Negative effects of social networking
Social networking is electronic usage through which people communicate and share information about oneself. This is done through the making of profiles, or uploading pictures and videos. Social networking usage has become a part of people’s everyday lives. It sounds easy and fun, does it not? However, although we may find this amazing there is always something disconcerting about social media. People have an inherent craving for knowing everything about everyone’s life all the time, and this new social networking fad is feeding that craving.
There are so many different types of social networking websites and the desire to fulfill because of them. Other people say they are on these sites to stay in touch with each other in a free, easy way but are often blinded by the negative affects of social networking. Although social networking comes off to be a fun and free way to communicate with friends, it is really destroying our lives in many ways that we cannot see. Many people argue that there is nothing wrong with social networking but they are only blinded by all the bad that secretly makes its way into their lives.
Negative effects of social networking Essay Example
Allison Fine is the co-author of the bestselling novel The Networked Nonprofit, and author of the award-winning novel Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age. Allison Fine, a mother of three boys, does not particularly enjoy her children being stuck to a computer screen but she does see some benefits in it. She claims that they can learn what other people have to say about issues through websites that one can post statuses and honor what they say through this. They can communicate quickly at a young age to ask each other such things about homework assignments and share links for other homework help.
Also she believes they can express themselves on Tumblr and Pinterest, both websites that you simply search and post pictures and videos on. Another factor that she enjoys is using electronic devices as a privilege for her children. When one of her sons does something that she does not approve of she can take a device away and they will be punished. Some people are still fighting to find the good, even through all the horrors of social networking (Fine).
An article, “Is Social Media a Bad Thing? ” written by comedian David Schneider discusses social networking can be a good and a bad thing to happen to this world and how it has affected his life. He claims he is addicted and cannot go minutes without checking up on the internet to updates in his social networks. He believes that Twitter is specifically difficult because being a comedian; he says he always feels the need to tweet something funny. Twitter makes him feel more witty whereas in real life it takes him about fifteen minutes to think of a witty response face-to-face. David feels as if he is not his full self because of these actions of always being on his phone, and he sees it in other people as well.
After this, David switches his opinion by saying maybe he is being too hard on himself. He gives a story of how he was with his friends and their two-year-old daughter and their daughter handled an iPad very well and eventually started using swiping motions, that are used on an iPad, on other objects. She was trying to do this on a television and a table until her mother told her that she could not do that. This is bad because children are not learning the motor skills they are supposed to.
For example, instead of looking around to pick up a calculator and press the buttons the children will use a touch screen calculator, which is typically near them. Actions like these are ones that are making the real world fade away. The author soon says maybe she is doing this because she prefers the virtual world over the real world, and maybe someday it will be socially acceptable for everyone to say that. Children will not be able to get a piece of what the real world is they will only know what is in front of their face on the computer.
David Schneider is a user of this social networking world and sharing his experience and thoughts about it. This being said, it is more relatable to read his article as opposed to an adult researcher who may have analyzed the effects of social networking and the brain. The content of this is an opinion paper; he is not biased towards either side, both sides are very balanced. The purpose and point of view of this is David stating his observations of the subject, nothing too opinionated. He is giving the pros and cons of the social networking world. There is a picture at the top of the article, of a man tweeting on a break during a festival.
This is showing that everyone is attached to this fad and can not just live in the moment, but have to be seeing what others are doing all the time (Scheinder). Another article, “Social networking, powerful tool to promote good health” is written by Ethan A. Huff, is a freelance writer and health enthusiast who loves exploring the vast world of natural foods and health. The content of the article is about how social networking is beneficial for a one’s health. The author is stating his opinion on why he thinks social networking is good for your health. He has a lot of information to back up his point.
The author starts off this article by saying how when a person is around other people for extended periods of time their habits rub off on one another. This can improve habits such as healthier eating, better sleeping habits, and exercising. Scientists are realizing that social networking has become so popular and this is a good way to work on public health. One of their ideas is making social support groups such as ones to eat healthier in. The groups have group “leaders” who tell others custom health messages. Social networking comes in for getting this across.
