One of the most important advantages of social media is certainly the speed and efficiency in which it allows communication between people. For example, in the 2013 protests which took place in Turkey, social media played a vital role in communication. Many of the protesters were young men and women, students, and they organized the protests using social media. The plans of where and how the protests would take place spread through social media accounts rapidly, staging some of the biggest protests that Turkish people had witnessed in the country's history.
This is a great example of how social media can be used for change and for public mobilization. Similar examples took place during the Arab Spring and other incidents across the world. Social media has given people, especially the new generation which is very computer savvy, a new and effective instrument to come together for issues they believe in.
Here is a short video that illustrates some of the pros and cons of social media:
Facebook, arguably the most famous social networking site, comes with its own pros and cons. Here in this article, I will try to show some of the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook.
Facebook has helped to create a brand for many individuals and businesses. Moreover, it’s a major source of entertainment for people around the globe. Since Facebook is a global social networking site available in various parts of the world, location is not a barrier.
Also, with the Facebook translation feature, you can easily connect with Facebook users from different countries and with people who speak a variety of different languages.
The Advantages of Facebook
Facebook for Networking
Facebook is arguably the most powerful social media and social networking site out there. You can use Facebook to connect with your family, friends, work colleagues, and you can even meet new people on Facebook.
Most people who know how to use a computer and internet have a profile on Facebook.
Moreover, it’s easy to find like-minded people by seeing their interests, and you can easily connect with them using wall updates, private messages, and video chats.
Facebook for Dating
Facebook is also known for finding dates.
Indeed, with a social network powered by over 1 billion active users, it’s easy to find a date that shares common interests and hobbies.
Finding dates in this way, much of the time you won’t get into incompatibility issues. (Much of the time…)
One should be careful about fake Facebook profiles, though, as they are usually created by stalkers or spammers.
(Perhaps this is a disadvantage, but Facebook is also becoming one of the major vehicles for failed relationship and breakups.)
Facebook for Business
Facebook is one of the largest sites in the world where we are not only allowed, but encouraged to connect with everyone.
Anyone can take advantage of Facebook to maintain a good relationship with others who identify with certain tastes or products. This is very important because as a business, you can sell or promote a product/service to a highly targeted audience, thus increasing the possibilities of making money on the internet.
Facebook allows the establishment of partnerships between various projects. Moreover, using a Facebook fan page, you can increase your brand value and social media presence for your business. If used properly, Facebook can help you find new leads and clients.
Facebook Video Chatting
Facebook can also be used as video chat tool.
Recently, Facebook implemented the Facebook video chat feature in partnership with Skype. Now you can make video calls to your friends using Facebook’s inbuilt video chat service.
Facebook for Image and Video Hosting
You can also use Facebook as a site to host images and videos. You can set privacy levels for individual albums to control who can see what you share.
Moreover, you can always download your complete collection of Facebook photos and videos using the Facebook backup account feature.
Facebook for News & Information
The real advantage of Facebook is that it’s a real-time social networking site. This makes it one of the best sources to stay updated with the latest news and information. Major news usually goes viral on Facebook, and most brands use it to announce important things regarding their products/services.
Bloggers and internet marketers can subscribe to popular blog fan pages and keep themselves aware of the latest updates. In fact, I have one profile just to gather news.
Facebook as a Personal Portfolio
Facebook’s Timeline gives a completely new look regarding your personal profile branding.
With the Facebook Timeline cover, you are allowed create a dramatic first impression as the cover pic will quickly tell people what you are all about.
Also, you can make certain updates public, and if done strategically, you can use it as a portfolio. For example, if you want people to recognize you as a Facebook business expert (provided you are one), you can set your privacy to Public for your most commented and liked “Facebook for business tips, articles, and discussions”.
This way all your new profile visitors will see your expertise, and they will be connecting with you because of your useful and targeted updates. This will also help you get more subscribers and potential clients.
The Disadvantages of Facebook
One of the major concerns and disadvantages of Facebook has to do with Facebook’s privacy.
In the past, it has created a lot of buzz due to sudden changes, but now Facebook has simplified its privacy settings.
Another thing to consider has to do with the availability of really personal information, whether it’s in video, pictures, or text.
Here’s a good rule:
All throughout the internet, we should always keep in mind the privacy of our personal data. After it’s placed online, we lose all control.
Private Status Published Publicly
Even though Facebook has simplified its privacy settings, many unknowing users still end up publishing private images and status updates publicly.
Also, people usually keep their Facebook friends list visible to the public, and this helps Facebook stalkers find more information about you.
Read our guide: How To Hide Facebook Friends List From Others.
Fake Facebook Profiles
Facebook is full of fake profiles.
There is no limit to these profiles. Most of them are created by stalkers or marketers looking to gain more friends and use it for their marketing purposes.
There are many ways by which you can identify a fake Facebook profile. (We will cover this in an upcoming article.)
Not Using Facebook List Feature
Many users still don’t use the Facebook list feature which is very helpful to keep your status updates targeted to a specific group of friends (e.g college friends, office friends, etc.)
I’m sure you don’t want to get fired from your job because of silly status updates about how much your boss sucks.
If you are new to the Facebook list, read our guide: How To Use The Facebook List Feature.
Of all of Facebook’s disadvantages, I believe this is one of the major reasons why people deactivate or delete their Facebook profile. Being one of the best ways to stay updated about what your friends are doing, people spend too much time on this vast social networking site.
Facebook offers many entertainment applications and games which engage users to a great extent. Apart from that, Facebook chat and Facebook video chat are another two time-consuming features.
If you want to use Facebook to your advantage, set yourself a time-limit. Spending too much time on Facebook might make you a Facebook addict, and you might end up wasting too much time.
Weighing the scales, where we put the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook, we can conclude that, if Facebook is used in the right proportions, and with proper care, it can be a powerful tool for marketing and networking.
In particular, any online or offline business can leverage the power of Facebook for business success. It’s why Facebook has become, in a short time, one of the most widely used marketing tools in today’s business world.
While there are some disadvantages, they can be overcome with some knowledge about the platform, and a little bit of self-discipline. In other words, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
How do you use Facebook? What’s your opinion on Facebook? Is it helping you or are you simply spending too much time on it?
Do let us know if you think of any other advantages and disadvantages of Facebook. Share your opinion in the comments!