10 Positive Effects of Social Media

Having grown up in the digital age, today’s teens cannot imagine life without Instagram, TikTok, Discord, Snapchat, and YouTube. Even those who remember the pre-internet era, would struggle to function without many of these platforms now.

Despite its challenges, social media has many positive effects when used responsibly and in moderation – from helping us stay more connected than ever before, to providing access to communities where we feel accepted. In this article, we explore the most notable benefits of social media on our lives.

Positive effects of social media statistics

stat about teen social media use

Social media is often vilified for its negative impacts but here are some statistics about the positive effect of social media on US teens:

  • Young people are more likely to report that social media has pros rather than cons, according to a study by Pew Research Center 1 1. https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/04/24/teens-and-social-media-key-findings-from-pew-research-center-surveys/ × :
    • 58% say it helps them feel more accepted
    • 67% feel like people in their networks can support them through difficult times
    • 71% appreciate having a platform to demonstrate their creative side
    • 80% use social media to feel more connected to their friends’ lives.
  • The main three positive effects of social media on teens::
    • Connections/socializing – 46%
    • Information/learning – 25%
    • Entertainment/fun – 14%

What are the 10 positive effects of social media?

happy social media icons

Although social media can present some risks, it has multiple benefits when used responsibly. That’s why it’s important to understand the pros and cons of social media. So, how does social media help in a positive way?

1. Connectivity

As a society, we’ve never been better connected and much of that’s down to social media. Previous generations have communicated by post, phone, or in person, often sporadically. Whereas now, we can keep in touch anytime, anywhere with anyone in our social network. It’s the perfect forum to share news, photos, and videos.

As well as staying up to date with the lives of friends, family, and colleagues, social media allows us to follow the accounts of celebrities and other public figures. It can be exciting to have a window into their world, makes them more relatable, and allows direct interaction when they respond to comments. This engagement enables us to feel more connected to them.

2. Belonging

Although spending hours online may seem like a solitary activity, social media platforms are a great place to make friends. Having an online community can make us feel supported and understood, which can boost our emotional well-being.

This sense of belonging is especially important for people who struggle to make face-to-face connections, perhaps because they have social anxiety or haven’t found like-minded people in their immediate vicinity. It’s also a way for those who live in remote areas with limited access to social activities to overcome loneliness and isolation.

3. Communication

Social media has changed the way we all communicate. Instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Wizz, Discord and Messenger are an increasingly popular way to stay in touch. They can be used for much more than simply sending text messages, with features such as group messaging, video chat, free calls, photo-sharing, and messages that delete after a certain time.

Many businesses use social media to communicate their products and services, with targeted ads that appeal to our specific interests and preferences. We’re also bombarded with recommendations about different brands from influencers on social media. This means we can discover and connect with many more products than ever before, wherever we live in the world.

Social media is very useful in emergency situations when important public safety information can be posted to a mass audience. It was a vital communication tool used by governments and public health authorities around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic to provide regular updates.

4. Awareness

Another of the positive effects of social media on society is raising awareness and influencing people. It can be a powerful tool for shining the spotlight on social problems, political issues, charitable causes, and other important campaigns. In fact, 31% of Americans say social media is very effective in raising awareness about political or social issues, and 49% believe it is somewhat effective 2 2. https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2020/09/09/americans-think-social-media-can-help-build-movements-but-can-also-be-a-distraction/ × .

When harnessed successfully, social media can reach new audiences, encourage dialogue, mobilize support, and drive change.

5. Accessibility

Social media companies have invested considerable time and money to make their platforms accessible to the widest possible audience, including people who have sight, hearing, motor, or cognitive disabilities.  As a result, many social platforms have accessibility features including:

  • alternative text (alt text) that provides an audio description for blind and partially sighted users
  • automated video captions for deaf people and those with hearing loss
  • information written in plain English to make content more accessible to individuals with cognitive disabilities
  • consistent and predictable navigation to help people who have physical or motor disabilities.

6. Inclusivity

Have you ever wondered, “How does social media have a positive impact on life?” One of the major advantages is that social media is a platform for everyone, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other identity. It provides a forum for previously marginalised voices to be championed and heard.

And social media isn’t just a space for people with similar backgrounds and preferences to communicate and connect. Brands that advertise on social media are also becoming more aware of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their content and campaigns.

7. Information

While the internet gives us instant access to a world of information, social media offers much more than a one-way experience. It allows us to interact, share, and engage with information that interests us by joining groups and discussions across different platforms.

For many of us social media also plays an important role in how we access news. Gone are the days when the information we received about local, national, and global events was controlled by media outlets, many of which have their own agenda and political allegiances. Thanks to social media, our feeds are now packed with information, insights, and opinions shared by ordinary people from diverse backgrounds.

8. Learning

Although many parents feel frustrated by the amount of time their kids spend on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, etc., there are positive effects of social media on youth. One of them is the many learning opportunities available on these platforms. For example, the American Museum of Natural History regularly posts interesting facts about its collection, and NASA shares information about its people, programs, and missions.

Many universities use social media platforms like YouTube Live, Facebook Groups, and Instagram Live to stream lectures. Not only does this make learning more accessible, but it also allows these live streams to be recorded and captions added. Having subtitles can help non-native speakers and students who are deaf or have hearing loss fully understand the content, and re-watching lectures can help all learners revise for exams.

It’s not just young people who can benefit from the impact of social media on learning. People of all ages can access information, webinars, events, and courses on a wide range of topics. The interactive nature of social media means it’s easy to ask questions to engage further with the subject matter.

9. Entertainment

Social media has transformed the way we’re entertained by giving a platform to millions of people rather than a select few who get a record label or make it onto our TV and movie screens. Using platforms like TikTok and YouTube, anyone with a skill or talent can showcase their work and reach large audiences, especially if the content goes viral.

Gaming has always been a social activity, particularly massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, but social media has taken it to a different level. The entertainment aspect of gaming now extends far beyond simply playing video games. On platforms like Twitch, Kick and YouTube, players can keep up with the latest gaming news, watch live game streams, and connect with other gamers to share tactics and experiences.

10. Mental health

Social media often gets a bad press when it comes to our emotional well-being, but there are positive effects of social media on mental health. It can reduce loneliness, provide a sense of belonging, and improve our self-worth. The way that others engage with our social media content (via likes, favorites, comments, shares, retweets, mentions, etc) can make us feel happy and valued, which demonstrates the positive effects of social media on self-esteem.

Despite reports of negative effects of social media, such as people getting depressed and anxious when comparing themselves to others online, there are positive effects of social media on body image. In the past magazines, advertisements, TV, movies, etc. featured glamourous models and actors, whereas social media gives us access to people of all shapes and sizes.

Need help?

safe online family

Despite the many benefits of social media outlined above, it’s important to recognize that there are also negative effects, including social media addiction.

If you or a loved one are concerned about your social media use, try reducing your screen time, switching off notifications, or finding other hobbies and interests. However, if your urge to constantly scroll is deep rooted, you may need professional support.

At Game Quitters, our coaching programs are designed to help individuals and families have a healthier and more balanced relationship with technology.

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