The Negative Effect of Social Media on Individuals Essay

Social Media Isn T All That Bad For Kids Analysis

Did you know social media can change you? Social media can cause problems with your health? In the article, “Student examines negative effects of social media on teens” by Aurelie Krakowsky and “The Upside of Selfies: Social media isn’t all that bad for kids” by Kelly Wallace talks about social media, but clearly it’s harmful to people. Social media is for people to enjoy on a daily basis and be updated on what is happening in the world; however it can be harmful to your health and even your education. It can lower kids self esteem and make them feel uncomfortable about themselves. It can also cause health issues and distant yourself from the people around you.

Negative Effects Of Social Media Essay

The negative effects of social networking on youth and young adults are; cyber bullying, antisocial, lack of independence, makes someone less patient, lack of confidence in their physical appearance, identity theft, cyberstalking, sharing too much, decrease in productivity. Cyberbullying is when someone is rude and disrespectful and bullies someone else online. Antisocial is when you are unable or struggle to talk to someone in real life or face to face. The lack of independence is when someone is unable to be independent and now relies on someone else. And impatient is when someone is unable or struggle to tolerate delay or is quickly irritated. Cyber bullying is a negative effect because they are putting people down and making them feel bad about themselves. This can cause them to do terrible things such as committing suicide or cutting themselves and can make them very depressed. Antisocial is a negative effect because they will be unable and struggle to talk to people in real life. This happens when they are texting and aren’t really talking to anyone for a long period of time. Then when they do talk to someone in real life they struggle because they lost all of their confidence in themselves. This is bad when they go for an interview or they are ordering food, or even when they are meeting someone new. The lack of independence is a negative effect because they will be more dependent on someone or something to get stuff done. They will struggle to do anything by

Social networking is a big part of a majority of people’s lives. Whenever we go out, we see a phone in someone’s hand or we see someone actively looking through their phone. In the grocery store, while out eating, the doctor’s office and even at social events. There are many ways to stay in contact, with family across the country or across the world, it is easy to share memories and be able to talk to them everyday, even if you have not seen them in years. With so much positive, we would not think that there would be a negative side to this. Well with anything shared in just a purely innocent act, someone who was not able to be a part of such a joyous occasion, might see that picture or comment and wish they were able to be a part of seeing friends or family. For example, in an article written in 2016, PhD Paula Durlofsky stated that : “numerous studies have been conducted and articles written linking social networking to depression and social isolation, eliciting feelings of envy, insecurity and poor self-esteem.” So many people check social media daily or even hourly, can social media cause depression in certain individuals and does everyone experience it at least once, if not more, from day to day.

Have you ever looked at a picture of someone and thought to yourself, wow I wish I looked like that? From Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s easy for companies to get their advertisements out there. Many women around the world today are experiencing or have experienced body dissatisfaction. Women are constantly viewing social media websites that heavily have the appearance of beautiful, skinny models. Social media is causing many harmful effects among women and young girls. Stated in an article titled “Does Social Media Impact on Body Image?” by Philippa Roxby, “Social media has a huge effect on young people's body confidence, she explains, because it cannot be ignored.” Even women who some would see as perfect can find themselves wishing they had toned abs, thick long hair, big breasts, tanned skin, and everything else that goes along with the “perfect body” ideal that society wants women to be.

The Negative Impacts of Social Media Essay

The use of social networking sites is rising at great rates. According to a report conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in 2012, ninety-five percent of individuals aged 12-17 use the internet; and eighty-one percent of those use social network sites (Pew Interest). Although it is known that social media can have a useful impact on lives, often times people forget that with a positive comes a negative. The continual use of social network sites will impact teen lives more negatively than positively because they can cause huge distractions from valuable and critical pursuits like education; they can also cause mental health issues and a reduction in communication skills.

