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The Negative Effect of Social Media - Essay Example

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The use of social media extends from normal communication to communication during emergency times. Social media has increased…
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The Negative Effect of Social Media
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The Negative Effects of Social Media The presence of social media in our lives has become inevitable but the question is whether social media is really benefiting our social lifestyle? The use of social media extends from normal communication to communication during emergency times. Social media has increased virtual communication to the point of erasing normal communication channels. It has become common for friends to catch up on social media networks rather than meeting face to face. The proponents of social media focus on the extensive reach of the network as a means to supporting it but it cannot be ignored that social media has brought with itself many evils into the society. The psychological and social impacts of social media are surfacing as the usage of social media is increasing our lives. Social media impacts on different aspects of our lives including emotional state, identity development and even the direction of our lives in some cases.
Of these, the emotional impacts of social media are perhaps the most discussed negative implication. Social media has been criticized for the effects it has on the psychological state of its users. According to Lippy Copeland, ‘Facebook appears to exploit an Achilles heel of human nature’ (Copeland). Social media has created a culture where everything a person does is posted on Facebook. This has become an addiction and a burden for the users. Often users post information that becomes a source of envy or depression for their friends. When users see their friends having fun in their lives, they feel a sense of loneliness or depression. The excitement in the pictures may be fake or just a small part of the friend’s life but it creates a feeling of envy in the user.
Even the user’s friends who post happy and exciting pictures online are not immune to the negative effects of social media. Information that a user posts online is being used to develop a profile of the user. This process also referred as data mining is used to develop aggregate information about the user using his social media information across different websites. This information is then sold to employees, insurance companies, and other interested parties. According to Lori Andrews, ‘our application for credit could be declined not on the basis of your own finances or credit history, but on the basis of aggregate data’ (Andrews). Facebook users, as a result, may be robbed off a certain job because of what they posted online; or their insurance premium may rise when they start showing more interest in dangerous sports.
While data mining effects the career and public life of an individual, cyber bullying is another negative effect with effects on a more personal level. Identity theft and cyber bullying is another negative effect of social media. Fake profiles are created over different social media websites. Through these websites, users try to extract personal and sensitive information about other users. This is often later used to bully the user. Bullying puts emotional pressure on the users and they suffer from stress, depression, anxiety etc. In extreme cases, this often leads to suicide. According to a survey conducted by the Cyber Bullying Research Center, ‘over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.’ (“Cyber Bullying Statistics’). The survey further revealed that approximately half of the respondents had suffered from cyber bullying episode in their lives; of these 10 to 20 percent have experienced cyber bullying one a regular basis
Considering all the above, it has been claimed that social media is not as innocent as it may seem to users. The negative effects of social media are not always apparent to the society because it affects the most personal domain of the user- his private life. The biggest case against social media can be made in the way it deals with privacy of the users. Information posted on social media effects users and their friends in the most disturbing ways. The most exasperating fact is that Facebook and any other social media websites are becoming addictive. Even when users wish to leave Facebook, social and pressure prevents them from doing so. Negative effects of social media include depression, anxiety, stress and even suicide.
Works Cited
Andrews, Lori. "Facebook Is Using You." The New York Times, Sunday Review. 4 Feb. 2012. Web. 4 June 2014.
Copeland, Libby, “The Anti-Social Network”. 26 Jan 2011. Web. 4 June 2014.
"Cyber Bullying Statistics." Cyberbullying.org, 2013. Web. 4 June 2014. Read More
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