On the benefits of social media

[Roughly, I think the subject was to discuss the influence that social media have both on individuals and on society. Note to self: write down the guideline from now on.]

It appears that social media are thought by some people to have had a negative influence on individuals as well as on society. However, I tend to think that this is only partially true.

Firstly, I believe that the rise of the popularity of social networking sites promoted narcissism among users. If used without reserve or awareness, selfies and pictures made people become self-centered. Nowadays, social media are commonly used to showcase entire parts of people’s lives for the whole world to see. This over-sharing phenomenon lead to a serious lack of privacy, and thus to important issues such as cyber-bullying, web addictions or the rise of extremism.

And yet, sharing personal interests has helped to create wonderful things that are online-communities. Those communities can even act as safe spaces for people who might not have one outside of the internet, like for instance the LGBT community.

Moreover, these communities have been a way to increase opportunities like organizing various events or meetings, finding job offers and so on, by giving people a chance to discover new things, to see and be seen.

Finally, people sharing parts of their lives allowed to shed a light on major issues deeply rooted in society like homophobia, racism, social and gender inequalities.

To conclude, I would say that the way one uses social networking sites decides whether or not they have a bad influence on people. Although they had negative impacts on both individuals and society, it is noticeable that they contributed to making the world a brighter place by raising awareness and bringing people together.

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