The good, the bad, and the ugly of Social Media

Melissa Meschke Blogging Leave a Comment

Well, this is my first blog ever….I guess there is a first for everything! I am not really the one to just sit down and start typing nonsense on the computer. I usually am more vocal, I’d rather just tell you how I am feeling and what I am thinking…But that’s just me.

But, since I just started my internship here at Michigan Creative as a Social Media Intern, blogging has now become a part of me. On a side note, I am loving it here! The atmosphere is like none other. I’ve never actually wanted to come to work, it’s weird. My boss is great, my peers are awesome, and I feel so welcome here. I can’t thank Michigan Creative enough for this wonderful opportunity.

Anyways…On to the good stuff. So nowadays pretty much everything is done over the computer. When I want to make plans with my friends, I don’t call them; I pull up my Facebook page, and post on their “wall”. What I have found out, is that people respond much faster if you communicate through Facebook or twitter. Now is this a good thing, or is this a bad thing?

Well, just like any other argument, there are pros and there are cons when arguing for or against social media. Just as if it were a real argument, I will state a pro, than I will counteract it with a con.

1. Pro: Social networking sites spread information faster than any other media. Over 50% of people learn about breaking news on social media. I personally know this is true, because I’ve found out more than 80% of breaking news off my Facebook, with the other 20% being personally told by someone. I’ve found out you can virtually find anything information you want to know off your newsfeed. I found that I don’t even have to look at my weather app to figure out what it will be like for the day, all I have to do is check my newsfeed and my Twitterfeed for that!

Con: Social media enables the spread of false information. 49.1% of people have heard false news via social media. I personally know this is true too. Have you ever heard of the game telephone? Telephone is a game where you have a line of people, and the first person will whisper something into the following person’s ear, and then it continues down the line until the last person. When it gets to the last person they have to say aloud what they think the person before them said. It is a pretty funny game because almost 100% of the time, the message is always passed down incorrectly. That’s how I feel like social media can be. Once one person posts something, people see it and start sharing the news and telling people they know. They don’t even do their own research to see if this is true. My advice, if you see something that you aren’t sure if it is true or not, do your own research and see what you find out. And in an appropriate matter, make sure you correct the person if you find their information to be true so they are not spreading false information!

2.    Pro: Social networking sites help students do better in school. 59% of students with access to the Internet report that they use social networking sites to discuss educational topics and 50% use the sites to talk about school assignments. Since I am a student, I can tell you this is absolutely true. I know that when I go to classes and I meet someone new, the first thing we do is find each other on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, ect. And that is how we communicate to meet up to work on homework and assignments. I find it very useful and very helpful most of the time.

Con: Students who are heavy social media users tend to have lower grades. Students who used social networking sites while studying scored 20% lower on tests. As I was reading that, I blushed. I am not going to lie…I have had my fair share of bad grades on my test because I couldn’t stop tweeting and going through my newsfeed on Facebook. And let’s be honest, who hasn’t done it once or twice?

3.    Pro: Social media sites help employers find employees and job-seekers find work. 64% of companies are on two or more social networks for recruiting because of the wider pool or applicant. Now, I personally don’t know too much about this. But what I do know is LinkedIn is very popular for this. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. It strengthens and extends your existing network of trusted contacts. When you make a profile it opens up the opportunity for professionals and employers to find your profile and contact you for open opportunities.

Con: Using social media can hard stability and employment prospects.Now, I know we have all heard that you should be careful of what we put on the internet, because once it is on there, there really is no getting it down. It is out there for the world to see. So I know we all love to post pictures of us having fun at the party we went to last Friday…Well, my advice is to keep those pictures to yourself. Once they are up, virtually anyone can see them. If you are looking for a job, employers can look at your profiles and see everything you have posted on your social sites. And a lot of time, it is a make it or break it type of thing….So be careful.

4.    Pro: Social networking is good for the economy. Social media sites have created a new industry within itself and thousands of jobs. Some studies project that the communication and collaborations from social media could add $900 billion to $1.3 trillion to the economy.

Con: Social networking sites harm employees’ productivity. 51% of people aged 25-34 accessed social media while at work. Now, as I am writing this…at work, I have Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ open on my tabs. But, for me, this is my job. I am a social media intern after all. But I would be lying if I said I have never checked my Facebook and Twitter notifications on my phone once or twice on my phone at other jobs that didn’t allow me to be on my phone. We all do it, but have you ever stopped to think what this could do to your job? Spending just 30 minutes a day on social media while at work would cost a 50-person company 6,500 hours of productivity a year. Yikes!

Now these topics are only a few of what could actually be argued and discussed about. But to me, those are pretty important topics. They are things we all can relate to. It kind of makes you think twice, right? Don’t be afraid to do your own research and see what you find out! Until next time…..

-Sheryl

social-media-guidelinesThank you to the article, “Are social networking sites good for our society?” for insight and statistics.