辩题：On balance, social media has been more beneficical than harmful.
背景一览 Background Guidance
互联网的发展促成了近代历史上的主要技术和文化革命之一：社交媒体(Social Media)的出现。在过去的 10 年中，在线社交媒体发展非常迅速，并成为数亿人生活的核心。Facebook、Twitter、WhatsApp、Pinterest、Instagram 和 Google Plus 等社交平台使我们能够与家人、朋友和我们从未有机会定期见面的人进行交流。LinkedIn、Skype、Slack 和 Meetup 等社交媒体正在成为我们工作和业务网络的重要工具。许多城市都在为市民提供免费的公共 WiFi。社交媒体对每个人生活的影响绝对是压倒性的。没有它的世界对我们来说似乎是不完整的。正是因为它的不可或缺性和普及性，人们对于其产生的个人和社会影响持有不同态度：Social Media，究竟是利大于弊，还是弊大于利？
Social media site can increase a person’s quality of life and reduce the risk of health problems.
Social media can help improve life satisfaction, stroke recovery, memory retention, and overall well-being by providing users with a large social group.
Social media helps you build relationships.
You can grow your professional network online tremendously by connecting with colleagues, mentors, role models and other professionals. If you nurture those relationships, you have a whole new network to tap when you’re looking for opportunities or professional guidance.
Social media increases your visibility.
If you spend time honing in on your expertise, consistently managing your social channels, then you have the potential to greatly increase your visibility and even become a thought-leader in your space. Good content gets shared, so if you are consistently posting quality content, the more people who share it, the more people see it.
You can educate yourself on social media.
There is a lot of noise on the Internet. Social media allows you to hone in on what you really care about and what you really want to read. You can create lists that curate content from your favorite people, thought leaders in the space, or media outlets. You can easily learn about current events and things taking place near you.
Social media can help you connect anytime.
Social media can help you connect before, during and after networking events, a conference or a meeting. People can get to know you prior to meeting you and be better equipped to talk in person.
Social media has the ability to uncover industry trends in real-time.
Simply put, social media is a potential goldmine of business intelligence. We’re able to see unfiltered, real-time conversations between consumers and brands alike.
Social media broaden connection and understanding of the world.
Children can learn and appreciate different perspectives and worldviews to better understand the world around them and build up their knowledge on a range of topics. With so many ideas shared across a number of platforms, they can discover areas of interest and use the platforms in an educational capacity.
Social media spreads information faster than any other media.
78.5% of traditional media reporters polled used social media to check for breaking news. 59% of Twitter users and 31% of Facebook users polled followed breaking news on these sites. Social media sites are one of the top news sources for 46% of Americans, compared to 66% for television, 26% for printed newspapers, and 23% for radio.
Law enforcement uses social media to catch and prosecute criminals.
73% of federal, state, and local law enforcement professionals surveyed think “social media helps solve crimes more quickly.” A survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police found that 85% of police departments use social media to solve crimes.
Social media helps empower business women.
Being able to connect on social networking sites gives business women a support group not readily found offline, where female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are outnumbered by male CEOs 474 to 26. Many social media sites are dominated by women: 80% of Pinterest users, 70% of Snapchat users, 68% of Instagram users, 64% of Twitter users, and 58% of Facebook users, are women.
Social media sites help employers find employees and job-seekers find work.
96% of recruiters use social media in the recruiting process; 87% use LinkedIn, 55% use Facebook, and 47% use Twitter. 48% of job-seekers credit social media for helping find their current job.
Social media increases voter participation and facilitates political change.
Facebook users reported they are more likely to vote if they see on social media sites that their friends voted. Amongst students who are somewhat, not sure, or unlikely to vote, 35% stated that social media was most likely to influence them to vote in the 2016 presidential election; this was higher than all other mediums including television (30%), radio (14%), print (9%), and direct mail (6%) or email (5%).
Social media is good for the economy.
Social media sites have created a new major industry and thousands of jobs. A McKinsey Global Institute study projected that the communication and collaboration from social media added between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion to the economy through added productivity and improved customer service.
Social media sites empower individuals to make social change and do social good on a community level.
