Why is social media around, and why is it used so often?
Facebook - one of the biggest social media websites and one that earns the most money. Everyone that uses Facebook uses it for interacting with their friends and family or to find different things around the world, like people, events, architecture and charities. Using either your Facebook account or using a created page you can advertise a business, a topic, hobby, idea, charity, a hope for the people of Facebook to see and join in with so that you can gain support for your project.
Twitter - used in almost the same way Facebook is but different. The concept is the same, communicating with friends and family, finding different things, different people, different cultures. But Twitter ( as well as other social media sites ) is known for how everyday people attack and insult celebrities and others around them. When one thing they don't like gets shown on these sites they blow up. The users bully other users which causes mass destruction throughout the site.
TumbLr - one of the leading social media sites which allows you to show different things through pictures, GIFS, videos, messages and through questions to. TumbLr is used by those seeking a creative spark or by someone who needs some inspiration. they can go to this site to find any number of things that they can share with everyone to discover.
Other sites including Pinterest, Etsy, Myspace, Google+ and blog sites all are used to build a community, and to create a space within the mass of negativity through the internets core, which allows people to search within themselves for a spark of something that can help them realise what their potential is and what they can do with it.
Of course there are other sites used for a specific purpose such as Flickr, 500px, deviantart. These are used for showing your photography and/or art work which you have seen or created. These sites are like a gallery which is constantly on show for people to look at and critic. Of course like all places there are places for the negativity to hide and insult your work but that shouldn't count for anything when you're also receiving positive feedback from other photographer/artists around the world.
I use social media for communication, to show off my work, to advertise events and to seek independence through the internet. There is something freeing about scrolling through your Facebook news feed seeing all the different pictures of recent events, different skills people are showing through pictures of what they have made or through typing up a speech or poem they've written. Seeing everything that everyone is doing without being there yourself. We're living vicariously through our news feeds and we love it.
Other than vicarious living, businesses also use social media to advertise what they're offering. Imagine you're a shop owner and you've got some pretty good stuff to sell, but no one is visiting your shop because no one knows that you're at the end of the street in the corner where no one goes. You have to use adverts to let people know you're there, and one of the many ways of doing that is through social media. Setting up a page then sharing it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and TumbLr and all the other sites just so you can get some recognition and some attention. Eventually people will start showing up to your little slice of heaven in the little corner of the street where nobody goes, and you will start making money to make your little shop worth while.
Personal use and business uses are very different. Everyday people that are using social media for communication between friends and family aren't looking to make money from it. Businesses are. Businesses want people to notice them so that they either order from their site or go to their shops to purchase their desired item. However measuring your popularity and how successful your marketing is, is a lot harder. Granted, there is a way to measure your popularity on Facebook if you have a page. The amount of likes you get on your page is an effective way of measuring how many people like your business. Or the amount of positive feedback you get from people visiting your site/page.
There are many tools one can use to advertise your business such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Iconosquare and Facebook Insights. These all allow you to expand your businesses knowledge by tracking different hashtags and popular trends.
Many risks come with social media. Like Paedophiles, stalkers, ISIS ect. Many manipulation techniques are also used throughout social media, paedophiles use fake names and fake ages and fake pictures to entice young adults into thinking that they're just an ordinary teen. The ISIS situation has the government deciding whether to shut off most social media networks as many ISIS supporters are talking and advertising ISIS through social media. Stalkers can know what your doing without actually being stood on your doorstep.
On a lesser but still important subsection of the social media risks is cyber-bullying and leaked private information. Over social media, people can create false identities to cyber-bully you by doing many things. They can leave hurtful messages on your posts, message you with the worst intentions, and they can post purely embarrassing pictures or pictures you didn't know were being taken onto these social media platforms for you and your friends to see and judge you by.
(cyber-bullying) Say you had acne and usually posted pictures of your self with makeup on. One day you decided to be adventurous and post a makeup-less selfie onto your media platform, expecting good results, hoping people would like you not wearing makeup as much as they like you whilst wearing makeup. But you were wrong. You get hurtful messages and comments saying 'Eww, you're so ugly with out makeup' and 'why did you take of your makeup? My image of you is now ruined'. This is cyber-bullying. Many people will hurt you through the internet and many people will hurt you IRL, but being cyber-bullied through social media platforms where you don't necessarily know the people commenting on your pictures, hurts. To have strangers call you ugly, strange looking, gross, disgusting, an abomination, foul, despicable, vile and horrible is something NO ONE wants, ever.
(leaked private information) Now you have a significant other that you have been with for a while, and the decide to send you some pretty explicit, X rated, like over 18 by a long shot pictures. But in a month or so, you break up. And the break up was bad, like REALLY bad. You still have the pictures they sent you so you make them public. This is an example of leaked PRIVATE info. But you also have the private info like bank account details, your address, birth certificate, social security number ect. If these get leaked you're done for. Anyone could get them and use them to their advantage. Run your bank dry, get arrested and use your name and details for the arrest documents, if your address is exposed some one could come and rob you when you're out, lots of things could happen. That's why many sites have security settings to help prevent people accessing your accounts to try and steal your information and stuff.
There's also the matter of future employers looking through your accounts to see if your a sensible worker or not. So if you want a job and your boss-to-be checks your Facebook, you may instantaneously regret that night out in November last year, or the couple of drinks you had last night with your mates. As your boss-to-be might be like, 'nah, this guy doesn't know what a night in looks like. No way i'm hiring them'. And then BOOM, no job for this party animal. On my social media profiles, there are pictures of me at parties where there may or may not have been alcohol. And with me being under 18 it is illegal for me to be consuming alcohol. Sooo, yeah. That could get me into trouble.
Even though many aspects of social media can help you to gain followers of your work it can also lessen your followers as people can leave you bad reviews, you could post something with incorrect information and you could also post something that could offend someone or a large part of your audience. So using social media can leave stains on your new clean white shirt just as quickly as it can clean it (metaphors WOOH!).