5 Negative Aspects Of Social Media
By Chioma Anigbogu
Social media and technology has improved some aspects of our lives like providing lower cost and wider outreach for marketing, providing more opportunities for writers and bloggers, removal of communication barriers, making and finding new friends and keeping in touch with old friends easier, speedier communication, building relationships.
The accelerated increase of social media use has had a lot of negative impact on our personal lives and on the society in general; this is so true because as in a coin, everything has two sides and the social media is any different.
These are the 5 Mishaps of Social Media:
- Addiction (and decreased productivity)
I’m sure everyone can agree with me that getting on the Internet is easier than getting off. Spending hours on the Internet is easier than it sounds. You tell yourself that you are just going to search for something on Google and soon you find yourself watching videos of cats drinking coffee or babies trying lime for the first time on YouTube. It reduces attention span and averts focus off important tasks. Teenagers suffer this the most. Assignments and projects are done at the last minute and not because they had more pressing things to do. There is always reduced productivity in Internet addicted people. Many firms have discovered that social networking sites prove a great distraction to their employees and has cost them lots of money. And there is a high rate of depression among addicts. You might think this is a joke or uncommon but right now, there are Internet addiction rehabs.
- Lack of privacy
Carelessness in revealing personal information on the Internet makes you susceptible to stalking, identity theft and so on. These information are forever accessible but it seems this doesn’t occur to us. Some people tell people everything they did (and ate) on Facebook. Like “I just woke up. About to take a shower”, then minutes later you see “On my way to work at….”. Few hours later, it’s “Off to catch an early lunch at ….. restaurant” or “On my way to ….bank”. Some things are meant to be private. Learn to keep some things private.
Don’t even get me started on people that post nude pictures online whether it’s theirs or not. Downloading your pictures or videos doesn’t take long.
I for one have seen my profile picture as someone’s pc wallpaper. Trust me, it was creepy.
Some of these sensitive data can be used against you. Furthermore, companies now run background checks on people before hiring them. I’m sure you wouldn’t want prospective employers to see pictures of you doing shots in a nude club.
Cyber-bullying is the use of electronic media to bully a person typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature or posting insulting comments about someone. This is most common among teenagers. A study has shown that 95% of teenagers who use social media networks have witnessed cyber bullying and 33% have been victims themselves (survey at Internet Safety 101). Children are exposed to online predators on social media. In serious cases, victims have been terrorized and pushed to suicide.
A lot of people (children included) no longer know how to enjoy the world around them. It seems like we are more caught up in what is happening online than what is happening in our families. We have forgotten how to make friends in the real world. Virtual interaction has made it too simple for introverts to be more introverted. We ignore people around us and focus on people online. Family bonds are weak as members don’t spend time together. We substitute online relationships for physical relationships. The number and quality of relationships are drastically reduced. Couples, friends, siblings etc drift apart. This also increases the risk of depression.
- Exposure of kids to sensitive content
Kids are now more susceptible to photos and videos that contain sex and violence. As there isn’t censure, they see all kinds of stuff that are posted online. They’re exposed to people and situations that are unsuitable for them.
Caution should be exercised when dealing with social media. Maximum security settings should be used. Sensitive information shouldn’t be posted online. Kids’ use of the internet and social media should be closely monitored. Curtail the amount of time you spend online. Enjoy the positive benefits of social media but make sure not to let it affect you negatively.