The modern world is characterized by technological advances in all aspects such as management, communication, and general lifestyle. These changes have seen the introduction of new and easy ways of doing things such as in business and education. One of the most influential changes that have been introduced in the twenty-first century is the use of social media. This is defined as a social networking platform where people across the globe interact. Among the examples of social media including Facebook and Twitter which are estimated to be used by more than 50 percent of the population of the world. While social media is one of the avenues that has facilitated easy communication, its importance and benefits to the society has been an issues of discussion. The supporters of social media believe that it is the most significant aspect of technological revolution that make people communicate and interact irrespective of location and distant. However, the opponents think that using social media has specific adverse effects such as cyberbullying, compromise of education, and poor social skills. Although social media has made remarkable steps as far as social interaction is concerned, it has caused several destructions which are not limited to crime, cyberbullying, and a false sense of connection hence should be regulated.
One of the adverse effects of social media is that it causes a false sense of connection. Social media has substituted real-life interactions with virtual communication thereby creating a false sense of connection. Real relationships are built when people interact physically. Many individuals today are not willing to move out of their homes to be with their friends. One of the probable justification for doing so is that they are trying to avoid the stress that is usually associated with traveling, especially over long distances (Brook). In addition, individuals who choose to meet virtually say that it is quick. From that point, these reasons weigh less when compared to the false connection created (North). Virtual interaction has promoted casual relationships instead of meaningful affairs. This explains why many marriages today do not last. Research shows that couples that meet online are more likely to divorce. The main reason given by this research is that individuals who meet online take their relationship for granted. On the contrary, the study explains that individuals who meet their partners physically take their afterward relationship with much concern. The false connections, in this case, make individuals live in the imaginary world of their own. This kind of life is not different to drug users who hallucinate.
Secondly, social media is one of the sources that promote decreased productivity among individuals, especially teenagers. People who spend more time on social media accomplish fewer goals when compared to those who spend less time on such sites (North). It is for this reason that most business organizations have decided to come up with rules for poor performance due to social media usage. Specifically, it is impossible to log into social sites using some company's computers and internet. A study carried by Brook reveals that about 90 percent of workers aged between 22 and 50 years are in social media such as Facebook. The same survey discloses that about 70 of these individuals log into the accounts more than three times in a day. Therefore, a lot of time is wasted which could have been used to perform other useful activities within the organization. On the same note, it lessens creativity. While workers should be thinking of creative things that would assist them both personally and professionally, they take most of their considerable time following funny but useless posts on Facebook or Twitter. Time wastage increases when the comments being posted are funny.
Social media also leads to poor sleep quality. The poor quality of sleep is associated with duration of sleep by the users and the flashlights as a result of smartphones. Research shows that individuals who use such electronics as smartphones and laptops to access social network sites are more likely to have a low quality sleep (Herrman). This is as a result of continuous lights that flash in the eyes of the users. Health experts inform individuals to stay away from screens at least two hours before sleeping. According to them, this will allow the brain to relax after a tiresome day. What frequently happens is that whenever an individual uses social media, his or her mind is alert all the time. It will not rest until usage is stopped (Brook). Poor sleep quality is also because addicted social media users sleep less than 8 hours in a day. It is better for teenagers today to chat with their friends up to late hours than sleep early and has quality sleep. Surprisingly, most of them get into social media platforms immediately they wake up in the morning. According to recent researches, individuals who do not get quality sleep are more likely to be stressed when compared to those who get quality sleep. The quality of sleep is in most cases determined by the duration of sleep. Turkle also says that constant strain without rest is likely to develop other diseases such as a headache and disorders such as insomnia in future.
