The use of social networks is very influential in society and has both negative and positive impacts on the participants. Social networks are a rich platform where people get the opportunity to connect with those away from them, by sharing informative content, interesting content, and fun. Besides, social networks also provide businesses with an avenue to engage with their customers, however, besides the positive contributions that online social platforms have, the number of negative impacts that these online social platforms have surpassed the positive ones. There is a need to avoid extremism in how the issue is approached, and look at it with a more open mind. The lives of online social sites participants have been hurt in one way or another (O’Keeffe et al., 801).
Furthermore, there is also a need to assess the positive side since it is through these online sites that individuals get to interact, while others also earn a living from them. Nevertheless, people need to remain vigilant while using the platforms since it could lead to a compromise on information privacy and other significant consequences. Online social networks such as Facebook have caused more harm than good on the lives of the participants.
According to Anderson et al., where they discussed the destructive nature of social sites, online social networks are more lethal than a person may think they are. One such threat that the use of online social networks poses to their participants is the risk of governments mining individuals’ data. Through social networks, governments can easily get access to private information belonging the citizens, and such information is normally used without the consent of the individuals in manipulating the actions and behaviours of the individuals (Anderson et al., 1). Data mining by the government can be used for political brainwashing, which is dangerous and can also be used for advertisement. Aside from the issue of privacy, there are also issues about the use of computational science to profile others. For example, there is a case where individuals used computational social data to create a profile of a person on Facebook. In the end, this caused damages to both the parties (O’Keeffe et al., 801).
Depression and Anxiety Among Users
Online social networks like Facebook also leads to depression and anxiety among users. Most social media users spend a lot of time browsing their sites, and this causes an adverse effect on their moods. According to Anderson et al., chronic users of online social sites are more likely to report poor mental health, with symptoms of anxiety and depression (13). The reason behind such anxieties and depressions are in black and white, and anyone can see them. For instance, when one uses social media, they are likely to bump onto the well-selected parts of lives of other individuals, which when they compare with their awful lives, they are likely to get anxious. Comparing yourself to others is one of the major causes of anxiety among people, and this has only been made easier by online social networks (O’Keeffe et al., 801).
Social sites are harmful and have the potential to cost an individual their relationships and jobs. According to Fotis et al., many people have lost their jobs, lost in interviews, and lost their relationships due to their online social lives (72). Many organizations today use data from an individual’s social sites in determining the employability of a candidate. Social media users need to re-examine how they use such sites since their actions could easily get tracked and can destroy their future. There is a strong link between the use of social media and anxiety, envy, narcissism, depression, and decreased social skills (Fotis et al., 71).
The narratives that people share on social media are all celebratory and positive, which to some, it means that everyone they know is in a good relationship, living their dream life, and taking 5-star vacations. By this, we tend to get people’s highlight reels then comparing ourselves to them. Naturally, this causes a reaction to what we are watching. It has a negative impact on our self-esteem, relationships, and also makes it easy to deceive others (Fotis et al., 72). The use of social media platforms also has negative impacts on relationships as it leads to distancing, infidelity, and addiction. Besides, the depression caused by too much use of social media will affect the relationship an individual has with those around them (Fotis et al., 72).
Despite the negative consequences that online social networks pause to their users, there are points raised by others to suggest that online social platforms are good for the lives of participants. One of the reasons given by such debaters is that online social platforms provide a new way of networking (O’Keeffe et al., 804). Networking is a key aspect in the current globalized world. With online platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, people can easily connect to others across the world from the comfort of their homes (O’Keeffe et al., 804).
The online social platforms are also argued to be an effective outlet for creativity, by people posting their shot on Instagram, sharing something you have created, or writing poetry on Tumblr. Lastly, social media platforms also present an advantage to the corporate world as they are an important component of the business strategy. Social media skills affect the way whole organizations grow and run and are no longer considered a niche.
In conclusion, online social networks such as Facebook have caused more harm than good on the lives of the participants. People who are active in social media platforms need to be very cautious about how they use the platforms since the things they post could work against them in the future. As many people put it, the internet never forgets, and this is a cause of alarm to remain cautious while using the online social platforms. One such threat that the use of online social networks poses to their participants is the risk of governments mining individuals’ data. Online social networks like Facebook also leads to depression and anxiety among users.
Most social media users spend a lot of time browsing their sites, and this causes an adverse effect on their moods. Social sites are harmful and have the potential to cost an individual their relationships and jobs. Many people have lost their jobs, lost in interviews, and lost their relationships due to their online social lives. However, there are also arguments on the positive impacts of these online social platforms. Such impacts include being an avenue for networking, an outlet for creativity, and also presenting an advantage to the corporate world through marketing.
Anderson, Monica, and Jingjing Jiang. "Teens, social media & technology 2018." Pew Research Center 31 (2018): 2018. http://publicservicesalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Teens-Social-Media-Technology-2018-PEW.pdf
John N., Dimitrios Buhalis, and Nicos Rossides. Social media use and impact during the holiday travel planning process. Springer-Verlag, 2012. www.eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/19262/1/Fotis_et_al_2012_-_Social_media_use_and_impact_during_the_holiday_travel_planning_process.pdf
O'Keeffe, Gwenn Schurgin, and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson. "The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families." Pediatrics 127.4 (2011): 800-804. www.cooperativa.cl/noticias/site/artic/20110329/asocfile/20110329173752/reporte_facebook.PDF
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