Top Pro & Con Arguments
Social media promotes community that can translate into or supplement offline relationships.
Using social media, people can have friends with similar interests in multiple cities, states, and countries. Closer to home, social media can help people find each other in a busy world, from mom groups and soccer leagues to book clubs and historical reenactment groups.
“[M]ost young people will say that social media and networked games are a lifeline to supportive connections with friends and loved ones. This was critical during the [COVID-19] pandemic when schools and sports were off limits. Social media can also be a way for young people to connect with others with shared interests and identities, which can be a lifeline for youth with marginalized or stigmatized identities such as LBGTQ+ youth or racial and religious minority youth,” explained Mizuko Ito, Professor of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Irvine.
And the opposite is also true, While social media “does not substitute for in-person contact. Relationships that might previously have gone dormant now persist over time [online]. As such, social media users tend to report that they have access to more social support and have lower psychological distress,” offered Keith Hampton, Professor of Media and Information at Michigan State University.
Studies have shown that not only does social media participation not completely obliterate in-person friendships as once feared, but that online relationships are a key supplement that add to one’s well-being. People are able to share more of their lives with friends and family and may receive crucial support from groups they do not have in offline life.
80% of teens felt more connected to friends, 67% felt they had people to support them, and 58% felt more accepted because of social media.
Traditional barriers to friendships are reduced or completely removed for adults who are no longer in school or do not have a pool of coworkers, particularly when working from home. Shy, introverted, or socially reticent people can use social media to reach out to potential friends with lowered barriers and risks.
Social media can also promote school and work communities. The platforms allow students and parents to connect to each other as well as teachers and other school staff outside of school hours to establish relationships as well as connect with outside community members and experts for internships, interviews, and other opportunities. For work, employees can connect with remote coworkers and other companies for what used to be “water cooler chats,” as well as for global project collaboration, advice, and career networking.Read More