While many will argue that social media ruins lives, I can’t help but think of all the benefits that social media has provided to the world. The effects of social media have, without a doubt, made the world a much smaller and more accessible place.

Just a couple weeks ago, I was having trouble launching the webcam on my laptop. After finally running out of ideas, I went onto YouTube, typed in the make and model of my laptop, and found several videos relating to my problem. I clicked on the video titled, “problem with your web cam?” and there was Brandon, a 21-year old college student from Germany, showing people like me how to fix their webcams. His directions were very clear and easy to follow. In just minutes, my webcam was up and running.

There are a number of reasons why social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr have grown to be so popular. While there may be some distinct disadvantages to social sites, the advantages are far more significant.

Before the invention of Facebook or even MySpace, people had already understood the importance of networking. Whether for business or pleasure, people network with other people to share ideas, opinions, and even to generate some constructive criticism. These social sites offer exposure to a wide variety of people not only in our own backyards, but across the globe.

Organizing events, catching up with old friends, and staying connected with distant family are all made easier thanks to social media. It’s easy to blame social media for our problems, but it does not ruin lives.

Social media gives us the tools to update our followers and friends, or not to. Likewise, the things we choose to post and how frequently we choose to post them is at the control of our fingertips.