Today, it is impossible to neglect significant technological progress and a number of opportunities people may use to change their lifestyles. The role of social media is impressive, and millions of people just cannot avoid or stop using such sources as the Internet, email, Facebook, or YouTube. Many debates have already been developed around this topic, and it is hard to give a definite answer if people should limit their use of social media. There are many dangerous aspects that have to be taken into consideration when the decision to support or limit the use of social media, including the presence of a negative impact on daily life, the development of addictive behavior or depression, doubtful privacy issues, threats of cyberbullying, unpredictable lifestyle changes, and health problems.
At the same time, the usage of social media cannot be avoided because it is a good place for fun, free communication, experience exchange, and business opportunities where communication is possible 24/7, and new information can be easily found. Regarding such positive and negative factors and facts, our intentions to limit social media use can hardly be achieved because of the already spread impact the Internet and different sources of information that facilitate everyday life and promote numerous business and marketing improvements.
Dangers of Social Media
It is wrong to neglect the impact of social media in modern society. Millions of people prefer to spend their time online checking their emails, communicating via Skype, and sharing their thoughts or photos via Twitter or Instagram. Young people find it more interesting to post information and rate each others’ posts instead of developing direct contacts in person (Brown, n.d.). Regarding such demands and interests, many people fail to understand how negative the impact promoted by social media use on their daily life is. Instead of taking healthy physical exercises, choosing fresh air walks, and enjoying the environment around, people spend days and nights in front of their personal computers and neglect all those beauties around. It happens that the desire to spend several minutes online deprive a person of a chance to talk to a person sitting the next table. Such facts frustrate and even scare because people do not even understand how they destroy their daily activities and their lives.
Addictive behavior is another challenge caused by social media use. Some people cannot imagine a day without visiting their public accounts, sharing their photos with each other, and fearing that something can be missed. Such behavior scares a lot because it is strange to observe a person turning on their mobile phones before taking a morning bath. Unfortunately, such decisions are regularly made by people around the whole world. Some families try to control social media in their children’s lives and prevent them against its frequent usage. Still, in many cases, parents prefer to turn on a PC and find some YouTube videos to calm down their children without even thinking how addictive people can be.
One more significant disadvantage that social media may cause is depression. This outcome is possible when a person thinks that not enough information is received. Users start surfing the web, writing messages, and asking questions to fill this “possible” gap of knowledge. Another situation that causes depression is based on the inability to filter the information and choose the facts that lead to negative emotions (Brown, n.d.). Finally, social media is used to rate each other and leave feedback. Some people are not able to receive as many posts and replies as they want. As a result, they suffer from depression, the lack of attention, and the inability to get as much as possible from social media.
When the question about social networking rises, people should think about privacy issues and the necessity to protect personal freedoms and information. Nowadays, there are many situations when people lose their identity and companies lose control over their working processes due to professional hackers and viruses. It does not take much time for an expert to break a system and take all necessary information.
Today, much personal information is available online, and children, as well as teenagers and adults, are exposed to online violence and other dangerous things the outcomes of which are hard to predict (Forehand, 2017). People find it normal to post recent fights or the situations when rules are broken with no attempt to filter information (Duncan, 2016). Even Obama pays public attention to the ways of how they should use social media and avoid cocooning information they receive via the Internet (Smith, 2017). Privacy issues lose their uniqueness and impact, and people do not even think about the importance of such things in their lives.
In fact, the threats of cyberbullying gain different attitudes and impacts on people. On the one hand, people are aware of online dangers and understand that they can lose a lot in case they trust social media some important facts (Knorr, 2015). On the other hand, even such knowledge does not prevent people against creating new accounts or changing their passwords to protect themselves. It is enough for them to be informed about possible cyberbullying cases and continue using same sources and share personal information. Cyberbullying is a serious threat to people online from a possibility to lose $10-100 in one minute or lose an identity for many years.
