According to Google.com, social media is defined as websites and application that enables users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Social media first began in 1997 when a website called six degrees was made. On this website, it allowed users to upload a profile and make friends with other users. Little did we know social media would change the way we live our lives today 20 years later. Social media has changed the way we communicate, interact with others and even make business transactions. It makes being able to find things much more accessible and staying connected with society easier. However, with every great idea always something goes wrong. Social media has so many pros to it but there are also tons of cons as well such as cyber bullying and depression. In this research paper, I will explore several different things in that are both pros and cons of social media. I will also explore how all these different pros and cons have changed the way society as a whole lives in this 21st century due to social media. Social media is on the rise and is taking over people’s lives. A book called social media: how to engage,share and connect by Regina Luttrell. This book has an abundance of statistics that show the use of social media. According to the book the following are statistics involving social media:Seventy percent of the Internet population use ways, and this number grows daily. People continue to spend more time on social networks than any other category of sites— 20 percent of their time spent on personal computers and 30 percent through mobile applications.Facebook reports one-billion-plus accounts.Flickr has ninety-two million users, with a million photos shared per day.Fifty-eight million Tweets are tweeted per day.Instagram has one hundred million users and holds four billion photos.Every minute, seventy-two hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.These are just some statistics that show how much social media is used in society now and has changed the way we have all live. These social media sites help people do so much such as communicate and connect with others. For example there are over one billion-plus facebook accounts. You can connect to tons of different people and communicate with them via social media. Before social media you had to have someone’s phone number or know where the person is at in order to communicate with them. Social media has made communicating with people way simpler than before. It also allows you to stay connected with your friends. You can stay in the loop with what your friends are doing or find out any accomplishments that they have achieved. With more time going by the more people will use social media. With more people using social media, the more new social media sites will be built. With this happening I believe the numbers of social media use per day by people will continue to grow bigger and bigger than it already is. This is a brief insight on the current use of social media by society and how many people use all these different popular sites. Social media also has helped business get more business than they did before social media was a thing. Social media also marketers for businesses advertise the company better and reach more people. According to an article from forbes.com called “The top ten benefits of social media marketing” by Jayson DeMers talks about the different things that social media can help market a company. This article brings up some good points such as decreased marketing cost and improved customer insight. According to the article it says “According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers found as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic”. This shows how marketing on social media can save companies tons of money when it comes to promoting their company. They also need less employees as less man power is needed to promote what needs to be promoted about the company on social media sites. The article also talks about how companies get more customer input into the company. With social media people can leave comments and see what people think about a specific topic or how an item can be made better. When a customer feels that their input is heard and valued they are most likely to be loyal to that company or business. Small business can use social media to target people in their area. For example if you are a local business that sells baked goods and go to the mall and promote your business. You can go on social media and post that you were at the mall doing something good for the community and post a hashtag along with it. The mall might also feature you in their social media page. This might reach people that were never your customers and now they might be interested in your company. It can also help a local business promote sales which might bring in more customers. These are several different ways how social media can help both big and small business to help their companies grow and generate more sales. Social media improving businesses leads into the next section how social media can help an individual land a job. According to an article called “10 ways social media can help you land a job” by Hannah Morga from usnews.com says “A 2015 CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals revealed that 52 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates”. This quote shows how employers do use social media to find employees to work for their company. Employers look for candidates on social media as it helps show your personality. Employers can see how you act in your everyday life based off of your social media. This is why when you go to things such as how to prepare to find a job recruiters recommend that you make sure your social media account don’t have anything crazy on it. You should always project who you are on social media and it is also good to project a professional image. This will also help you land a job with an employer. According to the same article the author states “Thirty-eight percent of employers were impressed with the professional image presented by a candidate’s site.” You can also reach out to employers your self through social media to land a job. If there is a certain company you are interested in, you can reach out to them and show your interest to them for the specific job. Finally social media can help you land a job as it allows you to show of all your awards and accolades. According to the article by Hannah she says “In the 2014 survey, 31 percent of employers found proof of such recognition online and said it worked in the candidate’s favor. Social media allows you to show the world your life in one account and the way you want the world to see it. This is how social media can help you land a job. This segways perfect into the next topic which is networking. Social media is a great place for you to network with others and make tons of connections. According to an article called “How to network through social media” a research done by the Pew Research Center says “74 percent of adults who regularly use the internet use social networking sites.” This means you can network with nearly three-fourth of the adult population if you wanted to. This article also goes into detail about how you can use