Negative influence of Social Media on People and Society

In this modern age, almost everyone is interacting through social media such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter and more. So we ask: Does this really have a bad influence on people and society?

In many ways, social media has led to positive changes in the way people communicate and share information but it has a dark side, as well.



That False discern of Connection
Social media sites can make it more difficult for us to identify the meaningful relationships we have in the real world from the numerous casual relationships formed through social media. As we focus more of our time on those less meaningful relationships, our most important connections, may weaken or be severed. We should always be careful on which bridges to burn.

Privacy Loopholes
A lot of people feel that their personal data is safe on social networking sites because they have set a high level of security setting on their profile. With the algorithm used on these sites an individual's personal attributes can be identified by examining the one thing that most people leave public such as: their friend list, the places they visit and pages they like. Using the algorithm, they able to infer many personal traits merely from friend lists, including educational level, university attended, hometown and other private data. People are also tempted to bypass the filters they normally set when talking about their private lives. At one moment, a photo of you wearing a scantily clad outfit or having shots with friends on a party may seem harmless, the image may appear less attractive in the context of an employer doing a background check.

Bad Health Effects
Hyper-networking (more than 3 hours on social networks per day) and hyper texting (more than 120 text messages per day) correlated with unhealthy behaviors in teens, including drinking, smoking and sexual activity. Hyper-networking was also associated with depression, substance abuse, poor sleep patterns, suicide and poor academic performance. This was based on a study by Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

Cyber-bullying
Not all people using social media can be friendly, there are predators out there. Kids are very vulnerable to cyber-bullying in which the perpetrators, anonymously or even posing as people their victims trust, torment individuals in front of their peers. The devastation of these attacks can leave deep mental scars. Some cases may even drive the victims to suicide. The anonymity acquired online can bring out dark impulses that might otherwise be suppressed.

Devoid of Productivity
Some companies use social media to find and communicate with clients. However, those sites can also prove a great distraction to employees who may show more interest in what their friends are posting than in their work tasks.

Seclusion
On the surface it appears that social networking brings people together across the Internet but in a larger sense it may create seclusion. As people spend increasing amounts of time using social media, they tend to have less face-to-face interaction with others. Scientists have evaluated social isolation in many cases, and have identified that it can lead to a host of mental, psychological, emotional and physical problems including depression, anxiety, somatic complaints and many others. Socially isolated people experience tremendous levels of stress, aggression, anxiety and other mental issues due to impaired brain hormones. If you think I'm just making this up then you may refer to the study made by the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine.


Despite all the negative impact of social media, it is most likely here to stay. Deciding whether you will use it or not is entirely up to you but by using it responsibly you can maximize the benefits of social networking. If you can, minimize the time you spend on these sites unless necessary. Life is too short, go out and see what other things the world may offer.

Artwork credits go to Gunsmithcat (Luis Quiles)

1 comment:

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