Cyberbullying is one of the negatives effects of social media in the society and has been ranked as one the most dangerous threat that internet has brought to the current generation. Cyberbullying occurs when people are harassed through such ways as making sexual remarks or issuing warnings. For example, when a lady has posted her image on social media people will immediately start to make comments on the image. While there are individuals who will make positive comments, some will begin to abuse or make defamatory remarks that taint the image of the user. According to Herrman, this is harassment and considered a virtual bullying or cyberbullying. The same argument applies to social media users who decide to issue threats to others for holding different views on such sensitive topics as politics and religion Turkle. Cyberbullying can also occur when an individual reveals personal information of victim or posts hates speech that aims a particular group. Just last month, for instance, a friend of mine posted a comment on social media asking another fellow if his new boyfriend had accepted to adopt the child that was born out of wedlock. The annoyance occurred because there are specific pieces of information about individuals which should be kept in secret and out of the public vicinity. In this case, the victim feels embarrassed. Such kind of malicious details can only be spread using social media.
Infringement of Privacy Rights is another adverse effect. Social media users have to provide their personal information before they can be allowed to use it. In most cases, users provide accurate information to the platforms. This is dangerous to the privacy of the customer because online cybercriminals can access it. For example, it is easier to know the email of an individual who is on Facebook. All one need to employ is to go to his profile and view his or her contact information. Hackers can use such information as this to access the bank account of users. Infringement of privacy also happens when friends discuss the problems with their colleague online. According to the study carried by Herrman, information provided to social media has endangered lives of very many individuals. For example, conmen have used information of individuals on social media to trap and reap from them big money pretending that they members of the banks these people are operating with. The information provided also expose people's identity where they live, their marital and social status which should remain private to some extent.
Social media is costly in several ways which include the increased appetite for buying items online and money spent on downloading items. This propagates impulse buying which interferes with daily lives. The cost of using social media is determined by the duration in which an individual spends on it. What this means is that people who spend more time on social media are more likely to use more money. Research conducted by North has come to find out that people who spend much of their money on social media are more likely to forgo such basic human needs as food but buy luxurious items that are not useful to them. Also, the cost of using social media is determined by the number of items that an individual download. People who obtain more things end up spending a lot of money on the internet. Increased personal expenses could also be as a result of impulsive buying of online items Turkle. This is because many business organizations have turned into online platforms to advertise their goods and services. Business organizations use modern technology to modify images of their products so that they can be more appealing to social media users. It is for such reasons that many of the social media users fall victim to this particular trap. Individuals who are attracted to many goods and services end up spending more.
Social media has created a platform to spread malicious information, hate speech, and insults. According to the study carried by Turkle, most countries including the United States of America have not put too many restrictions on what should be written on such sites. On the same note, with the freedom of speech and right to expressions which is preached by almost every nation, individuals have had an opportunity to write what they want and when they need to write it. This has made certain individuals pen false stories that have sparked public outrage. For example, false information and post on Facebook in Burundi three years ago that one particular community was being killed facilitated ethnic war in the region. On the other hand, several messages and death obituaries have been written about people who have not died. For example, Sylvester Stallone, the film actor has been posted to be dead more than two times. North adds that social media has power and speed to circulate information hence such information whether true or a lie will reach millions of people within few seconds. While it is a source of passing information, it has been a platform for spreading rumours and sending defamatory information about people.
Although it has several side effects as mentioned above, it is evidenced that social media has contributed positively to the society. Business has also been introduced to a difference. The use of television commercials has since become a dormant way to use by most companies. This is attributed to the costs and policies involved. Social media networks provide a secure channel to perform this that is incredibly cheap while reaching out to many people. Most homesteads will rarely watch TV advertisements at home. It is during this time that they do other activities. Facebook, on the other hand, is just a click away. Though most people do not realize, we are the actual marketers to most companies. Once an advertisement has been created and shared online, all we have to do is like, share and comment. Within few minutes, the information has gone viral reaching out to millions of people. Facebook has also influenced the way we access content. The dynamics in obtaining information has seen the world move from an age where news was only accessible and shared selectively while paying attention to social image. This has completely changed with everyone being an actual news anchor and broadcaster. This has included politics, sports, and funny continent. Everyone can stream whatever is going on millions of miles away. Of importance to note is that there is no filtering of information which exposes people especially the young generation to any content despite some being beyond their age. Access t...
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