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.

THE GOOD

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.

THE BAD

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.

THE UGLY

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?