The impact of social media on today’s society
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
In just over a decade, for many, the influence of social media has gone from being an amusing bonus to being a fully integrated part of almost every area of everyday life. In the 21st century, if you aren't online, you risk missing valuable opportunities to learn, earn, and live better. If you're offline, you don't have the opportunity to access valuable services or easily get updated from multiple sources, or participate actively in life and social and political discussions.
The Internet should represent our interests, aspirations and ambitions and empower us to achieve our dreams, rather than amplifying our worries and grievances or broadening the tensions of today's society by radicalizing opposing groups.
Social media has grown exponentially since 2004, and has not yet reached its peak in prominence. There's no doubt that social media platforms are a big source of information and news today. But not all of it. The social media platforms are unique in their way of interacting with customers. These not only provide users with a forum for connecting outside geographic and social borders, but they also provide endless possibilities for sharing user-generated content, such as photos and videos.
As it's the beginning of the year, we felt posting the most important social media figures to keep in mind for 2020 would be a great idea. Staying on top of the latest social media trends will help improve your marketing strategy and prepare your company's experiences with social media. Let’s take a look at the top social media statistics for 2020, and how they can help shape your year ahead:
1. The worldwide use of social media is ever growing. It is certainly one of the most popular online activities the users participate in. The 2019 social media statistics show that there are 3.5 billion users on social media around the globe, and that figure is only increasing. That is approximately 45 percent of the current population;
2. Since its inception, Facebook has dominated the social media environment, and continues to evolve to meet the needs of its users. With more than 2.32 billion active monthly users Facebook is the most commonly used site for social media. Active users are the people who have logged in to Facebook over the last 30 days. Around two-thirds (68 per cent) of U.S. people currently disclose being Facebook users (Pewinternet, 2018). Ironically, Facebook was also the first social network ever to cross this milestone in the third quarter of 2012.
3. Emarketer has broken down social media usage and the findings by generation, to say the least, are significant. To break it down, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active users of social media (Emarketer, 2019). Millennials tend to be the group with the largest social media usage, and also the broadest mobile exposure. Conversely, Gen X is more likely to use smartphones. Finally, Baby Boomers are also bridging the technological gap and becoming more familiar with social media platforms.
4. We are all gradually becoming slaves to social media in this day and age. Whether it's scrolling down the subway streams from our bottomless Twitter, or sharing the ultimate brunch shot on Instagram before dining, social media has become inevitable. Social media research shows that social networks and texting are spent on average 3 hours a day per person (Globalwebindex, 2019).
5. The brands are riding the social media marketing surge. 73 percent of advertisers claim that their social media marketing campaigns have been ' slightly effective ' or ' extremely effective ' for their company (Buffer, 2019).
However, apart from seeing the new baby of your friends on Facebook, or hearing about the recent encounter of Justin Bieber with the law on Twitter, what are some of the real impacts that social media has had on our culture, both positive and negative?
· Impact on politics: Each politician who is worth his money wants to jump on the bandwagon for social media. This is because social websites have played a significant role in many worldwide campaigns, including in the United States, Iran and India. These have also helped to rally people for a cause, and in many countries motivated mass movements and political unrest.
· Impact on businesses: Net-savvy businesses use social media to advertise their products, create loyalty to consumers and many other functions. Consumer experiences and reviews help companies understand the market, and fine tune their offerings and tactics. Many companies organize contests and give away prizes to enthuse consumers more often to visit their social website. Compared with television advertisements and other costly methods of marketing, the presence of social media is a cheap and effective means of improving brand image and visibility.
· Impact on socialization: Social networks provide users with the ability to re-connect with their old friends and acquaintances, make new friends, exchange ideas, share content and photos, and many more. Users will stay up-to-date with the latest global and local trends, and take part in their variety of initiatives and events. Professionals use social media sites such as LinkedIn to improve their career prospects and business prospects. Students should collaborate with their colleagues to develop their communication skills and academic abilities. Through communicating with people in other countries you can learn about the diverse cultures and societies.
· Cyber bullying: If you're not vigilant, unscrupulous people will threaten you on social sites to cyber bully and harass you. Kids in classrooms, young girls and women can fall prey to online attacks that can create tension and distress. Do not take it lying down if you're a victim of cyber bullying so try to take appropriate legal action against the perpetrator.
· Impact on privacy: What you post on the Net will come back to haunt you if you are not careful. By sharing personal information on social sites, people can be exposed to crimes such as identity theft, bullying etc. When recruiting an employee, several businesses run a background check over the Internet in order to see if that person will embarrass the company or not.
Social media, and the internet as a whole, has given people more access to information than ever before. And not just more access but better access-at any time anyone with a mobile device can check for almost any information they need.
"The amount of digital information increases tenfold every five years. Moreover, there are now many more people who interact with information. Between 1990 and 2005 more than 1 billion people worldwide entered the middle class. As they get richer, they become more literate, which fuels information growth." - The Economist
What's the answer, then? Is social media fundamentally good, or does it have a "negative impact on society"? Social media as stated in this article has its benefits and drawbacks. It is up to each user to carefully use social sites to improve their professional and social life, and to exercise caution to ensure that online hazards do not fall victim to them. Our advice, though, is to always be careful and not to get too lost in the endless world of the Internet.