Social media can be looked at as internet based applications that allows the use and exchange of content generated by users, according to Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein (2010).It includes social networking sites such as facebook, twitter, Google+ etc. One is able to create a public profile, personal or business network that can be easily accessed by anyone online.
Social Networking sites transformed information sharing, both for private and official purposes such as in a work-related context. Communication has become cheaper, faster and effortless. Social networking sites such as Facebook create personal profiles and share messages and join common interest groups, YouTube was made for sharing videos while Instagram is designed for sharing photos. The increase in use of social media has greatly impacted the way individuals socialize. For instance, one is able to make hundreds even thousands of strangers into virtual ‘friends’ and share photos, messages and posts. This networks that transcend geographical boundaries have made the world a small place. However, there are challenges; Privacy concerns have been raised whereby information intended for one person can be shared by thousands others without permission of the sender. Potential employers can be denied jobs because of information posted on social media.
The impact of social media on personal and professional pursuits cannot be overstated. Social media tools such LinkedIn can help one to build a professional network, find business opportunities and jobs. Social networking sites such as twitter and YouTube and facebook is an easy and low-cost way of promoting a personal or community cause .For instance, an article or video clip on children rights can be retweeted and shared by many people to reach a wider audience. This will not only create awareness about the cause but will also make the person promoting the cause a reference point.
Kaplan, A. M. and Haenlein, M. (2010) ‘Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media’, Business Horizons, Vol. 53, Issue 1: pp.59-68