The impact of social networks - a threat or a huge opportunity?
Social networks are an invention of the 21st century that changed the daily lives of billions of people around the world. These types of websites are used not only to communicate with other people, but also give the opportunity to create your own image, obtain information, make purchases or promote your own company. It is not difficult to observe the impact of social networking sites on society in terms of interpersonal relations, shaping habits, and running a business. New technologies and constantly changing reality mean that people still have to adapt to the environment and be up to date with all trends. What advantages and disadvantages can be attributed to social networks and how do they affect the world around us? Can it be said that the use of social media has become an addiction of our times? Let's take a closer look at this phenomenon.
Why do we use social networks?
Social networks have become so popular all over the world that it can be described as a phenomenon or phenomenon. The scale of popularity of this type of websites meant that they significantly influenced many aspects of most people's lives.According to research conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social, in Poland, on average, we spend an hour and forty-five minutes browsing our favorite social networks. For comparison, Filipinos spend more than four hours a day on social media, while Japanese people spend only forty minutes.
The most common motive for people to use social networking sites is for making new friends, contacting friends, and observing the activity of other users. Social networks also allow you to keep in touch at a distance or organize a social event. Another equally important motive for using social networks is entertainment. In addition to using traditional games, users browse profiles with funny memes or videos.
According to American researchers Ahswini Nadkarni and Stefan G. Hofmann from Boston University, the motives for using social networks are divided into two needs:
the need to belong - users feel the need to stay in touch with others and gain social acceptance,
the need for self-presentation - Internet users have the opportunity to create their own image and present themselves in the best possible light.
Information search can also be added to the themes mentioned above. On social networks, we can find current news, the latest promotions, news or information about events in our surroundings.
Exaggerated reality on social networks
Some people can no longer imagine their social life without Facebook or Twitter. The increase in popularity of social networking sites was undoubtedly influenced by the spread of mobile devices with wireless Internet access. At every step, we can meet people scrolling posts on their smartphones or tablets. However, the reality presented in the virtual world definitely differs from what we meet in reality. Every day we watch the successes and achievements of our friends, the best photos and fantastic journeys. Delving into the picture presented in this way, it can be concluded that everyone around them lives in an ideal world devoid of any negative emotions or problems. The consequence of functioning in a colored world created by social networks may be strong fluctuations in self-esteem and self-esteem. The published content is properly selected and shows only positive events or good-looking photos.
Users who willingly post content about themselves on social networks may fall into the so-called vicious circle of self-presentation. Although the most common motive for this type of activity is the desire to raise one's own self-esteem, it may lead to a deterioration of well-being. Improving your own image on this type of portals is very simple - just one post or photo is enough to show yourself in a better light. However, taking part in an endless chase after likes can result in a constant desire to self-esteem and evaluate others positively. In the long run, such a constantly staged self-presentation can be tiring and mentally stressful. It is worth keeping a great distance from the published content so that the negative impact of social networking sites does not affect our self-esteem and ability to communicate with other people in the real world.
Summarizing the impact of social networks on their recipients, one can draw several basic conclusions:
Social networks have become an essential part of modern people's lives. The great influence of social networking sites on the society made psychologists interested in this topic, observing the reactions of people who excessively use this medium.
Social networks are extremely attractive to users due to the enormous possibilities they offer. The main motives for using social networking sites include the need for contact, entertainment and the possibility of self-presentation.
Social networking sites present the user with an over-colored world that is far from the truth. This may result in an imbalance in self-esteem and an increase in the need to self-esteem oneself by improving one's own image on the Internet.
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The impact of social networks on the brand image
Social media has not only influenced people's lives and behavior. They contributed equally to changes in the functioning of enterprises around the world. In the past, to get to know the offer of a given company, you had to go to a stationary store, view an advertising catalog or visit a website, if it had one. Currently, it is enough to visit Facebook or Twitter to know what our favorite brands are offering and what the promotion is currently for. Social networks are saturated with sales offers to a greater extent than, as was initially assumed, with private user entries. There is nothing strange about it, no other medium has such a wide range and opportunities to create your own image.
The biggest challenge for companies is to build a community around their brand, which in the long run will become the foundation for creating permanent relationships and attracting more brand enthusiasts. The influence of social networks can be noticed not only in the promotional activities of companies, but also in the way of communication. Users not only share their opinions on company profiles, but also ask questions or submit complaints. To meet the expectations of today's customer, brands need to react immediately to such behavior, as in the online world we expect immediate information.