They can send messages instantaneously and constantly through this so they are always getting the message. For example, if someone is on a diet, in their social circle, someone else can tell them what is wrong and what is right to eat. These negative effects of social media harm everyone, everyday, without them even noticing. They vary from a range of different negative affects; some of them consist of hurting self-esteem, ruining one’s ability to think independently, making one hungry, false sense of connection, cyber-bullying, decreased productivity, privacy, and so much more!
All of these effects happen to everyone, no matter who you are, if spending extended periods of time on social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Myspace. These effects are subconscious; one does not know they are happening to us when they are and because of this, social networking can be very harmful. But we have to ask ourselves “Why do we continue to use them? ” People like to use social networking because of the exact reasons that harm them (Damon). Facebook and Myspace, online profiles about oneself, hold all these issues.
People can upload pictures, videos, and write statuses about anything they want. Often users make public certain parts of their lives that others may not see. For example, posting pictures of something you may not be doing around others, writing how you feel in a status, and/or “liking”/commenting on others photos. When posting pictures doing something others may not see you do normally, such as laughing with friends, or dressing up, people get to see the real you or what you want them to think. The negative effects to this is that if nobody “likes”/comments you begin to feel more dejected and alone (Gannon).
Writing a Facebook or Myspace status is almost a cry for help to some; they are trying to express their thoughts that they can not say in person and the negative side to this is the same as the one before, feeling like nobody cares if they do not acknowledge it. The last point is “liking”/commenting on others photos. This can be a big deal, it is the root of all these negative affects mentioned in the last two points. Facebook users post pictures, videos, statuses etc. so that people will notice them but when they do not “like”/comment they believe they are not being noticed.
This makes them feel worse than they did before they posted anything (Huff). Social Networking also impairs one’s ability to think independently. It does this by seeing what everyone else is doing and making one not want to feel neglected. All the people you see online have a major impact on decision-making. It is hard to have your own opinion when you have so many friends on these social networking websites and a majority of them are all posting about the same opinion. An example of this is when people are all posting about the presidential election and a lot of people you are friends with on Facbeook have the same opinion.
They are all saying how great president Obama is and how he should stay president, you are only reading these and not doing your own research about the topic, therefore you think they are correct. Another reason why it is hard to think independently is because you may be afraid of what others will say. If a majority of your friends online all like president Obama, it is hard to write about not liking him due to fear of fighting. Once this fight breaks out you will be criticized for your own opinion and naturally this decreases one’s self-confidence, making them not want to say any of their own opinions in fear of being made fun of.
Another social networking website, Pinterest, has a similar effect of not thinking independently. This website is comprised of posting pictures and organizing them into different folders called boards. One can comment and “like” others pictures on this site. An example of feeling a lack of independent thinking on this website is when looking up pictures of clothes. When one looks up pictures of “outfits for fall” pictures will show up of all sorts of apparel. This impairs one’s ability to think independently because when one sees all these pictures they want to wear the same things in which that person is wearing.
This is a problem because it is affecting so many young people, like teenagers, thought processes. They are influenced by others and have difficulty creating themselves and their own personalities. This can affect how teens make bigger decisions, such as choosing between jobs. They will wait until the last minute and just pick what pays more or looks better, not what they love. Social Networking cannot only affect one’s privacy and self-esteem but also has long-term effects like decision-making skills. A long-term negative effect of social networking is a false sense of connection.
On websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Myspace and Pinterest people can communicate via comments. On Myspace and Facebook, there are even instant and private messages you can send one another. This is convenient and fast but again more negative than positive. Some negative effects of this are not having face-to-face contact, which is very important in building relationships. Seeing someone face-to-face is much different than in a picture on ones phone. When one is with another in person one can see their emotions and how they really feel, where as if one just sees a picture of the other they could be lying about how they feel.
