Social Media’s good, bad and ugly sides

By Michel Hell, COM0011

There are pros and cons to almost everything. In my opinion and in my first blog I will look at some of the good, bad and ugly sides of social media.


Social media has made communicating to targeted and non-targeted audiences so much easier and faster than ever. US President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is a prime example.

Advertisers can now inexpensively target an audience who are actual buyers or users of their products or services rather than spending huge amounts  of money on advertising to the general public as a whole, hoping to attract a small percentage of those who see the ad in print or broadcast on TV.

On the flip side customers can use social media to provide reviews of the products or services they purchased for all to see, including potential new customers.

The ability to text, tweet or email via cellphone is at times a god sent, especially in public places. There’s nothing worst then listening to someone with a loud voice talking on the phone while riding on the bus.


One thing about social media that is both annoying and comical is people trying to walk and tweet at the same time. It is annoying when you are walking downtown at lunchtime and you have to navigate around several of these social misfits, however, they can be quite entertaining to watch as they walk into light poles, trash cans and other people.

Digital media allow their readers and viewers to comment on news stories. The comments are usually rude, not constructive and usually end up with commenters criticizing other commenters. This is also common in discussions forums which eventually becomes a useless tool for the user.

News shows on TV like Power and Politics which allow viewers to comment via Twitter or Facebook on stories as they are broadcast live. This is annoying because there is too much going on on the screen; the anchor and guest(s), headlines running along the bottom of the screen and then uneducated comments from viewers. It makes it easy to loose concentration on what is most important – the story being broadcast.


People who insist on tweeting or texting while driving. This practice has apparently led to as many or more fatal accidents as impaired driving.

People walking across busy intersections not looking where they are going due to the fact their face it glued to their cellphone screen, resulting in injuries and fatalities.

Authors deliberately writing fake news stories on social media without a disclaimer. If the author is good at what he/she writes they can capture a large audience which in turn can capture a great deal of advertising revenue for the author.  Good for them but not for the readership. Fake news writers help create an ill-informed society which can lead to dangerous and devastating consequences.

Sexting among the under aged. Truly a disturbing trend.

In conclusion, there you have it, my opinions on the good, bad and ugly sides of social media. What are yours?





3 thoughts on “Social Media’s good, bad and ugly sides

  1. Hi Michel –

    Well thought out post, I agree with you that although there are many positives to social media there are certainly some negatives as well!

    The things I see as the “Good” are:
    I like how easily I can connect with friends and family and share pictures with them
    I like the ability to find news quickly, sometimes if I am going on a drive through Toronto or on a busy road I will check for traffic updates on twitter! I also follow some weather Facebook pages and find them very useful too!
    The things I see as the “Bad” are:
    Being too connected and attached to social media and the fact that I have the apps on my phone, I find I have to consciously leave my phone in the house sometimes if we are going outside to play or put my phone away at meal time, etc. so that I’m not distracted by notifications that I have a Facebook message, etc.This is something I’m constantly trying to break the habit of!

    I look forward to reading your future blog posts as well!

  2. Hey Michel!

    I thought the approach you took on this article was great. This piece was very well written, and you had me right at the title! I think the examples you gave were different from what I would have expected and that is why I enjoyed this piece so much.

    Adding onto your ‘bad’ section, I think my blog post compliments this well. In my article, I focus on how individuals can no longer hold a steady conversation without being distracted by social media.

    Thank you for the great perspectives.

  3. Hi Michael, if it’s at all reassuring, I do try to stop texting when crossing the street to show some respect to drivers. I purposefully chose NOT to have internet in my apartment or have data on my phone. So I ration my internet usage by going to cafés. I gives me reassurance that I’m still living “normally” and maintaining everyday skills. Sexting is disturbing for sure, and I say this as a young female. I would say Youtube tutorials galore on how to wear the latest makeup trend annoys me b/c it’s overkill and I see girls actually going along with it. A prime example of how social media makes it’s way into our “real” lives.

    I digress, I think one of the very positive tools for social media is reporting events from countries which repress mass media. Apps are helpful although I don’t use them, like the OC transpo app for example (Ottawa’s transit app), which allows you to see where the bus is along the route and in how many minutes it will arrive. It CAN have some rather practical uses.

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