We have come to a point where social media dominates our life to a previously unheard extent. What used to be a platform for people’s entertainment and information has turned into a system of global communication used by businessmen as much as individuals. The media are now accustomed to telling us what is in, what is trendy, but there are also some shady sides to this. When something gets so big it acquires both positive and negative aspects.
In the early days of social media it was a very welcome introduction to our lives: people found it easier to communicate and learn about their friends’ new events, they discussed their affairs and businesses; media benefits were undeniable. Now when people talk about social media they often refer to it in negative terms. There are many people about who only sigh loudly at every mention of Facebook or Twitter. Of course it’s not because they have something against the platforms themselves – it’s people’s activities there that causes such a reaction. So, when people make faces at the topic of social media, they do it at selfies and sponsorships that have flooded the platforms. Besides, there are so many people who want to join in the fun and look for professional advice how to go with this flow. They seem to think that taking selfies and earning money this way is like eating a piece of a pie. Not quite so, and while many make good others are left disappointed. Like everywhere else, in social media there are celebrities and mediocrities, and success takes some knowledge and a lot of entrepreneurism. Also, there are many good and bad points, and some of these are not so obvious as one would wish them to.
So, let’s concentrate on some bad points people should be well aware of.
Social media is business-run
At first all we had was a fairly simple online tool making it convenient for people to get in touch online. But now it’s a very different proposition. The very definition of social media has changed. It runs to say that the tools are designed to allow people and all kinds of companies to share information, ideas, documents and videos within virtual networks. What it doesn’t say is that it is all business-run now. Companies draw their profits from online activities, individuals who have the go-getter spirit in them can also earn big money by simply implementing their projects. Many trade their appearance, while others are exploiting their particular field of interests like traveling or cooking. Anyway, it resulted in many people quitting their regular jobs and investing in social media and related spheres which enhanced their incomes, sometimes significantly.
And it doesn’t only go for ordinary people: many of those who can boast a successful career went on to invest in social media activities, sensing there the possibilities for expanding their businesses. This process is going on and on.
Business needs celebrities no longer
Celebrities have been promoting new products for manufacturers for decades and decades, especially beauty products, clothing and accessories. It was only natural because they attracted a lot of attention and thereby created fashion trends. Then, with the advent of social media, ordinary people started to draw attention to themselves, amassing likes and followers, and companies shifted to make good use of this novelty. They saw possibilities for new business strategies and signed up bloggers to assist in their marketing campaigns and advertise their products. This way they have saved a lot of money they would have had to fork out to celebs otherwise. What’s more, popular blogs offer different kinds of services from celebs’ endorsement: they certainly sound more trustworthy about the products. Also, bloggers can be engaged and dealt with very quickly, they sometimes provide better advancement, so mutual benefits are obvious.
Virtual “friendships” are untrustworthy
A chance meeting online with somebody who interests you because you can relate to their profile may be very exciting. You may feel as if you have acquired a new best friend. Nevertheless, psychologists give a warning that this kind of friendship may not turn out as nice as you expect it: social media’s sense of relating and connecting has no real-life grounds and cannot therefore be as completely fulfilling as a real-life one. But the ease with which people can socialize tempts people to turn to social sites instead of meeting friends. That leads to their overestimating cyberspace friendship and giving more importance to what transpires on their favorite sites than with their personal pals. It can be significantly worse for their overall lifestyle.
Paying more attention to the caption than to the picture
Social media have become a veritable global album for posting photos, and sites like Instagram are positively flourishing. Models and other popular users get lots of likes every day for their photos, many of them not even bothering to write something about the pictures they upload. On the other hand, the audience prefers posts with good content, with something to read. So when you consider writing a caption, it can be a few words or a long paragraph, but if they contain nothing that can attract people, it distracts from the allure of the image. Many of those who have a lot of followers have been in the game for the longest time and they have collected visitors, so they may omit writing anything, they know that they will have hits notwithstanding. People go just to look at the pics. But those who are just starting have to maybe explain and expound on what they have to show to captivate audience.
Followers can be bought
We all know that followers can be gotten for money, and probably you even know some people who succumbed to the temptation and bought them. When people think they can receive paychecks for their posts, why not invest in the business? So they pay, although everyone knows it is much better if people come to your profile on their own account and you do not acquire visitors in this underhand manner. You don’t want to compete with those models who have been in the business long and have amassed an incredible army of followers during that time. It’s not only photos; there were some speculations about bloggers, who had also been not above purchasing likes and followers. It is noticeable when bloggers acquire many new followers practically overnight, or when they receive a number of likes significantly exceeding their number of followers. So, many of such Internet success stories are fake; people become famous not for anything worthwhile they have created.
Hashtags is another thing that has become a good means to draw attention to oneself on the Internet. Although hashtags are used for a number of reasons, people who mean to live off social sites employ them as a trick to attract brands to their pages. Every hashtag has a page of its own where you can see whose posts accompanied with this particular hashtag received the most likes. The most popular posts get on top. This makes surfing easier, since when you tap a hashtag you can often see all related images and posts. So it is profitable in a way to add a lot of hashtags to your post – yet on the other hand, other people, on seeing so many unnecessary tags in your text, can easily understand what you’re up to. Also, there are ways you could use hashtags to your actual disadvantage, so playing this game requires a good knowledge of certain rules.
Payments for clicks
Another bit of public knowledge says that people get paid for clicking on links. Yes, for that only, without citing your name or buying your products or services. It may seem unbelievable at first until you have dug into the technique. It turns out to be extremely useful for bloggers who capitalize on it. How? They undertake to promote clothing and accessory brands – they upload photos of these goods, and their followers get interested in what clothes they are and where they can be purchased. Seasoned bloggers place on their pages links that take people straight to the sellers. When their visitor clicks on these links, some money is due to the owner of the page, and more money is due if the visitor actually buys something off them. The site of the shop recognizes what link exactly the buyer came by, and to whom the payment is due – just like that.