An example of this would be asking somebody on a date over Facebook messaging, one cannot really tell if they want to say “no” or “yes” because you cannot see him/her. If they said yes for all you know they could be lying and too afraid to say no and now you are both in a big mess. Or if one was in a fight over tweets on Twitter, one of the people can stop when they want and nothing is resolved. There is a lack of closure and even personal connection with the other person.
A new Internet craze called “catfishing” is when one makes a fake profile of themselves on social networking sites, typically by stealing others information or over exaggerating their own. Once they have done this, the catfisher adds, follows, and talks to people of interest. When they find someone they like they begin to talk to them as if they were interested and continue this for months or even years. The receiver of all of this usually believes this is the person of their dreams and will do anything to meet them but the catfisher does the opposite.
The man who coined the term “catfishing”, Yaniv Schulman, was so affected by catfishing he made a documentary and television show about it. This is very much so an example of a false sense of connection because clearly they did not know each other. All they know about each other is what they see online or what they tell each other over the Internet, which can easily be a lie. In the documentary Catfish Yaniv Schulman, or Nev, is the victim. Nev started talking to this young girl online who was painting pictures he uploaded and supposably selling them. Once he started talking to this girl she introduced Nev to the rest of her family via Facebook.
One of the young girls family members stuck out the most to Nev; this was her “sister” Megan. From the pictures online Megan was a young woman around his age who had a lot of good characteristics going for her. She could dance, sing, and on top of it all she was a beautiful model, or so he thought. Their relationship grew to texting each other all day, messaging online, Nev sending mail, and even some calls were made. Signs were beginning to show that Megan was lying about some parts of her life thus Nev and his brother, Ariel, along with their friend, Henry, started to investigate.
After some short investigation they came to the conclusion that Megan and some people in her family were lying about many parts of their lives. A business trip took these boys closer to Megan and her Facebook family. They had the idea to drive two days up to Michigan, where the family lived, to see them and did so. Once they arrived they found out that the entire Facebook family was not how it appeared online, everyone was completely different. Megan’s mother was taking care of the boys the entire trip and the boys came to a realization that the mother was the leader of all these Facebook pages and was in fact “Megan”.
Once they confronted her about it she admitted to doing all of this by stealing information and pictures from family friends and even just random people she did not know. In conclusion a sixty-year-old, married, woman was in love with a twenty six year old, single, boy. She was so obsessed with this boy that she kept this relationship going for months and would go to extremes such as sexting even though she had a husband. The documentary Catfish was based off of the relationship between Nev and Megan.
The relationship between the two frightened Nev’s brother and friend and since all three of them are professional filmers Ariel and Henry decided to make a documentary about Yaniv and Megan’s relationship. In doing this they found out so much more about Megan and the dangers of the social networking world. They all found out the hard way that people can steal others information and lie about their entire life just through social networking sites such as Facebook. Not only is this an invasion of privacy on the people whose information is being stolen but also it is dangerous for others and harmful to their emotions (Catfish).
Sam Blum is an experienced author who is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz. He has written for Time Out Los Angeles, LAist, The Guardian and reported/blogged for Southern California Public Radio. Sam Blum wrote an article about the popularity of this television show and documentary. Everyone is so interested in Catfish but Blum wonders why the television show is so popular, Schulman and Joseph are almost making fun of Americans and their ways of dating. These ridicules can be found in other MTV shows such as Next, The X-Factor, Room-Raiders, and Exposed.
Still, Catfish is so popular that Blum has claimed: But despite Cathfish’s timeliness and high-ratings, viewers should be less thrilled with the show’s blatant manipulation of human gullibility and MTV’s tired formula of repetitively exploiting young people to dominate the airwaves . . . Unsurprisingly, the Catfish brand, which was a documentary before it was a TV show, has gained so much traction that Schulman and co-creator Max Joseph say they’ve submitted a petition to Merriam-Webster to formally induct “catfish” into the English language dictionary.