Social media shares popularized nine-year old Scottish student, Martha Payne, and her blog, “Never Seconds,” which exposed the state of her school’s lunch program prompting international attention that resulted in changes to her school and the formation of “Friends of Never Seconds” charity to feed children globally.
Social media helps senior citizens feel more connected to society.
According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, the 65 and older age group is one of the fastest growing demographic groups on social media sites, with usage rising from 2% of seniors in 2008 to 35% in 2015. Seniors report feeling happier due to online contact with family and access to information like church bulletins that have moved online and out of print.
Social media helps people who are socially isolated or shy connect with other people.
More than 25% of teens report that social media makes them feel less shy, 28% report feeling more outgoing, and 20% report feeling more confident (53% of teens identified as somewhat shy or “a lot” shy in general). Youth who are “less socially adept” report that social media gives them a place to make friends and typically quiet students can feel more comfortable being vocal through a social media platform used in class.
“Crowdsourcing” and “crowdfunding” on social media allows people to collectively accomplish a goal.
A mother was able to find a kidney donor for her sick child by posting a video on her Facebook page. Planethunters.org, a science social media site, have discovered new planets via crowdsourcing. Crowdrise, a social network devoted to crowdsourcing volunteers and crowdfunding charity projects, raised $845,989 in the 18 days following Hurricane Sandy.
Social media provides academic research to a wider audience, allowing many people access to previously unavailable educational resources.
Information previously restricted to academia’s “ivory tower” can now be shared with the public who do not have access to restricted journals or costly databases. Researchers from a wide variety of fields are sharing photos, providing status updates, collaborating with distant colleagues, and finding a wider variety of subjects via social media, making the research process and results more transparent and accessible to a larger public.
Corporations and small businesses use social media to benefit themselves and consumers.
85% of fans of brands on Facebook recommend the brand to others and 71% of internet users are more likely to purchase from a brand that they are following on social media. Almost 90% of big companies using social media have reported “at least one measurable business benefit.”
Social media allows for rapid communication during crisis events.
Over one-third of federal, state, and local law enforcement professionals surveyed say that they use social media to notify the public of emergencies or disasters. Facebook allows users in a crisis region to mark themselves as safe and check to see that friends and family are safe, such as after the Apr. 2015 Nepal earthquake, the Sep. 2015 Chile earthquake, and the Nov. 2015 Paris terrorist attacks.
The use of social media is correlated with personality and brain disorders.
A University of Pittsburgh study found that social media use was “significantly associated with increased depression” amongst adults aged between 19 and 32. Another study found that addictive social media use reflected increased narcissistic personality traits. Researchers have found that “interruptions due to phone notifications can cause inattention and hyperactivity in the general population.”
Social media makes you being seen zoned and unfriended.
Certain experiences on social medias trigger the feeling of being ostracized when responses don't happen immediately. Waiting for a reply after a message has been 'seen' can trigger this response. These experiences, according to researchers, put people in a seemingly permanent “standby mode”.
Social media can promote toxic comparisons.
Social media platforms provide plenty of opportunities for users to compare themselves with their friends and all the perfect celebrities they follow. This becomes a problem since, according to the same study, many individuals only post the best version of themselves on social media. So, when you compare yourself to these perfect online versions of your friends, you tend to feel inferior.
Prolonged social media use can negatively impact your body image.
Numerous studies have also found a link between prolonged social media use and body dissatisfaction. Those who spend more time on social media tend to compare their appearance to that of their friends, distant peers, and even celebrities. They also often judge their appearance as worse compared to others. This is especially problematic because of the widespread use of photo-editing applications. These unrealistic body ideals can cause body dissatisfaction, lower self-worth, and can even trigger eating disorders in some people.
Social media may insulate us from the people that surround us.
Although these platforms make communication easier and more flexible with those far away, they can have the opposite impact on our relationships with the people we live with. Who has not been in a family or friends' reunion, where everyone is just looking at their smartphones or tablets rather than speaking to each other?
Social media can be used to spread rumors, propaganda, and misleading information.
Social networks serve to disseminate information, but the validity of this information cannot always be verified. Sometimes this information can have negative impact on the lives of people. Apologies and rectifications tend not to reach as many people and travel as fast as flashy erroneous information. Harm is not always undone or compensated.
