The number of individuals around the globe who have access to various forms of social media keeps on growing exponentially. The amount of time individuals continue to spend on social media continues to rise as well. Social media has in the recent past expanded the boundaries of our social cycle. Social media has changed how people interact with one another on day to day activities. Today, the advancement of technology has reformed social media causing emergence of various forms of networking. Facebook has been one of the major forms of social networking and recently snapchat has come in strongly as it has received much attention from the young people (Isaacs 421-422). People do not just use the social media to communicate with friends, strangers and family members as well, but they use it to express their various opinions, feelings, perspectives, market products, create publicity among others. This paper offers insight on how social media has changed how people communicate using social perspective particularly with the notion of theoretical aspect of functionalism.
Functionalism is a framework for establishing theory that views society as system that is complex and that has parts that would integrate together to enhance stability as well as solidarity in going about their activities. In this context, the approach looks at the society as being influenced by the social media to change and influence its social structures, as well as communication and or interactions of people.
Moreover, functionalist theory, it is important to note, was the first one to be established. And as mentioned earlier, its main aspect seeks to address society as interdependent and how its contributions are fundamental to societys functioning ("Introduction To Sociology"). This implies that society operates under collective consensus and is held together by the peaceful cohesion.
Based on this theory, it can be elucidated that social media has changed how people communicate and this can be viewed in some monumental functions social media acts as a channel of socialization thus enhancing communication, it enhances information disseminations and consumptions, it also keeps people up to date, reinforces the social norms and customs of people who share common origin, convenes and deliberates status among many others.
Firstly, social media is a channel for different procedures of socialization. It implies that social media platforms present channels for socializing that is unique in a way. Various societies get together on various platforms. Facebook is a social site that has influenced peoples tendencies to stay online and send private messages. Young people have had the chance to like, comment, and share widely their views and opinions (Isaacs 422). With advancement of technology, Facebook has incorporated a way of making video calls. Much of importance is the joining of social groups on Facebook. These groups are created by individuals with a motive of bringing people with similar characteristics together; take, for instance, people from former college who graduated in similar year. Additionally, these groups can be collection of trusted friends, relatives, or even of two different communities who form part of an interactive platform. In so doing, Facebook has changed how these lots of people communicate. There is a tendency of group members posting on same platforms and the message reaches everyone without having to call each and every one of them. It contributes in cementing the bond that existed between these groups of people regardless of the distance and position of the members. In so doing, it acts as a way of repairing broken societal structures.
Additionally, Twitter, a platform that gives a user the chance to post short messages to the followers has been popular for its trending sections. The trends sometimes, and quit often than not, serves as a focal point of communication and interactions. In the recent past, the world has been seen to come to common social platforms such as twitter to share a common problem or problem in a specific location. There has been problem of terror groups threatening the peaceful coexistence of society. Many people in such society have used Twitter to create trends such as #BringbackOurGirls-in the case where the ISIS (terror group abducted the girls) and many more. Twitter trends reach out to millions of users across the world. In some cases, societies can engage in an atrocity that perpetrates hate among the communities on social media like Twitter, this cases have served to break the communities willingness to interact and caused outrage as far as solidarity is concerned.
Secondly, social media has influenced information dissemination and consumption. Social media has been used by many people to convey occurrences of politics, economical issues, environmental issues and emergencies, among other information. Information dissemination has been made easier as most media houses use social media to reach out to many users. Natural and man-made calamities usually threaten human life. In some cases, they can cause societal disintegration. As functionalist posit, society can be made of independent elements but with their input to one course there can be common achievement of an objective. Blogs today have been used by various people to convey news and other crucial articles that target certain societies. They are structured in a manner that when these targeted groups get to read them they find the essence of unity in working as a team. In this case social media has been used to change how people communicate with one another.
Social media also, has changed how people get up to date with information. People have acknowledged that social media has become a permanent part of modern culture. Social media shapes the societies knowhow (Sotirovic 122-137). There is quick transfer of information on social media platforms. Snapchat has been used by the younger generation to send information that is appropriate to them and suits their generation. Functionalism, then again might probably offer insight into how society's perspectives of the social media have turned out to be progressively basic and even now and again suspicious. A functionalist may contend that the changing views of society with respect to the social media and the impact they offer serve a useful need by directly influencing the societies that rely on upon the social media information.
Additionally, social media reinforces the social norms and customs of people who share common origin. In so doing, social media has influenced how people communicate their customs and norms. Through communicating of norms, functionalists posit that there is an element of promotion of cohesion among the societies with divergent opinions.
Functionalism addresses, the society as a whole in regards to the various functionality elements. In most cases, it posits that a society should function as a whole. If the society is disintegrated, then there is no cohesion. Social media has been used as a tool that reinforces norms, customs as well as convening and deliberating societys status. It uses the interactive media to enhance communications among the people who share similar norms and customs ("Becoming More Interactive" 32).
In conclusion, social media has changed the way people communicate, whether it's the sharing of a notion, the dissemination of information, or the accessibility of an item or service. Society today has experienced nearly another method for communicating that it never experienced before. No more will individuals from one part of the world say that they will never see a someone or speak with somebody from another region ever in their life. No more will individuals not have the capacity to share a thought, on the off chance that they truly need to share it (regardless of how radical it might be or regardless of what number of individuals may differ with it). No more will the spreading of data or the communicating of a opinion have the capacity to be totally silenced. As long as there is one who is willing to express their opinion, share their arts, comments or music, or just make proper acquaintance with another person in another nation or society, online social media will permit them to do as such.
Isaacs, David. "Social Media And Communication". Journal of Communications and Youth Health 50.6 (2014): 421-422. Web.
"Introduction To Sociology". Theoretical Perspectives on Social Media and Technology. N.p., 2015. Web. 1 June 2016.
Sotirovic, Mira. "How Individuals Explain Social Problems: The Influences Of Media Use". J Communication 53.1 (2003): 122-137. Web.
Sosik, Victoria Schwanda and Natalya N. Bazarova. "Relational Maintenance On Social Network Sites: How Facebook Communication Predicts Relational Escalation". Computers in Human Behavior 35 (2014): 124-131. Web.
"Becoming More Interactive". Strategic Direction 31.3 (2015): 30-32. Web.
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