly, try to create problems for others. This can cause all sorts of issues including bullying and relationship break ups.
There can also be very inappropriate people on Facebook too. They can say or share photos/ videos of things you really don’t need to see or want to know. My advice, delete/ block them if it makes you uncomfortable or upset. Then there can be the people who are (trying to find a polite word here!) rather stupid and vain. I know it’s a bit mean but I’m sure you can think of someone like this in your friendship list. These people tend to overshare with terrible grammar that you literally need google translate to try and figure out what they are saying. They sought out approval from others constantly with pictures or comments. After a while, I don’t know about you, but I feel exhausted and sorry for them!
Overall, there are good and bad aspects of Facebook, but in the end it is all about how you use it. If you can enjoy the world in both reality and sometimes digitally, you shouldn’t have a problem. But, if you’re reading this after hours and hours wandering around online, turn off your computer and go for a walk outside. You’ll enjoy it I promise.