Finally, when people start thinking about the threats of social media and online relationships they prefer to develop, it is suggested to consider all possible lifestyle changes and health problems. Some people believe that social media is a chance for them to enlarge their knowledge and learn from other experiences with the only possible negative outcomes like insignificant vision problems or the lack of physical exercises. Unfortunately, the list of health problems is longer than it seems, but many people prefer not to look at the disadvantages of using social media every day (Samudre, 2016). Obesity, depression, mental health problems, addiction, and bone or joint changes may be the potential results of social media use. Though these outcomes are not obvious, people should take care of themselves and consider such possibilities.
Reasons to Support Social Media Use
Despite the existing negative aspects of social media, people continue using it as one of the main tools to gather and share information, entertain, and meet their personal needs. In fact, many people give the same answer to the question why they use social media. They state that there is simply no chance to avoid it. Social media has a significant quality to empower young people in different ways (“Benefits of internet and social media,” n.d.). When people choose social networking services, they get a chance to become active social participants who are able to share their interests, experiences, and knowledge. Contribution to social life is impressive, and people cannot just stop using social media not to miss something or create something new.
In addition to knowledge improvements and increased awareness, people should not forget that social media is still a good place for fun. Not all people can allow themselves visiting public parties, traveling, and buying something. However, they can find it affordable to pay for the Internet services and observe the world through their PC screens. Nowadays, it does not take much time for a person to “google” a country or a special sight, look at it in 3-d dimension, and feel like being present there for a while. Opinions and posts of other people who know more about the chosen places can be rather helpful in such search. The boundaries of such fun online are limitless, and this benefit cannot be neglected.
Such services as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are used around the whole world due to the possibility of free communication and experience exchange. Several decades ago, it was possible to use phones or write letters as the only means of communication. Several centuries ago, communication between the citizens of different countries was hard to imagine because it was necessary to overcome the distance in several thousand miles. Today, Facebook or Skype turn out to be good and credible services to connect with friends and relatives who are thousand miles away from them.
The benefits of social media can be identified through comparison the opportunities today and in the past. For example, the idea of connection with the world 24/7 was strange and even impossible several years ago. People had to wait for Sundays to read their morning newspapers or turn on their TVs and listen to the latest news. Nowadays, people are free to use their iPhones or smartphones anytime they want and learn everything they want to know. The latest news can be spread on the Internet with unbelievable speed so that a person from another country is able to hear the news earlier than a person who lives the next street. In addition, no timeframes exist in social media: it is possible to read the latest news from different parts of the world 24/7.
As a result of such connection to the world, the users of social media underline such benefit as access to real-time information. Today, it is easy to use Facebook, follow online meetings with politicians, celebrities, sportsmen, and other people, ask questions, and receive answers immediately. Millions of people around the whole world find this opportunity fascinating.
Finally, the impact of social media on business is impressive. Great opportunities turn out to be open for business people. Geographical boundaries have been broken. Communication has been improved. Information exchange has been properly developed. These benefits cannot be ignored by those who want to reduce or limit social media presence in everyday life.
In general, people do not stop taking the attempts and limit the use of social media in their lives. They try to identify as many negative aspects of depression, poor filtering, addiction, and mental problems as possible to prove how dangerous this tool can be. However, the existing number of positive opportunities and chances like geographically independent business, unlimited communication, and fresh news attracts so many people. Therefore, despite the intentions to limit or reduce social media, it can hardly be removed or replaced in the nearest future. It is time to stop limiting our use of social media and focus on other problematic areas.
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Duncan, J. (2016). Teens on social media go from dumb to dangerous. CBD Evening News. Web.
Forehand, M.W. (2017). Be aware of the dangers associated with social media. Dothan Eagle. Web.
Knorr, C. (2015). 5 benefits of having a social media – Savvy kid. Huffpost. Web.
Samudre, N. (2016). 8 dangers of social media we’re not willing to admit. Web.
Smith, S. (2017). Obama warns of dangers of social media in Prince Harry interview. NBC News. Web.
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