WhyFacebook has changed the way people live and work.
Theintroduction of social media affected nearly all, if not all aspectsof human life ranging from their personal to professional lives. Tobe more specific, it appears to be something abnormal for anindividual or an organization to operate with at least an activeFacebook account. The Facebook account allows organizations andindividuals to post news about events, personal life experiences,products, or any other pieces of information that might appearpertinent to the followers of that account. From its simpleststarting point as a way of one-to-one connection among the Harvardcollege students, Facebook has grown to its current position withmore than 900 million active monthly users (Richards 1). Fororganizations, Facebook plays the role of connecting firms with theirclients and other stakeholders, while individual users connect withfriends through the Facebook handle. In essence, Facebook has manybenefits to the individual as well as corporate users, but there aresome drawbacks associated with its use in the contemporary society.
Facebookhas changed the way people communicate with each other. Prior to thedevelopment of Facebook as the first social media network, peopleused to communicate using the conventional channels (such astelephone and emails) that were ineffective. The introduction of thesocial media, and specifically the Facebook, people are able to shareinformation and pictures from any part of the world within a shorttime and within their social comfort (Morse 1). In addition,technological advancement has allowed the Facebook developers toinclude features that give users an option to select their audience.This allows private users of Facebook keep in touch with theirrelatives or friends by conducting private conversations, which wouldotherwise be difficult without Facebook. Obviously, Facebook hasimproved the way people communicate by reducing the time required tosend messages and reducing the cost of communicating with distantfriends and relatives.
Facebookis an important tool for people who wish to establish networks withpeople from different parts of the world. Facebook is a socialnetwork site that can be used by all people across the globe,provided they have the internet services. Therefore, Facebookprovides an opportunity for people living in one part of the world toconverse and establish friendships without meeting physically (Rahul2). This means that people from different cultural backgrounds,races, and other social characteristics can meet on Facebook,socialize, and share ideas. This makes Facebook an important tool forboosting social development and bridging social gaps established bydifferences in social characteristics. Additionally, Facebookprovides its users with an opportunity to network with like-mindedindividuals. The Facebook features allow the users to like or pokethe posting made by other users, which is an easy way of identifyingpeople with similar perspectives about various issues. In essence,Facebook is the best place to identify like-minded people andestablish networks with people that one would not have ever metwithout the help of Facebook.
Facebookis turning to be an effective teaching as well as a learning tool inmany schools. Initially, the use of social media sites (includingFacebook) in schools was prohibited since educators thought that thesite was a distraction to learners (Fordham 4). However, educatorshave applied all the necessary efforts to identify the possible waysthrough which Facebook can be utilized for learning purposesfollowing the realization that its use by students is inexorable.Many educators have found a new way of motivating and encouragingtheir students to participate in academic related topics by makingenlightening posts or questions and inviting the students to posttheir comments. In addition, some authors invite the review of theirscholarly works (including books) through the Facebook, which createsan opportunity for scholars to their favorite social site, Facebookin a more constructive manner. Additionally, large corporations (suchas Microsoft) have started presenting some Facebook challenges foryoung learners’ business people to create new materials and takepart in challenges (Smart Tutor 1). Facebook has turned out to be anopportunity for learners as opposed to an early perception that it asa distractive tool for learners.
Apartfrom the Facebook benefits associated with the life of an individualuser, the site has many benefits to business and organizations aswell. Facebook is one of the latest effective and low cost marketingtools available for all business, both large and small. Theaccessibility of Facebook to literally millions of users who arepotential customers means that the site is a significant tool thatwill continue being used by marketers to reach their customers in thetwenty first century (Richards 1). Facebook has allowed marketers toreach and build relations with potential customers at a low cost, yetan effective way compared to conventional marketing methods, such asdirect mail and the use of newspapers. This is mainly becauseFacebook is a responsive channel that allows the target audience toexpress its view by making additional posting, poking, or liking thecontent posted by the marketer. Moreover, Facebook allows marketersto target specific potential consumers who they thank might havecharacteristics and traits of good consumers. This is a laser-sharpway of targeting potential customers that holds a reasonable valuefor firms that have limited marketing budgets. Facebook is amarketing tool whose benefits (including lower cost, ease of makingthe advert, sharp target on potential customers, responsiveness, andoverall effectiveness) surpass most of the conventional marketingtools.
Althoughthe use of Facebook is associated with a large number of benefitsthat accrue to organizations as well as individual users, there areseveral drawbacks associated with it. The use of Facebook is one ofthe highly addictive cyber activities, especially among the youthsand young employees, which reduce their productivity at work and inschool. On average, about 1.5 % of the total productivity in schoolsis mainly lost through workers accessing their Facebook accountsduring the work hours (Bolton 1). The same study revealed that about75 % of employees whose productivity is affected by the use ofFacebook access their accounts frequently while at work and 6 % ofthem created their entire Facebook profile while at work. AlthoughFacebook is useful to students and employees, irresponsibility in itsuse is upsetting and reduces productivity.
Althoughthe use of Facebook has provided an opportunity for people toestablish social networks with people from different parts of theworld, it promotes antisocial behavior among its frequent users.Facebook users who are able to establish a lot of friendships onlinelack the value of physical friends, which paves way for antisocialbehavior. Increases reliance on Facebook to establish friendships andto socialize increases the risk of being cyber- bullied, especiallyfor the teens. It is estimated that about 15 % of all teens usingFacebook have been targeted by cyber-bullies at one point in time,while 88 % of them have witnessed at least one of their colleaguesbeing bullied (Bolton 1). In addition, some Facebook users feelintimidated when their followers fail to like or poke their posts.Eventually, the Facebook users who are bullied and whose posts arenot commented on positively end up in the self-esteem challenges,which culminate in antisocial behaviors.
Facebookis dangerous social networks that can subject its users to the riskof identify theft. Facebook allows its users to share large amount ofpersonal information, which can result in identity theft for userswho are not careful about the site’s privacy settings (Bolton 1).Hackers can easily access the personal information about the Facebookusers and use it to access other online accounts operated by Facebookusers or open other accounts for the purposes of accomplishing otherforms of crime. Filling the Facebook profile is important, but itshould be done with care to avoid the risk of identity theft.
Inconclusion, Facebook gives a promise of the many benefits to itsusers, both corporate and individual, but its account holders shouldbe aware of the potential drawbacks they are likely to face. Sinceits establishment, Facebook has been growing exponentially, with nosigns of some decline in the near future. Some of the main benefitsthat Facebook users get include cheap and faster communication, anopportunity to establishment networks, and learning through a socialsite. Facebook users also face some challenges, including thereducing in productivity, the risk of identify theft, and thedevelopment of antisocial behaviors. This means that Facebookfeatures are important to users, but they should be used with care.
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Fordham,I. and Goddard, T. Facebookguide for educators.London: The Education Foundation, 2013. Print.
Morse,S. HowFacebook helps us communicate.Santa Monica: Demand Media.
Rahul,S. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook? ShoutMe Loud.2014. Web. October 24 2014.
Richards,L. The importance of Fecebook to the field of communication. Businessand Enterprise Index.2014. Web. October 24 2014.
SmartTutor. Ten ways to use Facebook as a learning tool. SmartTutor.2013. Web. October 24 2014.