Social Media – A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Social media a good thing or a bad thing? That is the most frequently asked question today. Well, there are always two sides of everything; it depends on your perspective on how you perceive it. The same goes for social media, most people admire it as a revolutionary invention and some seem to take it as a negative impact on society.

Positive Effects:

Friends and Relations Social networks started as a place to connect with your friends in an easy and convenient way. Truly, many of you might have found your old pals from school or college who were out of touch because of one reason or other, well I would say I have and I thank social networks for this. 

Reducing Communication Barriers With social networks we can communicate our thoughts and perceptions over different topics with many audiences, and raise our voice. The sharing feature available on the social networks makes your opinion about any topic reach a huge number of people (even to those who are not on your friends list)

Opportunities for Businesses Social networks have become a crucial part of many of us. We don’t even notice this, but as soon as we open our desktops or laptops to access the web, we subconsciously open our favorite social network just to see about the updates received. 

Negative Effects:

Leads to Addiction Many studies have shown that the extensive use of social media can actually cause addiction to the users. 

Lead to Isolation Extreme usage of social media has reduced the level of human interaction. Because of social networks, the interaction with other people has become effortless and people have isolated their lives behind their online identities.

Affecting Productivity Mostly businesses use social media to find and communicate with clients. But it is a great distraction to employees, who may show more interest in what their friends are posting than in their work tasks. 

Ultimately, whether social media is “good” or “bad”/ “healthy” or “unhealthy” for a person’s mental health and well-being is directly related to how they are used (or abused), by whom, and by who is passing judgment. Key to enjoying the benefits while avoiding the problems is to use these powerful tools sensibly, constructively, and in moderation. Like food, which we truly can’t live without, the right choices in the right amounts keep people healthy and satisfied, while poor choices and excess consumption can lead to significant, potentially life-threatening health conditions.

Viewer Discretion Required: The Reality of ‘New’ media

Importance of Viewer Discretion to cope up with prevailing media bias

You switch on the news channel and see a person shouting at the highest of his lungs trying his best to make you think that the establishment is ‘always’ right. You flip the channel and are welcomed by a man who barely resembles Imran Khan, mimicking the Pakistani PM. Yet one more channel flip and comes a person on your TV screen, taking sarcastic digs at the screaming anchor while propagating his agenda.

News media in today’s context holds a particularly complex place. While there is no denying that in a democratic country, journalism and news act as power balancers and checkers. The commercialisation of news that has come up to be the truth as a consequence of competition and TRP races, has caused sensationalisation of stories. So something like PM visiting his mother is given more coverage than a crucial subject. Not just this but the increasing competition has also led to journalism counting on political parties for funds, thus biased news presentation.

Social Media: The New News Source
Social Media: The New News Source

For a short time, social media sites were considered the perfect successor. Since social media didn’t believe TRP’s, it had been assumed that bias wouldn’t seep in there. But social media comes with its perils. In some other context, the ‘personalised content’ trait of Social Media would be appreciated but within the context of stories, personalised content causes you to sleep in a bubble. You’ll be shown the content, you engage the foremost with. So if you follow leftist accounts, your opinion will progress from what’s shown as facts on those accounts. Which entirely kills the motive of stories within the first place. News should only present events as they’re happening. What to form of it should dwell in the hands of the audience, which, unfortunately, isn’t the case, right now. Social Media has also caused a faster spread of lies. Independent journalism, that became a fad with youngsters like Dhruv Rathee and Pratik Sinha could have brought change but even then the importance of viewer discretion can’t be neglected.

Need of the hour is that the ‘spectator’ becomes the ‘questioner’.

Ravish Kumar, Journalist, NDTV

The circumstances that we live in mandates every citizen to actively pursue true news. To become what they call, “active citizens”. To understand everything about everything and keep an open mind with well-formed opinions. As a citizen of a democratic country like India, it’s our responsibility to not just receive news but actively engage with it. We can not stop watching the news altogether since it’s only when we hear differing opinions that we get to introspect and see if we truly believe in what we are saying. The trick is to seek out a balance between the consumption of news and it’s analysis.


It’s hard to sit here,

Among whispers

And stifled giggles.

Trying to start a conversation

But they’re already having fun.

I’m looking into a book,

Avoiding all eye contact

It’s been the longest time

Since I’ve made a friend.

Lonely in a crowd,

Isn’t that what they say?

I am here

But I’ve lost my way.

Uttering words never seemed hard before,

Everything’s so different this year.

I hate walking into class

And finding new faces

They are all strangers

But weren’t we too once!?