Your profiles are all controlled
As you operate from your registered profile, you use a lot of features that your platform furnished. Are you sure that all the features are aboveboard and working as you believe they should? Another question: if you currently have some 300 followers, why your posts have about 20-30 likes and not more? What’s wrong with your other followers who failed to give you likes? Now, it has been revealed that social media sites can put limits to the number of followers your post reaches for the simple reason of not wishing to share their own advertising – especially if you’re a successful blogger or an entrepreneur. So get wise to it that not all organic shots reach all your followers. Endorsement posts will be more efficacious.
Social media are dominated by women
Those who have a social sites business know that – besides a well-delivered content – it’s profitable to have a girl promoting your stuff. It works because women gain far more popularity on social sites than men. Also, good photos on any page make a strong attractive feature, the more attractive the better the pictures are. That is, the photos should be of good quality, and the girl should be of a fetching appearance! Undoubtedly, males possess less attraction than females, and we all can easily understand that most site visitors are quite willing to take a look at a quality photo of a beautiful girl and maybe even get interested in what sort of person she is. It’s true, social media or no social media, women tend to be more gregarious than men – that’s why their pics and posts are often more winsome and relatable. So, it happens like this – men give a chance for girls to express themselves, and they collect likes and followers for them.
Which photos are set-up and which are not
Mostly people prefer photos made on the spur of the moment to those which are set-up. Candid photos look more natural and consequently more appealing. Yet many natural photos require at least some planning for them to look great. If you run an online business, and it takes up all of your time and energy, you can’t risk posting pictures that are not as perfect as you wish them to be! So you have to arrange some set-up, probably involving professionals from your advertising team. Social media jobs are now on the rise because there is a demand of professionals there: your posts and pics should be as good as you can make them, posting has become strategic as an important part of promotion. That means that all those “natural” positions and smiles aren’t actually real; they are a result of many shots and models and photographers trying painstakingly to capture an “authentic” moment.
You have management above you
Being a social media entrepreneur you probably consider yourself self-employed, but actually when you come to think of it, you have managers who pay you and who set up certain demands. First, if you want to draw a good pay, you have to become a famous social media personality and run up an impressive online following. Companies can offer collaboration to bloggers and personalities who have in excess of 5,000 followers. But the number of followers doesn’t necessarily entail a profitable agreement – a brand is required that is really interesting and attracts people. Unless you have that, nobody’s going to pay you. But if you’ve taken it up, you will have requirements you have to meet.
Even people who are not regarding it as a business are still providing profit for the platform they are operating on. You no longer use your Facebook profile? Anyway, Facebook gets something like $5 for it.
Most people are fond of themselves
This is one of the most controversial subjects when one gets to discussing social media. So, people begin to keep records of their lives, complete with selfies, and thus collect an audience of interested followers – which can lead to their earning money on the strength of their profiles. While it is undoubtedly as good a way of making money as any other clean way, if we take away the income factor, a too intense focus on the personal life becomes obvious. This is known as narcissism, and studies reveal that those who are high on narcissistic personalities questionnaire have more friends on social sites. Their implicit belief that other people are avidly interested in what they are doing and going to do makes them take social networking sites by storm. And even if they vehemently deny their being narcissistic, this denial is not worth believing, for their actions rather belie the statement. Nobody would like to be labeled, but, come to think of it, there are so many people like that around, and you may as well be one of them.
Everybody wants more likes
You are sure to have at least one friend who uploads his pretentious photos and gets few likes. Then he goes on to say that he doesn’t care about likes. You don’t believe it – and you are right not to. With so many people, their self-esteem is in direct dependence on the number of likes on their social profiles. Some of them admit to feeling anxious about how many likes they are going to get, and start thinking there’s something wrong with them if they haven’t received an expected number of likes. They think if they’re losing online popularity the same happens in real life – their friends begin to lose interest in them. Well, it’s only a human factor, after all, and there is nothing wrong if you feel a bit forlorn because of a poor number of likes. But the way you take it is what matters more, for introverts and extroverts alike.
Drops in self-esteem
So, social media success or lack thereof can do things to people’s self-esteem. It goes for all kinds of people, celebrities and famous bloggers as well. The situation can become so aggravated that people feel seriously anxious and even depressed. What was initially meant to be small personal fun, posting your news and pics online, went on to becoming a network where it was easy to socialize, and developed to be treated like an excellent platform for doing business and promoting your viewpoints and beliefs. It has become so important that no matter what people claim about their attitude to the number of likes their posts get, they still feel deeply about it – and it can make them more vulnerable than they bargained for.
The crave for likes can easily become an obsession with some (especially young people). If you go online often in order to check how the number of likes on your fresh post is growing, it may be the sign that it’s time you gave it up and turned to your real-life aims instead?
Bloggers tire of the social media pressure
Yes, there are people who make dollars by thousands on Instagram and other sites, by methodically recording their lives and sharing news. They consider it work, but everybody gets tired of working so much without rest. Bloggers do too! Some of them open up about the pressure they experience trying to keep up the pace. Yes, it ends in a great stress which can impede seriously your ability to derive enjoyment from simply living. So, don’t be surprised if you come to hear of a famous blogger stopping posting suddenly. If it’s such a pressure for “professionals,” you can imagine how bad it can be for people who do not live online only. It’s always advisable to be able to control your online presence instead of succumbing to the desire to go on catering forever.