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What is Social Media?

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Through social media, people connect with each other online and share information. People access these types of services from mobile devices, laptops, desktop applications, and websites. There are millions of social media users worldwide. People use social media services for different reasons like to connect with new contacts, reconnect with former friends, maintain current relationships, to promote their business or project, to take part in discussions on different topics. Some common social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. On these social media sites, there are millions of users who sign in every day.

Understanding Social Media

There are different kinds of social media available in the market, people access them using websites or applications. They create their profile on these social media platforms by providing their name, contact number, or email address.

When the profile is created of a user, they can share the content on social media. For example, we download the Instagram from play store or open it on web, we create our profile using an email address. Now we can share any picture or video with a caption. We can follow other users, can comment on their pictures, etc.

Types of Social Media

There are different kinds of social media, and they provide a variety of services, below are the few types of social media with examples.

Social Network: This type of social media deals with the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and content with other users. The best example of social network is Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn is also an example of a social network, but it is more professional.

Media Networks: Through this type of social media people share media files like photos, videos, and other contents with each other. YouTube and Instagram are the best examples of media networks. People upload the media on these platforms and other users can like, dislike and comment according to their interest.

Review Networks: These kinds of social media helps in reviewing the product and services. Yelp and TripAdvisor are examples of review networks.

Discussion Networks: With the help of these platforms people can discuss various issues across the world. Reddit, Stackoverflow are some of the best examples of discussion networks.

Examples of Social Media:

Below are the most popular Social Media Networks across the globe,

Facebook (2.74 billion users)

YouTube (2.29 billion users)

WhatsApp (2 billion users)

Facebook Messenger (1.3 billion users)

Instagram (1.22 billion users)

WhatsApp (1.21 billion users)

TikTok (689 million users)

Advantages of Social Media

In today’s world, people use different kinds of social media platforms. These platforms have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Some advantages of social media are as follows: 

  1. It brings people together: Social media sites provide us open communication, and we can discover and deliver information easily. Anyone can find new people, their friends and can communicate with them.
  2. Increased breadth of knowledge: With the help of social media people can share their knowledge or something about almost anything in the world. The connection of social media is really broad. It connects people from all around the world.
  3. Attract attention: Aside from building loyalty and long-term relations to your audience, social media can attract attention to your site, product, or services.
  4. For Promotion and Advertising: Social media is really helpful in promotion and advertisement. Using social media people can share their brands, products, or services online with the whole world.
  5. Help in Education: People can take a lot of help in their education from social media. We can learn from other people online, and it provides the best ever learning opportunities. Few examples are YouTube, Google, Yahoo, etc.
  6. Social Media Helps Government: Government takes a lot of advantages from social media. It is a powerful way for the government to interact with the public. It is very easy for the government to spread awareness on any issue to the public through social media.
  7. As an Entertainment: Social media is one of the easiest ways to entertain people. Most people join social media to entertain themselves. People share different kinds of photos, videos on social media to entertain others.

Disadvantages of Social Media

Although the idea of online social networking sounds very useful, however, there is a certain element of risk and disadvantages involved in it. Some of these advantages are explained here:

  1. Privacy: While a user can protect himself, he cannot control what others post about him. This is a growing concern as employers are beginning to search for information about new and potential employees.
  2. Distraction: Many people suffer distraction from their goals because of social media and most of them are students. Instead of doing their homework, they tend to fail their academic endeavors because they use social media in the wrong way.
  3. Social Media Bullying or Cyber-bullying: One of the worst things about social media is cyber-bullying. People tease and troll other peoples for their images, videos, or opinion they do not like.
  4. Fraud: Sometimes a stranger is not someone who is he trying to pretend. People make their fake profile on social media and cheats other. We have seen many people get cheated. Their money is lost and other important information they share is also in danger.
  5. Health Issues: Excess use of social media also affect the health of people. People become lazy and fatty, they start hating going outside which cause serious health issues.
  6. Spread Fake News: Social media spread fake news very fast. People post any fake news or information, and it becomes viral very soon. Nobody tries to find out the reality of the news, instead, they start sharing it.
  7. Hacking: Hacking is one of the biggest disadvantages of social media. Hacking is not allowed anywhere, by hacking, hackers get your personal and restricted information.


Just as education is important for the overall development of a student, social networking is also imperative. People may choose not to be part of it, but they cannot ignore it. Awareness of how to use it is the only antidote.  

Educating youth about social networking communities must be included in the provision of knowledge, skills, and values so that eventually they can exercise good judgement independently. It is hard to leave social media, but we have to learn how to use it within the limit.

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Last Updated : 08 Nov, 2021
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