Al Ain: June 30th marks World social media Day, an event that celebrates the power of the medium and gives cause for debate about its social impact and future uses. Today, students at the United Arab Emirates University voiced their opinions about the positive and negative aspects of social media.
Ibrahim Al-Balushi, of the Faculty of Engineering said that “Modern technology has made it incredibly easy for us to communicate, social media powers news from anywhere on earth in seconds. Social media brings many benefits: distance is no longer an obstacle; barriers are removed, and people use it for employment and a source of income. However it has also had adverse effects, including the weakening of family bonds, the isolation of some individuals, and leading others to neglect their responsibilities. For students, social media fills our days – for the purpose of study and to access information from experienced experts. It also plays a prominent role in decision making, enabling us to consult specialists on areas of personal interest that resolve questions and direct decisions”.
Moza Al-Azizi, a student from the Faculty of Science, says that she uses social media to develop her artistic talents and to publish her work. She sees it as a medium that removes barriers to meeting up with people with similar interests and learning from experienced people. Al-Azizi asserts that there are more positive than negative aspects to social media because it enables users to learn and adapt. The disadvantages arise from users wasting their time with it and getting hooked.
Ahmed Issa, a student from the Faculty of Information Technology believes that social media helps family and friends to communicate and is a means of entertaining and benefitting from varied sources of information. Yet Issa explains that just as information and news can be communicated rapidly so too can rumours and bad habits, and some people get drawn into fraud and extortion.
Hamdan Al-Hammoudi said that “social media is a gateway to fame and fortune just as it is a gateway to information and news. The greatest benefit I have achieved through social media is to build friendships at a distance and to communicate with them easily and continuously. Social media can bring a great variety of people together in one place, to collaborate on common but niche interests. I have also used social media to develop skills of communication and debate, and there are people who I have never met face to face but who have had a great and profound impact on me, instilling and building my leadership capacity”.