Social media distracts us.
Social media have become a source of entertainment but also a means of procrastination. With people often checking Facebook, or Twitter every five minutes, it is likely that their productivity at work diminishes. We are constantly bombarded with notifications from social media. Many of them are of no use to our lives.
Social media are making it more difficult to separate our professional and social lives.
We end up being "Facebook friends" with colleagues, and in some cases this may backfire. Police surveillance and social media monitoring by governments may also make you feel uncomfortable.
Social media platforms store too much information about us.
Potentially this information could be used by governments and corporations to control us. Most networking platforms extract large amounts of information from their users. It is difficult to understand the terms and conditions of use of the platforms, usually captured by long and extremely technical legal documents. Moreover, this information collected about us is not always secured. There have been notable cases in which hackers have managed to steal information about thousands of users.
Many people suffer stalking and bullying through social networks.
This has led to dramatic cases where users have ended up committing suicide. Social networks have also been used to collect information about victims by kidnappers and burglars. Many terrorist organizations recruit members and raise funding through social media.
Students who are heavy social media users tend to have lower grades.
31% of teens say that using social media during homework reduces the quality of their work. Students who used social media had an average GPA of 3.06 while non-users had an average GPA of 3.82. Students who used social media while studying scored 20% lower on tests.
Social media can lead to stress and offline relationship problems.
31% of teens who use social media have fought with a friend because of something that happened online. A 2016 study found that overuse of social media as an adolescent may decrease success in relationships later in life as online communication hinders the development of conflict management skills and awareness of interpersonal cues.
Social media can entice people to waste time.
A survey of internet users aged 16-64 found that the average daily time spent on social media is 1.72 hours, which accounts for 28% of total time spent online. 36% of people surveyed listed social media as the “biggest waste of time,” above fantasy sports (25%), watching TV (23%), and shopping (9%).
Social media harms employees’ productivity.
A global online survey found that 50% of workers check or use social media at least once a day during work hours. A survey of Irish workers found that 78% use a personal device to access social media at work. Two-thirds of US workers with Facebook accounts access the site during work hours.
Social media enables “sexting,” which can lead to criminal charges and the unexpected proliferation of personal images.
Almost 40% of teens report “sexting” – posting or sending sexually suggestive messages – with 22% of teen girls and 18% of teen boys posting nude or semi-nude photos. As a result, teens and adults are being charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, even when the teen took and distributed a photo of him/herself.
Children may endanger themselves by not understanding the public and viral nature of social media.
The 2012 film Project X, about an out of control high school house party due to social media promotion, prompted copycat parties across the US resulting in arrests for vandalism, criminal trespassing, and other offenses.
Social media enables cheating on school assignments.
Students in California, New York City, and Houston posted photos of standardized tests to social media sites, allowing students who had not yet taken the tests to see the questions (and potentially find answers) ahead of time. The SAT has had similar problems with students posting parts of the exam to social media.
Unauthorized sharing on social media exposes artists to copyright infringement, loss of intellectual property, and loss of income.
According to Business Insider, “illegally uploaded videos routinely clock up tens of millions of views, and hundreds of thousands of shares” with profits going to those who shared the content rather than those whose created it. YouTube vloggers report that unauthorized sharing of their videos on Facebook is costing them millions of dollars in lost profits with one reporting $20,000 in lost profits from just one video.
Social media posts cannot be completely deleted and all information posted can have unintended consequences.
The Library of Congress has been archiving all public tweets from Twitter’s Mar. 2006 inception forward. Information about an affair posted on Facebook, for example, can lead to and be used against someone in divorce proceedings because the information, once posted, can never be completely deleted.
Social media users are vulnerable to security attacks such as hacking, identity theft, and viruses.
Social media sites do not scan messages for viruses or phishing scams, leading to large-scale problems like the virus Steckt.Evl spread from Facebook’s chat window. 68% of social media users share their birth date publicly, 63% share their high school name, 18% share their phone number, 12% share a pet’s name; each of those pieces of information is frequently used for account security verification and can be used for identity theft.