This show became so popular over the past year because it is bringing out the truth. The audience is scared about what is happening with others using, what we think is safe, social networking. They want to watch this television show so they can be aware of these dangerous and know how to avoid them (Blum). Even though catfishing seems like a major invasion of privacy on the victims that are getting information stolen from their lives, there are other social networking sites that are even worse, such as Twitter.
Twitter is the nosiest of all of these websites. This social networking site is based off of updating statuses called “tweets” as often as one desires. Similar to Facebook and Myspace with their updating of statuses, people are often looking for attention and when they do not get it they do one of two things, either write more in the hopes to get attention or get upset. Twitter is common among celebrities to get publicity and is used by the average person for the exact reasons. Although this website seems so simple it hold many problems within.
This website has been analyzed so in depth to the degree of the psychological effects behind it. There is one writer of a blog, Beirut, a graduate from the Lebanese American University with a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in Marketing followed by an MBA. She is currently an active writer, poet and blogger. She blogged a specific article “Why Do People REALLY Tweet? The Psychology Behind Tweeting! ” about her psychology study of Twitter. Beirut goes all the way back to research famous psychologists, such as Abraham Maslow and Freud’s, theories to compile her own theory.
She mentions Freud because like every scientist there is an explanation behind everything. Freud did this to the point where he analyzed dreams, actions, and thoughts which she is about to do. Beirut relates Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Twitter (see figure 1). Self-actualization, esteem, love/belonging, safety, and physiological are the needs of this Hierarchy and she believes some of these are being satisfied through Twitter. Since it is impossible for safety, and physiological needs to be satisfied through Twitter; love, belonging, esteem and finally self-actualization are instead.
By updating tweets one can meet new people from different backgrounds and locations, establish connections with others, grow friendships, build relationships and maybe even find love. Also, it can build on self-confidence through interacting with other Twitter users who continuously praise your tweets, personality, knowledge and looks. Becoming too close to a person you have never met is not always good though. When meeting people you do not know who they actually are and this can be dangerous just as it was in Catfish the movie. Earn respect from your Twitter peers by providing them with valuable content, tips and links.
Develop and spread your creativity in an open and receptive Twitter atmosphere. Win products, through sweepstakes and promotions, that have the ability to make you feel “important” and “unique” such as the Macbook Pro. Feel with others on a deeper level through spreading the news about humanitarian causes, environmental problems, economical issues or political debates, and eventually making a difference. Achieve fame through proposing ideas that will become trending topics or uncovering site hacks and problems. Again all of these can become quite harmful quickly.
Becoming famous online can cause one to spend too much time online and trying to maintain one’s fame. Also, once one is Twitter famous they need to maintain a certain degree of fame and not do anything out of the norm so nobody will judge them, even is that is who they really are. My last point is when one enters a sweepstake to win a prize, if they do not win they will become upset and wonder what is wrong and why they did not win (Beirut). (Maslows Hierarchy of Needs) Another strange negative effects of Social Networking is becoming hungry. This effect is done mainly through a network called Instagram.
Instagram is a social networking site where one can upload pictures for followers to see and comment/like on them. This has the same negative affects as Facebook and Myspace where it makes one feel lonely through posting of pictures and lack of commenting or liking. Pictures that are most often uploaded are pictures of food; this is where others become hungry. Being hungry is not necessarily a bad thing at all, it’s only natural, but when one becomes hungry and was not before they eat when their body does not want them to, thus gaining weight. So social networking is not only hurting us mentally but also physically (Damon).
Cyber bullying has become a huge deal with the social networking world especially in teens. Teenagers are too cowardly to say what they want to say in person and decide to do it over the internet, not letting the recipient get a chance to stand up for themselves. This has gone to so many extremes causing suicide to many teens around the world. Some children are bullied at school and it continues at home due to the power of social networking. A situation happened liked this in South Hadley, Massachusetts and was in the news every week for almost a year after occurring.