different social media sites to network for different purposes. For example you can use Linkedin for professional reason to help find a job. Or you can use twitter for building a social base of friends and connect with people from all around the world. The article also talks about different ways in which you can maximize your network. These are things such as being an active account user on social media and maintain professional relationships. When you are an active account user you can constinalty grow your network on social media. Being active allows other to see you more often and may want to reach out to you to network. Also maintaining professional relationships is also a great way to constantly have a job or help someone you know get a job. In society now in days I feel like it’s more who you know than what you know to land a job. This is why I feel social media is one of the best ways to network and grow your network with others around the world.One thing that has also been a current trend is people are getting their news from social media. An article called “News use across social media platforms 2017” by Elisa Shearer and Jeffrey Gottfried said “As of August 2017, two-thirds (67%) of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media – with two-in-ten doing so often, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.” This statistics has risen from 2016 as it was previously 62 percent. The reason I feel this statistic keeps growing is because social media is right at your fingertips and can access it within minutes. You can also search up exactly what you want to find out about or can even search up a general topic. This is a easier way of finding out the news opposed to watch news on the television or reading about it in a newspaper. Those traditional ways take longer to find out exactly what you want to know. News is on social media now cause the number of users on social media is growing massively everyday. The one possible downside to getting news on social media is that you can possibly get fake news. There are tons of accounts that put fake news just to mess with people. However there are some social media sites such as twitter where certain accounts can get verified. This way you can trust that your reading news from the real CNN account and not a fake CNN news account. You can also set up your social media to alert you on news that interest you. For example is you are interested in politics you can get an alert when something in the United States congress happens. But if I like sports I can get alerts when my favorite sports teams traded away a player or won a game. This is why I feel people are using social media to get their news now rather than turning on the television or reading it in a newspaper.On another note social media can have several negative consequences to it. For example cyberbullying is a big problem when it comes to social media. Cyberbullying is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. An article called “teen cyberbullying and social media use rise” by team rawhide from rawhide.org. This article has several disturbing statistics on cyberbullying. According to the article it says “72% of teens report being cyberbullied in the past year”. This is a statistics from 2015 and is a really big number. This is such a huge issue in society today as well. According to enough.org 71% of young generation say that they are concerned about cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can lead any individual to do some very harmful things to themselves such as committing suicide, changing their presentation (ie. cutting their hair) and even distancing themselves from other people. A stud from the American Association of suicidology says “rates for suicide among 10 to 14 years old has grown 50 percent over the last three decades”. This statistics is very disturbing as it is on the rise and is not going down anytime soon. Suicide is a very serious action to commit and we as a society need to find a way to help prevent kids wanting to commit suicide due to cyberbullying. This is a very big issue in society as our youth is the next generation of this world. If they are being picked on and bullied in society they will not grow up to be smart and strong leaders as they will not feel that they are good enough to do things in society. Stopbullying.gov has tons of great tips to try and help you avoid a cyberbully and things to do if you are dealing with a cyberbully. The best thing to me that this website talks about is if you are dealing with a cyberbully report it and find support. Support is something that is always out there but teens might not know that as they are constantly getting attacked by others on the web. However there is always someone ready to sit down and talk to you or even just listen to what’s going on. Sometimes that is the best way to get through to somebody so they know you care about them. Listening to someone will make them feel like they can trust you and be able to come back to you if something was to ever happen to them. Cyberbullying is a really big trend on social media and we as a society need to focus on stopping it. Too many kids don’t want to go school because they are afraid or want to avoid dealing with the bullies in person. Most importantly too many lives are being taken because people feel they are not worthy enough to live due to cyberbullying. This is why i feel like cyberbullying is a very serious negative consequence of having a great thing such as social media.Another negative note of social media is it can lead people to body image concerns. According to an article “Social media and body image Concerns: Current Research and Future Directions” by Jasmine Fardouly and Lenny R Vartanian from semanticscholar.org say “correlational studies consistently show that social media usage (particularly Facebook) is associated with body image concerns among young women and men, and longitudinal studies suggest that this association may strengthen over time”. This article goes into more detail about how females from pre-teens and high school look for more of a thin body shape. The reason this happens is because social media can set a perception to others especially young children. It makes people think that there is a “right” way to look based of what others say. This has led people to anorexia and other body image disorders. There is a certain facade that happens on social media sites like instagram where pages claiming to be someone who is working on their fitness goals is actually highly altering their pictures and post making people work twice as hard for results that are unrealistic and fake. Psychologist, Stacy Lee who did an interview with People Magazine’s online outlet stated that “We are shown images every day which are not realistic — even the small changes to photos or advertisements make a difference” she says “they send subconscious messages saying that you aren’t enough, and never will be” Once she stopped following accounts that highly altered their post her self esteem increased and she was able to go and accomplish her goal with realistic results on a “real measuring stick” although Lee had the strength to block out fact and sniff out the real, she is not in the majority. Many