Social media is a new reality in our modern life. People no longer leaf through the pages of newspapers for information in village tea shops. It has been replaced by smartphone and iPhone dependence.
The old practice of marketing information in mass media is no more. Everyone is getting instant information about what is happening around the country and abroad through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google and other social media.
Our timelines, newsfeeds are filled with essential, unnecessary news, images and events. This opportunity is provided by the Internet. 70 percent of internet users worldwide are connected through social media. Among young people, the rate is even higher, about 90 percent. 80 percent of internet users in Bangladesh have a Facebook account.
The level of social communication has increased many times over in the past due to the opportunity of internet medium. Social networking websites are considered as the most advanced method of human communication. By using social media, people are completely eliminating geographical distance in terms of human communication.
The means of social communication are computers, smartphones and iPhones. Any person can exchange information, opinions, pictures, videos etc. through this technology. They are the lifeblood of social media. Social media helps build online social networks. Social media has many sources and many recipients. Traditional print and electronic media have one source and many recipients. Social media is different from electronic and print media.
Social media includes- facebook, messenger, google, instagram, linkedln, pinterest, tumbler, snapchat, twitter, viber, wechat, whatsApp, youtube etc. The most popular and pioneer among them is Facebook. In February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg of the United States founded the network called Facebook. He was a student of Harvard University. At the time of establishment it was limited to students of that university only. Later this website gained popularity in other regions and universities all over the world. As of August 2017, the number of Facebook users around the world is around 204.7 million. Research shows that 84 percent of adults in America have a Facebook account.More than 60 percent of 13-17 year olds have at least one social media profile. They spend more than two hours a day on social media. As a third world country, very few people use Facebook in our country. Still, students-teachers, doctors, engineers, children-teenagers, housewives, professionals - who is not on Facebook? According to the April 2017 survey, about 2.2 million people in Dhaka and surrounding areas are actively using Facebook (Source: Daily Vanik Barta, 19 September 2017).
The number of people using YouTube worldwide is 150 million, WhatsApp 120 million, Facebook Messenger 120 million and WeChat 938 million (August 2017, Source: Internet).
Impact of Social Media: Facebook and other social media are currently having a huge impact on people's lives. Facebook is creating relationships with people from one end of the world to the other. Social isolation has been removed by the magic of Facebook. Facebook users can select specific people as friends. You can also reject someone's friend request.
Comments can be made on pictures, videos, opinions etc. shared through Facebook. Another counter comment. Private messages can be sent, which can only be read and viewed by the recipient, not others. Moreover, there are different types of networks on Facebook to find new or familiar friends. You can group according to your choice. The most fun thing about Facebook is Chatting. After connecting with the desired friend, you can chat with him subject to being on Facebook.
Impact on news: Today, the reliance on newspapers, radio and television for news is much less than before. According to Chubby Research data in 2011, about 80 percent of people in the United States rely on the Internet for news, and 60 percent of them get news from social media. According to a survey conducted by CNN, three-quarters of Americans get their news via e-mail or social media. A small portion of American youth read newspapers only occasionally. Its rate is less than 10 percent.Impact on teenagers: One of the harmful aspects of social media is the exposure of porn sites to teenagers. They can easily visit adult sites which can have a harmful effect on their immature mind. Journalist Saeed Sarkar wrote in an article, "Social media including Facebook is harming the youth and teenage society the most. Physical labor is important for physical and mental growth. There is a need to go to the field and play sports. But young and teenage society is often trapped in the illusion of Facebook. It is not possible to find time due to studies, coaching, private, watching TV etc. Even then Facebook or social media is taking away what is available. Hand in hand now iPhone, smartphone. When they dream of growing up in the future, they think about how many interesting pictures they can upload on Facebook. Or what can be written that will flood likes and shares. In this, the sterility of the intellect is created, the development of talent is disturbed.
Creating social disparity: Social media creates a gap between the rich and the poor in the society. Poor and poor masses are unable to take advantage of social media. Those with social media skills are more likely to get jobs, make friends with influencers, and participate in social activities in their communities.
Addiction: A type of addiction is created among social media users. More time is spent, sleep is disturbed and sex is more frequent. These reasons make social media users frustrated. A number of clinics have sprung up in the UK to treat social media users. An English psychiatrist says he treats about 100 people a year who have become psychotic as a result of social media use.
Harmful impact on employment: A young person posting offensive pictures on social media can have a negative impact on employment. A 2013 survey of 17,000 young people in 6 countries found that 1 in 10 16-34-year-olds failed to get a job because of offensive comments on social media. A 2014 survey found that nearly 93 percent of employers check social media postings when screening candidates. Professor Stijn Baert of Ghent University in Belgium showed in a survey - those whose profile pictures on Facebook were controversial, did not get a call for the recruitment test. Recruiting agencies often check Facebook by asking job candidates for passwords.
College Admission: Students will not get admission in that college if their Facebook comments, postings are against the policies or values of any college. Earlier marks obtained in entrance exam, report card, extra curricular activities etc. were considered during admission. Now times have changed, in the western world the Facebook profile of the prospective students is checked during the admission process. It is expected that such admission procedure will be started in our country in the near future.
Use by Militant Organizations: Militant organizations use social media extensively to conduct their activities and organize themselves. IS is using social media to carry out its terrorist activities and recruit youth into the organization. They have online magazine Islamic State Report. They create a lot of online material and release it on social media. Thus they encourage the youth to join them. Many young people secretly emigrated to join them, inspired by the online rhetoric.In 2013 attack on Buddhist temple in Ramu in our country, arson and massive attack on Buddhist houses, attack on minorities in Nasir Nagar in Brahmanbaria, attack and casualties in Thakurpara in Rangpur in November-2017 was misuse of Facebook by miscreants. In every case, such misdemeanors have been committed by creating confusion with Facebook statuses.
Research in Bangladesh: Research was done on students and teachers in Chittagong University a few years ago. This research has shown that unethical activities have increased due to Facebook. All the teachers and three-fourths of the students voted for it. Nudity pictures/videos are posted on Facebook, lewd comments about women and slander on sensitive topics are spread. Ideologically separate groups try to denigrate each other through Facebook.
According to one-fourth of the students and almost half of the teachers in this study, Facebook has the effect of improving the relationship with old friends. According to 40 percent of students and teachers, Facebook is effective in improving relationships with distant relatives. Facebook also has the effect of degrading values, creating division in society, sex trade, social humiliation and personal anger. Facebook has influence in shaping public opinion and creating awareness. Research has also revealed that some have been embarrassed by Facebook. Facebook has both positive and negative effects on education.
Recommendations: How many recommendations have been made in the study to be free from the harmful effects of Facebook and other social media. These are - increasing account security to stop unethical activities, formulating a decent policy regarding indecent images and information, instilling ethical and moral awareness among users and talking about eliminating the negative aspects of Facebook. The study also recommends initiatives to identify groups that degrade women and close these accounts. Many students use Facebook for entertainment. One should be aware that no one gets involved in immoral activities in the name of entertainment. Parents also have an important role in this. They should be careful about the amount of time their children are spending on Facebook, visiting porn sites, whether they are becoming inattentive to studies.
Importance of social media and its side effects
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