Disadvantages of Social Media





Disadvantages of Social Media

Many people with digital devices today use some form of social media. Social media includes any applications that enable people to communicate and interact in different ways such as chatting, messaging, and video. Social media includes applications such as Facebook, twitter, youtube, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and reddit among others. Other than communication, social media has become a platform to meet new friends, express ones interests and opinions, inform other people of any current events, and entertain. Many people access their different social media sites using their smartphones. This means that they can access the media at any place and at any time. Therefore, they tend to spend a lot of time reading tweets and retweeting them, uploading photos, giving their feedback, watching and posting videos, and writing and responding to chats. Social media has several disadvantages, which can have negative effects on people’s social, physical, and emotional wellbeing

Social media is a source of destruction and it makes one to lose concentration. People choose to use social media when they should be doing other things. Some people look at their phones constantly when they are social media sites. This can be dangerous when on the streets because the user might be hit by a vehicle when crossing the road. Some people are distracted on the road because they use social media even when they are driving. This can be dangerous because of the possibility of causing road accidents. Some people use social media while in class they do not concentrate on their studies. This can affect students’ performance badly. They can end up failing their exams because they do not dedicate a lot of time to their studies. In one study, researchers found out that students spend about half a day using social media. The results from the study indicated that the use of social media could affect the students’ academic performance because it can lower their grades. In addition, users tend to participate less in class, do not complete their homework, have low confidence, and they tend to miss class (Suciu).

Social media can also affect students’ grades because of the effect it has on correct grammar usage. Social media destroys people’s writing skills. People do not use proper language when communicating using the social media. They want to save the time spent chatting and they want to send their responses and feedbacks as soon as possible. They have developed internet slang and shortcut language, which enables them to shorten the words they use when communicating with each other. Using the shortened words constantly will influence a person’s writing skills. This can have bad consequences on the person’s academic life as well as professional development. Such a person will not know how to communicate formally.

People choose to spend their time on their phones instead of concentrating in their studies

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Another disadvantage of social media is that it has had a negative effect on relationships. Although many people use social media to communicate, they have minimized the time that they spend together physically. This has increased the amount of isolation. People can feel alone while in a crowd because everyone around them is using social media. Friendships formed through the social sites lack the depth and intimacy of true friendships. Other people choose to communicate using common sites instead of talking even though they may be seated next to each other. Because of this, people have lost their socialization skills and they no longer know how to interact with each other well. This can be bad especially in a marriage. If one partner decides to spend time browsing the phone instead of communicating to the other, then there will be a breakdown in communication. This will end up destroying the relationship between the two of them. Moreover, people no longer take the time to greet each other when they meet at some point. Social media has made people insensitive. A person would rather spend most of his time on the phone instead of finding out how his neighbor is doing. People have become less caring to those near them because they are more distracted by their network connections (Foer).

Social media can have a bad effect on relationships as it reduces the level of physical interaction

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The use of social media has enhanced the rate at which bullying occur. Cyber bullying is the action of communicating false, derogatory, embarrassing, and humiliating information about someone using digital media. It has become a real problem today and it has become easier because of social media. Since it is easy to find a person on the different social media sites, bullies can target any individual. If one does not know how to use technology well, he will end up being bullied since he will not know how to block unwanted people from accessing him. Cyber bullying is a risk to children and teenagers who use social media. It has devastating psychosocial problems. Victims develop anxiety and depression. Some of them become isolated and others commit suicide because of what they experience (O’Keeffe and Pearson 801)

Many people have been victims of social media hacks and others have had strangers use their information illegally. Posting personal pictures and videos puts one at risk because it can damage the person’s reputation. This is a serious concern especially today when a person can alter another person’s image through technologies such as photoshop. Such photos can be used in questionable ways such as the promotion of pornographic materials. This becomes a real possibility when one is using social media. People like sharing their experiences and showing their friends the images they have without thinking twice about the consequences of doing so. In addition, social media makes identity theft much easier. People write their profiles on the different sites they use. They include personal information such as their date of birth, place of work, the school they attend, or where they live. Hackers use such information to facilitate identity theft. It is easy for them to do so since they have all the personal information they need.

The use of social media puts the users at risk of depression. This is especially the case with young people who are seeking for attention and acceptance among their peers. Teenagers desire to have a sense of belonging, hence their desire to interact using all means possible. They will spend a lot of time on social networking sites looking for love and acceptance. Those who are not accepted in the virtual world begin developing classic signs of depression and they may begin becoming isolated. In addition, they are more likely to visit sites that may make them feel welcome without considering the nature and intent of the users in those sites. Some of these sites may be dangerous and they may propose behaviors such as drug use, violence, and unhealthy sexual behavior (O’Keeffe and Pearson 802).

            Despite the negative effect that social media has on relationships, some people think that the use of social media actually benefits them. In a survey targeting young people, the participants noted that social media made them feel popular. They said that the use of the sites was important in enabling them to know more about their school friends and in forming new friendships. Some of them noted that they had become more sympathetic because of using social media. However, they also reported fatigue from the use of social media (Kang).

            Social media has its advantages, but it is important to consider the disadvantages as well. The negative consequences noted are serious because of their effect on people’s physical and emotional health, relationships, and academic life. In addition, the frequent distractions that occur when a person is using social media are worth considering because they can endanger the user’s life. It is important for parents to teach their children and teenagers the correct way of using social media so that they can avoid unauthorized people from getting their information and reduce the occurrence of cyber bullying. People need to limit the time they spend on social sites so that they are able to balance their lives well. In addition, there is a need for people to increase their physical interactions so that they can deepen the relationships they have formed on the social media sites. Considering how prevalent social media has become in today’s world, it would be important for learning institutions to consider equipping students with the skills they need to use social media.

Works Cited:

Foer, Jonathan S. “How not to be Alone.” The New York Times. 8 June 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2014

Kang, Cecilia. “Teens in Survey Paint Positive Picture of Effect of Social Media in Their Lives.” The Washington Post. 26 June 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2014

O’Keefe, Gwenn S. and Pearson, Kathleen C. “Clinical Report on the Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families.” Pediatrics (2011): 800-

Suciu, Peter. “Social Media Linked to Poor Academic Performance.” Red Orbit. 11 Aug. 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2014

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