Harmful Sides of Social Media

  Social media has been an increasingly popular avenue for people to stay connected during this global pandemic. Anywhere from Facebook to Instagram, we are on it more than ever before. However this might be developing a routine that could be potentially harmful in the long run. In this blog I will go over a few reasons that I personally believe social could be harmful to society.

  Social media is becoming more and more a part of your everyday routine. So much so that when you hear about people who are completely off social media, you might think they are crazy for not having it. One of the first reasons why I think that social media is bad for modern day society, is because the loss of face-to-face communication skills is tremendous. People are becoming less confident with in-person conversations and would rather have serious discussions over text or email.  

  Another area where this is a concern is with kids. Many believe that the activities that kid are doing online while on these social networking sites are not productive, and simply put, a waste of valuable time. A study done by the National School Board Association claims that kids spend an average of 9 hours a week on social networking sites. This time could be used studying, working on actual communication skills, and yes, even working. Young teens now find it harder to communicate with adults, and because of this they could have trouble with interviews and future career demands.

  Another reason why social media is bad for modern society, is because not everyone has good intentions. Many teens do not realize that what is posted online is written in ink, not pencil. Even if they try to delete the unwanted content, some hackers are able to rework the code, and gain access to that unwanted material. These people could be sex offenders, identity thieves, and cyber bullies. According to an article reviewing the pros and cons of social media, in 2009, Myspace identified 90,000 registered sex offenders using their site, while Facebook refused to reveal how many active users of their own site were. This is clearly dangerous, and I am almost certain that many young kids using this site have no knowledge of these stats. Roughly 40% of people using Facebook are between the ages of 13-18. Since they are young, this leaves many of them susceptible to the threats many offenders provide.

  A study was done by the University of Maryland which asked 200 of their students to not access a social networking site for only ONE day. When asked how they felt during the brief disconnection, students’ descriptions of frantic cravings, anxiety and jitters mirrored those typical of people going through withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a serious issue, even if it is to something as simple (or even at times helpful) as an online site. Addiction can effect things such as friendships, health issues, and unnecessary anxiety which will affect our daily life.

  If ignored, I think our dependence on social media, even in times like we are in today, could be more harmful than we realize. I know I have certainly checked and challenged myself to limit my time on all social media platforms.

 

-Zach White

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