Social media sites continue to proliferate, with some supplanting existing sites and others opening up new avenues to explore. The question facing users is whether or not to participate in social media. In addition to being time-consuming, it can easily be argued that sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin also strip away a level of personal privacy. In fact, there is a segment of the population suggesting the best course of action is to simply abandon social media sites. But, is that truly the best move, or are there measures anyone can take to control their online presence?
Most people recognize social media sites are continually undergoing changes. However, not all of those changes benefit users. Anyone using Facebook, for example, since its infancy can testify to the fact today’s site bears little resemblance to the pages greeting users in 2004. Advertising and data mining have, today, increasingly play bigger roles in social media sites. The other major players have followed Facebook’s example, often to the detriment of faithful users. Does that mean participants should quit social media? Not necessarily.
Companies now routinely scour social media sites when recruiting job candidates. Not having a presence on Linkedin, for example, means potential job seekers will never know about a large number of job openings. The same sites make it possible for anyone to keep abreast of rapidly evolving business conditions, not only in their own fields, but also related ones. That level of awareness makes it possible for site visitors to be more responsive to consumer needs and expectations.
Of course, much of the traffic on social media sites is on a more personal level. Facebook users often use the site to easily stay in contact with far-flung family members and friends. Social media sites also encourage interactions with those sharing similar interests. Whether it’s business or hobby related, there are always other users who share interests. That sharing opens paths to new knowledge and a wider breadth of understanding in virtually any topic.
It’s also important to recognize that too much of anything can be detrimental, and that applies to social media sites. Users must find a balance between those contacts and others around them. So, while there are reasons where stepping away from social media may beneficial, there are also significant reasons to continue using the sites.