Disadvantages of Social Media
Over the last few years, social media and social networking has grown tremendously. From 2008, the growth of social media usage has been expanding exponentially and unexpectedly high. Facebook and Twitter have specially grown with a lot of speed and captured thousands and millions of users over the last few years (Grégoire).The way technology and social networking is rapidly growing, it is obvious that more people are going to grasp the benefits. It has come with numerous benefits.
From the developed countries to the underdeveloped nations, every country is using the power of social media to enhance their lives and improve their overall communications. However, despite the many benefits social media has come with, it has also affected businesses, families, relationships, and the society in a negative way. Some of these negative aspects and disadvantages are explored in this argumentative essay.
Firstly, social media has increased cyberbullying. Cyberbullying has increased tremendously over the last few years especially for teens and children, most of whom are usually innocent. Since people or anyone is capable of creating a fake account without being traced on social media, it has become quite easy for bullies to use the internet to harass children and teens. Rumors, threats and intimidating messages have been sent to unsuspecting users or even masses to create chaos and discomfort. It is sad that some of these cyberbullying stories have actually turned into suicide.
Johnson gives the cyberbullying story of Amanda Todd who posted a video on YouTube explaining how she has been bullied and blackmailed by a stranger she met online. The stranger had convinced Amanda to bare her breasts on camera and then went ahead to use that picture to blackmail her into doing other things she was not willing to do. She could not bear the blackmail and the bullying anymore and ended up hanging herself on October 10, 2012 in her home. There are several other told and untold stories of suicide which have come from cyberbullying on social media.
Secondly, hacking has become common experience for people using social media programs or accounts (Guertin). Personal information and privacy can be hacked into easily and shared all over the Internet. When criminals or hackers get hold of that personal information, they can share it on the internet or use it to blackmail the user which may affect personal life or even lead to financial losses. In the same manner, identity theft is also common when hackers get an individual’s personal information from social media.
Identity theft is more serious because the individual could end up losing a lot of money and their professional reputation ruined. There have been many cases of Facebook and Twitter accounts being hacked, where people have posted damaging information or materials that have affected the personal lives of the individual people (Guertin). Hacking has been mentioned in many quarters as being one of the biggest dangers of social media. As privacy and confidentiality become more vulnerable on Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.
Thirdly, just like alcohol, social media is addictive. In fact, the addictive part of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter particularly are very dangerous because it is affecting families and personal lives. Teenagers are the most impacted by the addiction that social media comes with- particularly Facebook. Such population groups are getting involved in social media extensively and therefore get cut off from the society. Parents and teachers have often complained of their teens recording low grades in school because much of their study time is consumed by social media. They want to meet friends, chat and share stories.
Social media is ruining relationships and families because of increased cheating. At some point people in their lives have become victims of social media dating. Sometimes explicit photos are sent to an individual’s inbox either with consent or without. When these photos become known to the other partner, it can break down the relationship. Married men and women have also used social media to have extramarital affairs which has become a common challenge in family ethics and morality today (Guertin). Some people in some instances have used social media platforms to propose and marry their spouses. However, after sometime, these people realize that they made wrong decisions and therefore break these relationships.
Extensive use of social media has been connected to health problems such as depression and stress. Grégoire, Yany, Salle and Tripp explain that the excessive amount of time spent on social media platforms or social networks causes some people to experience withdrawal symptoms just like drugs rehabilitation. As the retreat from actual communication and interaction with fellow humans, they experience anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and sometimes distress. If these symptoms are not adequately addressed in the fullness of time, they can cause depression which eventually cause death by suicide.
Another health problem is overweight or obesity. The excess usage of social media is a health disaster in terms of health because most users get lazy resulting to lack of exercise or physical activity. (Grégoire, Yany, Salle and Tripp). Thousands of social media users have been conned and scammed in broad daylight without even noticing it. In fact, this is one of the major challenges of using social media where people pretend to be employers only to get money from people for “recruitment.” Obviously, while social media has come with positives, some disadvantages have also found their way in.
Grégoire, Yany, Audrey Salle, and Thomas M. Tripp. "Managing social media crises with your customers: The good, the bad, and the ugly." Business Horizons 58.2 (2015). http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007681314001566. Accessed on 9 November 2017.
Guertin Mark. “Your teens and the dangers of social media what you need to know and the steps you should take.” Impact Social Media. February 2016. http://impactsocialmedia.net/your-teens-and-the-dangers-of-social-media-what-you-need-to-know-and-the-steps-you-should-take/. Accessed on 9 November 2017.
Johnson, Auria La Rece. Negative Effects of Cyberbullying and Social Media Use among Young Adolescents. Diss. Texas Southern University,2017 https://search.proquest.com/openview/21d2a0fd4e63f07e68356bf59bbc64df/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y.Accessed . Accessed on 9 November 2017.
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