people forget that the legal age to be on these platforms are thirteen, an age where you are gullible and your brain is still developing to the point where you will go to extreme lengths of action to be someone else.Fardouly and Vartanian also discuss how females had a tendency of changing their appearance such as their hair color on a constant basis. There is a entire community on Youtube related to only DIY (do it yourself) hair coloring, where people look at a picture on instagram and try to recreate it, According to Brad Mondo a hairstylist and youtube reactor of these videos, the photos they are trying to creating are either not done in one sitting or are actually altered to look brighter and more effortless then they actually are. Women and men have been seen by millions burning and breaking their hair trying to get results that not even the professional artist achieved. This can cause a lot of trauma to a young male or female causing them to try and change themselves to fit into a group or feel accepted. A way that we as a society can try and stop this negative notion of social media is to teach people to have more individually. Being free and your own self is a great way to not stress about your image and have body concerns. We must highlight the good being done versus the bad. Personally I only see allegedly photoshopped post on my explore page however there are a great number of body, hair, and mind positivity post. If we promote the positive instead of rewarding the negative we might actually affect people and the number dealing with body image concerns will decrease as time goes on. This is another negative thing that social media carries out into the world and we as a society need to work on and improve.Another common issue that derives from social media is it can cause anxiety and depression. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome and depression is feeling of severe despondency and dejection. According to an article “Using many social media platforms linked with depression, anxiety risk” by Nick Zagorski says “A study published online in Computers in Human Behavior on December 10, 2016, found that the use of multiple social media platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults than time spent online.” This is something very serious as anxiety and depression is not a joking matter. When people go into depression they tend not to talk to anyone and can possibly stop living there everyday life. I feel we as a society need to figure out ways to try and prevent people from having anxiety and depression due to social media. We can develop an application where it can limit your daily use of social media. Or you can set a timer that will only allow you to use social media a certain amount of time throughout a day. Then we can see if the research done on using social media too long can cause anxiety and depression is really true. We can possibly conduct surveys to see if people have had anxiety or depression due to using social media too long. If so then they can be people that can try out the beta of the application. If the results of the beta are successful then the application can be let out to the world and try to reach out to people.hopefully this can possibly prevent people from staying on social media for too long and it will decrease the number of people who suffer from anxiety and depression due to social media. This is how I feel on the topic of how using social media for too long can cause anxiety and depression.Another con of social media can be privacy concerns. Privacy is something that is not the easiest thing to get on social media. Our information and data can constantly be collected from us without us even knowing. According to an journal “Social Media and Privacy Issues: A Matter of Common Sense” by Cyndy Kryder she said “Concerns about privacy issues have kept some professionals from diving into the social media pool. Some of my medical communication colleagues have dipped in their toes only to jump back and reconsider whether the benefits of social media outweigh their anxieties about online privacy. These concerns are justified, particularly in light of reports about hijacked personal identities and stolen financial information, both online and offline.(36)” This journal refers to how privacy concerns are a serious issue. However, it focuses on the obvious measures that can be taken to ensure that one will not become a victim. One of the simplest steps stated in the article is to actually read privacy policies. As simple as that, taking your time to actually read through the terms of these privacy agreements can reveal a red flag that may prevent you from even joining a site in the first place. This is something that people typically do not do because they don’t want to spend the time reading them and thinks that there will be nothing that is bad in the policy’s. Next it mentions privacy settings. Privacy settings are very often overlooked. There are tons of ways that you can manage what information others can see and how they can see it. For example on twitter you can make it that your friends can see your tweet but cannot actually retweet a tweet you sent out. Finally the last thing this journal talks about is knowing your audience. Simply pay attention to who you follow on any social networks and who will have access to what you post. This goes hand in hand with adjusting your settings. Another precautionary measure that is really important is the use of important emails when creating an online profile or linking any profile to an email. Some sites sell these emails and before you know it your inbox is filled with spam that is completely irrelevant to even the original website that requested your email address. Another step that can be taken which people are unaware of most the time is understanding the connection and partnerships that exist between certain websites. Many websites such as Facebook and instagram sell your information to other companies so they can know what to promote on your social media pages. Although not a wildly talked about issue of social media Pornongraphy and the effect is it having on the world is a serious issue to discuss. According to “How Young People Use the Internet for Health Information” a Article created by the Kaiser Family Foundation. 70% of adolescents aged 15-17 report accidental nudity exposure and 72% if college students report exposure before the age of 18. Among the 95% of all 15-17 year olds who have ever gone online seventy percent say they have accidentally stumbled across pornography and 45% of those same kids say they were “very” upset or “somewhat” upset about it. Exposure to pornography has been linked to a more permissive attitude towards unprotected sex, including anal sex, and using alcohol and drugs during sex. A third of those with home internet access have a filtering technology in place. Which although is a high percentage it is in the minority and therefore a change must be made. This is why I feel privacy concerns on social media is another issue that we as a society have to deal with. Social media has changed the way we live now in the 21st century. It has so much positives that come out of social media that it battles out the negatives.