I want to make it clear that I do not consider myself an expert. I am a student. I have less than an ounce of experience compared to  professionals who have been studying the advantages and disadvantages of social media on personal and public domains from its beginnings. However for my social media class, I was asked what my opinion was on the advantages and disadvantages of social media. Here it goes . . .

Advantages 

On a professional level social media has opened the doors to a wide variety of interactions with an organization’s chosen public. With social media, professionals no longer have to rely on a less versatile print media. Professionals now have the opportunity to tailor messages to a direct audience through advertising on the correct social media site. Most importantly organizations can build relationships with their key target markets. There is no longer just a concept of relating to the consumer. Now relationships are forming with consumers every day through discussion boards, video posts, etc. Social media has transformed the web of communication.

Personally social media has some huge advantages. I have a group of girlfriends from high school who have now spread out across the country. However, we can never skip a beat of each others lives. With status updates, picture/video uploads, instant messaging, check-ins and so much more, we are all constantly in the loop. My family also has a Facebook group. This allows for the entire Gault Clan to stay up-to-date in our private family group. Social media has allowed me to stay connected.

Disadvantages

Professionally social media is a key to the consumer that can not always be easy to find. I hear the phrases “Content is Key” and “Engage, Engage, Engage,” but most often this is easier said then done. Being in a college town, I often see companies jump out of the Statesboro pond and into the social media ocean. They don’t always get eaten, but they often end up getting lost in the sea. Social media is not an easy tool to use. It involves tons of research, experience and time. If companies don’t want to put in the effort, they will most likely not reap the rewards.

Personally social media is developing this growing paranoid reality that “Big Brother” is not just a fictional story in 1984. The technology is out there. The question is — Who is using it? Nothing is private anymore, so what will happen when my generation of drunk college photos has to step up and be President? It seems scary to think about, but the signs haunt me everyday. Every kid who fails to hide their weekend party from their parents Facebook page understands what I mean. Transparency is not just about having a clean professional portfolio. Your personal social media portfolio needs to be clean from the get go; no matter how young you start.

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