On January 14, 2010 a freshman foreign exchange student from Ireland hanged herself with a scarf in her South Hadley home. Not knowing anybody at all coming into the country she became involved with an upper classmen boy and there was a group of upper classmen girls that did not like this. They bullied her constantly during school, after school, and at home through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Formspring, which is a social networking website where one posts question and anybody online can answer anonymously saying whatever they please.
She was called names on these sites, such as “whore” and “Irish whore”, where everybody can see. This did not end after she died, the bullies still kept calling her names and saying things like “She deserved it” on these websites and these sites had to be deleted immediately. This story was number one talked about in 2010 and was even on the cover of People Magazine, that is how bad the issue of cyber bullying is. Suicide is the number three cause of death in America and kids from age ten to twenty four are killing themselves due to bullying and cyber bullying (Constantine).
The affect that social networking has on college students, in particular, is shocking. College students are becoming significantly less productive by great numbers. The article Social Media use may Lead to Poor Grades is a study about how college women show lower GPA’s due to social networking devices. It is proven that women who spend more time reading magazines, watching television and using social networking showed lower academic performance. This study was done through researchers who tracked freshman women college students at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
They tracked their usage of eleven different social media devices including; television, movies, music, the Internet and video games over the course of an academic year, and found that they spent almost twelve hours a day using social media. There was a correlation between the students’ grades dropping and their usage of all of these devices. The more they used these devices the lower their grades dropped. Riley Davis is a staff writer for the website and has written many similar articles in the past (Davis). Mark Zuckerberg is the creator of the social networking website Facebook.
He started this website in 2005 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Zuckerberg did not think Facebook would ever become this popular. In an interview in 2005 an uncertain Zuckerberg discusses why he does not want his Facebook of 2005, exclusively for college students, to turn into a global phenomenon like it is today. According to Zuckerberg: There doesn’t necessarily have to be more. You know? ‘I mean, like, a lot of people are focused on taking over the world, or doing, like, the biggest thing — getting the most users.
And, I mean, I think, like, part of making a difference and doing something cool is focusing intensely. ‘There is a level of service that we could provide when we were just at Harvard that we can’t provide for all of the colleges, and there’s a level of service we can provide when we’re a college network that we wouldn’t be able to provide if we went to other types of things. ‘So I mean, like, I really just want see everyone focus on college and create a really cool college directory that is really relevant for students.
Facebook now has more than seven hundred fifty million members, offices in fifteen countries and a valuation topping fifty billion dollars. He does not know why this all blew up out of the college scene but he is making a lot of money either way (Davis). In today’s world, social networking comes off to be these fun and free online websites where one can stay in touch with others. This is a place where one can upload pictures, videos, and message one another from the comfort of their electronic devices. Yet, these negative effects clearly are becoming more serious, especially the issue of cyber bullying and invasion of one’s privacy.
There are many cases in this world where children are not only being bullied at school but this action being continued to the Internet. With quick access to social networking sites children can do this almost how much and wherever they want. Cyber Bullying has escalated to the point where young people are committing suicide, as in the case of Phoebe Prince in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Another negative effect of social networking is lack of privacy. People are putting up pictures online that anybody can see, save, print, and use for whatever they want.
There is nothing regulating others from doing so. Anybody can steal ones photos and use them as their own online without the victim ever figuring out. Also, strangers can see where you go to school, what town you live in, your phone number, and so much more just because of these sites. The negative effects do not end there. Some others effects include, loss of self-esteem, ruining one’s ability to think independently, making one hungry, false sense of connection, and decreased productivity. Social Networking makes people feel temporarily better but in reality they are worse for your health.
It may seem like a quick easy way to stay in touch with friends and family but it has way more negative affects than positive. Social Networking’s intentions were good, but the side effects were more negative. Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for Facebook was to make the world of college students more open and connected, with ambition to get everyone in the world online. He loves the Internet and thinks it is a better place but is also suffused with problems. The more social networking websites we create the more problems we create, so it is smart just to stay off of them.