Is There A Downside To Social Media?

27 Nov

Social media is hailed as an all important marketing tool but are there any downsides associated with its use? People and organizations have integrated social media tools into the various facets of their lives and businesses.  Lots of risks however come with social media usage ranging from privacy issues to cyberstalking, brandjacking, loss in productivity and in many cases even depression.  Here is a look at how these issues can negatively impact your social media experience.

Social media and privacy

Perhaps one of the major issues and downsides associated with the use of social media is privacy. People have concerns regarding who is accessing their information and as a result many social networking sites have gone a long way to add additional privacy features which ensure users are able to strictly define their circles and protect their private information from being accessed by third parties.

There is the risk of social media accounts being hacked and used for other purposes such as scams and phishing thus hurting trusting users within one’s network. As organizations are moving towards social recruiting, many are now grappling with the problem of how to get information about users via online media without violating users’ private space.

Social media and productivity

Social media can lead to a dip in productivity where it is not properly managed both at the individual level and at the organizational level. It is important for users to strictly limit the amount of time that is spent on the social media channels so that it does not become a huge drain on time and productivity.

Social media can lead to depressions and loneliness

Researchers have shown that social media can actually lead to feelings of depression and loneliness on a personal level. Because people literally put their best legs forward when it comes to social media and build an image of a glitzy perfect life through images and updates, it is very easy to assume that they lead a “perfect” life while your own life is miserable.  This can diminish your successes and even lead to depression.

The effect on brand and reputation

While a properly executed social media campaign is perfect for your brand image, social media campaigns or engagement may at times go awfully wrong. In the corporate setting, there is need to have a well defined social media policy that clearly spells out the  terms of engagement with audiences and how confidential information will be protected from potential leak. Another major danger that corporate entities face when it comes to social media engagement is the potential for brandjacking and other forms of copyright infringement.

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