Could media platforms, including social media bring a positive impact on society?


It was not an easy article to write, because media platforms usually make the headlines. We daily listen or read opinions and information related to this topic. Since they appeared about 20 years ago, opinions about media platforms have become more and more controversial. Just by making a brief research you can find a lot of articles, many of them from people warning us about the risks of using social media. However, data speaks for itself – there are thousands of new users every day.


Let’s start defining media platforms! They are all kinds of mediums who allow people to share information (videos, images, etc.) and communicate instantly. Social media is one of the most popular one. Even if the goal is similar, nowadays there are thousands of slightly different social media platforms for every kind of person and purpose. This is positive, since thanks to a variety of social media platforms one can meet people with similar hobbies and interests, while before it was more difficult to find people who share the same social activities.

In the same way big companies take advantage of social media for their marketing intents – because it is a cheap, attractive and efficient way of promotion – small enterprises likewise increase their visibility and spread out fast through social media. This “egalitarian” aspect could help fight against big companies and to change the economic system.

Another positive aspect I have recently discovered is how these platforms can help us in our work. As a biology researcher I normally use scientific blogs or chat to help me solve technical issues. Also to share information about specific methods, which are sometimes improved by some labs afterwards. Blogging allows me to keep record of these techniques, which otherwise could be forgotten or lost over time.

It’s also widely known that media platforms have allowed people to communicate cheaper or even for free. Software such as Skype or Viber have improved the communication quality in Western countries, but their impact in developing countries is even more crucial.

One of the most amazing impacts of social networking is the ability to coordinate people towards a specific objective or cause. There are a lot of examples, from organizing flash mobs in crowded areas of big cities to carry out manifestations capable of overthrowing governments.



On the other side, the evolution of some media platforms weakened others, especially ‘old’ media such as TV or radio. However, I have recently discovered a new Spanish television program called ‘Here the Earth’, which is becoming quite popular. It speaks about traditional professions, nature, agriculture, etc. They show villages and landscapes from Spain and advice how to for example, use and grow plants. I was surprised that many people love this program and send photos of themselves enjoying nature. For me it showcases how media can have a positive impact on society through education.

Finally, another positive aspect is to check out the customers’ comments. I am sure that most of you read opinions before going to a restaurant or buying something. Besides helping other costumers this has an important retroactive impact in companies and forces them to maintain good quality products.


To conclude, regarding the potential risks, the most prominent one is that our personal data can be easily exposed. That’s the other side of the coin. In a utopic world, sharing huge amounts of information about us would be no risky. However, we live in a competitive society, where all information is relevant and can be used against us. Companies are profiting from this knowledge, by knowing their costumers’ needs and interests they sell more products or create new habits. In the same way, totalitarian regimes can use personal data of their citizens to coerce and manipulate them.

So, are media platforms negative or positive for the society? There’s no right answer. However we must be careful about our privacy and share the least amount of personal information as possible, so then we can fully enjoy the many positive aspects of the social media platforms!


Miriam Candelas, IYNF e-volunteer