The Pros And Cons Of Social Media Outlets
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The Pros And Cons Of Social Media Outlets

I've never met something so beautifully complicated.

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The Pros And Cons Of Social Media Outlets
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Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: just a few of the apps many of us can't go a couple hours without checking and scrolling through. If you're a teen or a millennial for that matter, I'm sure you have heard countless times about how social media is ruining our generation from the way we communicate to the way we view ourselves.

While I'd love to argue completely against that claim, there is some truth behind it. I've decided to break down (in my opinion) the three major social media platforms and find both some pros and cons for each.

Facebook

Despite over half of the Facebook demographic being 40 and older, Facebook still has over 1.94 billion users worldwide. This means that every day, billions of people open the app or browser tab and scroll through the site, whether they're looking for a humorous post or a political disagreement to get into.

Pros:

1. Allows businesses to reach more customers

If you're a small business owner, Facebook is a great tool to use. Their ads allow for business to reach the 1.2 billion that open Facebook each day. Along with ads, businesses can create their own pages that allow them to broadcast their business in whatever creative way they want. The fairly new messenger app also allows for business owners to reach their customers personally. For a new business or even a well-established business, Facebook is a great component to use for both selling and making connections.

2. Connect with old friends and family

Haven't talked to your second cousin in over 5 years? Want to know how your niece is doing in school? Care to see where your high school bestie is working? Facebook allows you to do that. You have the ability to search for just about anyone and try to find some information about them. Sounds creepy? Check Facebook's privacy settings to figure out just how low-key you can make your profile.

3. Great way to chat

If you happen to stumble open an old high school friend's page, chances are you don't have their phone number anymore. After friending them, you have the opportunity to send them a chat! You can talk about our lives or exchange numbers on all on the simple Messenger app.

Cons:

1. Time consuming

Whether you want to admit it or not, we have all spent far too many hours scrolling through Tasty Videos and watching Tiny Kitchen create a mini breakfast.

2. Political disagreements

Or just about any disagreement for that matter. While social media is a great place to express yourself and your beliefs, sometimes that sharing comes with a price. Arguing or debating over political topics in an unhealthy and irrational manner only causes a further divide.

3. Oversharing

While I am so glad that your daughter is the citizen of the month for the THIRD time this year, I don't want or need ten separate updates about it, Karen! Some things are best just kept between you and your immediate family.

Twitter

Over the recent years, Twitter's popularity has skyrocketed. With about 330 million users on average, this social media platform is used for a variety of things. Whether it be purely humorous memes, societal/political issues or checking your celebs page, Twitter has it all.

Pros:

1. Extremely humorous

For teens and young adults that is. I've tried to show a few Twitter jokes to my mom before..nothing but silence and confusion. But, if you're lucky enough to understand the humor, then you also understand why it is so amazing.

2. Positive self-promotion

As a broadcast journalism major, I am aware of the importance of branding yourself in a positive light. Twitter gives you that ability! You can create your profile to best suit you and use your tweets and retweets to help shape that image.

3. You can get in contact with famous people

Or anyone with any sort of status for that matter. Ever witnessed someone get a retweet or reply from your favorite artist? It's both beautiful and saddening.

Cons:

1. False information spreads fast

One of the biggest issues I have witnessed with social media is how it has caused people to only read headlines. Instead of clicking the article link or researching the topic further, Twitter users often go off the first thing they see. This causes a lot of confusion and undereducated opinions being formed.

2. Bullying

For whatever reason, people believe that it is okay to be mean toward someone because of their race, culture, appearance or beliefs. While I can't wrap my head around that, I can understand why they do it: They're hiding behind a screen. Nothing gives someone more confidence than knowing no one will know who they are if they keep the egg as their profile picture.

3. Your feed is constantly full

Millions of people are constantly tweeting every second and unless you're refreshing your feed every second (unhealthy, would not suggest!), chances are you're going to miss out on some things. While this usually isn't a problem with tweets that get retweeted by a large audience, if there is something you wanted to see a local twitter follower tweet, you might miss it.

Instagram

Ah, insta. Hashtag heaven! Instagram, just like Twitter, is used for a variety of reasons. Self-promoting, dogs (heresapuppy is my personal fav), vacation pictures, sappy relationship posts or just a typical selfie.

Pros:

1. Advertising

If you're #blessed to have a large number of followers, chances are you will have the opportunity to promote certain businesses on your page (and get paid to do it!)

2. Privacy Settings

The great thing about Instagram is that you have the opportunity to be completely private. Meaning, unless you click accept on the follower request, all they will see is your profile picture.

3. Share, store and view memories

Did that tropical vacation even happen if you don't post it? Of course not! There is nothing more exciting than being able to share what your weekend consisted of. Along with sharing, you can also see what some of your friends have been doing in their free time. Woo for staying up to date!

Cons:

1. Drop in self-esteem

Sadly, many people get unrealistic expectations of lifestyles and body images. Instagram allows you to only share the "perfect" in your life without anyone knowing the real truth. This causes for a lot of teens and young adults to feel like they're missing out or not enough.

2. Location tags can be dangerous

Location tags can be dangerous because they allow users to click and know exactly where you were or are. If you aren't careful with your privacy settings, this can be harmful.

3. Nasty comments

Similar to Twitter users being able to hide behind their screen, Instagram profiles to do the same. If you scroll through any celebrity's picture, you will find countless of hateful comments. This is both disheartening and a waste of time. Luckily, Instagram now gives you the option to allow comments or not!


Just like anything, each of these social media platforms have their pros and cons. It's no doubt that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all great ways to connect and share with those close to you. It's just a helpful reminder to use them and not abuse them!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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