The Positive Effect of Social Media Essay

Social media also allowed students to work with new technologies. Because of this students are becoming more familiar with computers and other electronic devices. (Dunn)

Bullying is a huge issue in our society that occurs too often, especially in twenty seventeen. It can happen anywhere; whether it’s at school, at the park, etc. Ever since social media was created, a new form of bullying has been established. This form of bullying is a form of harassment using electronic contact (Social media, texting, etc.) that causes physical and emotional distress. This form of bullying is known as Cyberbullying; a major type of bullying now days that continues to overrule the online world. First off, by having social media, cyberbullies are able to reach anonymous people within seconds, making the victim an easy target for the bully. This can lead to online problems as well as the bully making the victim feel powerless. Researchers have found that thirty four of youth have been cyberbullied as well as being in danger online, and when do the math, it is more kids being hurt than we think. Secondly, cyberbullying on social media can lead to low self-esteem. After being bullied, whether

Cause and Effect of Social Media Essay

The 21st century is defined by its obsession and advancements in technology, the younger generation in particular. Technology plays as a key factor in most lives, social media especially. Among the most popular of social media are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all with the main purpose to share or view personal information and experiences, communicate with others and meet new people on social or professional grounds. There are several positives and negatives effects associated with social media, making it a topic of debate whether it is creating more good or harm for today’s society.

When parents hear the words “Social Media” the first thing to come to mind is usually bad news. Despite the negative publicity networking sites have received from the media in regards to bullying and sexting, it is also important to acknowledge that social media can have a positive influence in today's youth. Because teens are developmentally vulnerable, the risks cannot be overlooked but being open about the use of social media for teens is also important. The older teenagers get, the more they will be exposed to new and advanced technology. It is important to guide them into using the internet for beneficial purposes. Some people may argue that teenagers who engage in frequent use of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat,

The privilege of technology that we are accustomed to today is beyond amazing. Whether one is using a computer, or an iphone, the amount of options and creativity is endless. These ideas were designed for good intentions, but unfortunately that is not what it has come to be. The power spread from social media into the hands of young adults and teens is something to be concerned about. Students and teens may not think what they say on social media matters, but it truly does. College denial, lack of finding work, and social depression and anxiety are the three most important negative effects of social media use.

The Effects Of Social Media On Teenagers Essay

Social media is defined as “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and micro blogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.” (Merriam-Webster, 2004). Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube have the attention of millions of users. With just a click of a button, users are able to create their own profile that relates to themselves and are able to share their personal information by adding friends on these social media sites. Today’s generations of teenagers have become technologically dependant. A study done by Pew Research Center found that, 92% of teens reported going online daily, 56% of teens reported going online several times a day, and only 12% reported once a day. (Lenhart, Amandra, 2015). With the vast amount of social media that is so easily accessible and greatly depended on, it has made bullying so much easier on teenagers today. This bullying is referred to as “cyber bullying”. Cyber bullying is when a person uses technology to target another person by harassing or intimidating them in an aggressive nature. The bullies often use social media site to spread their message about or to their victims. Although these social sites can have positive interaction for teenagers, the negative effects of

The Impact Of Social Media On Education Essay

Jon Russell once said, “Social Media presents a huge opportunity for schools, universities and other educational organizations to reach out and connect with students and prospective students”. With no doubt, social media has influenced the way students are educated today. For those of you who do not know the exact definition of social media, the social media means ways of sharing information, opinions, images, videos using the Internet, especially social networking sites. Because of the Internet, people started finding ways to socialize through social websites and exchange information. Popular social network on the Internet such as YouTube became a sensation for me ever since I became a student in college. Today social media can be used for educational purposes. The ways social media is changing education has affected how the students express themselves, behave, and interact with each other.

Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media Essay

Social media is any website that allows social interaction. Social media is growing rapidly throughout the world. More adults and teenagers are joining sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter to interact with friends, family, and strangers. The introduction of social media has changed the world in many ways. It affects each individual in different ways. Today it can be used as a very helpful tool in changing a person’s life, but at the same time cause such conflicts which can negatively impact a person. While there are some negatives associated with social media, the positives in communication all around, has made the world stronger and a better place to live in.

Negative Effects Of Cyberbullying

There have been countless new stories of kids that have taken their own lives due to being bullied over the internet. What makes cyberbullying concerning is that the person can be attacked and rumors can be spread to a larger audience. Before the internet, only the schoolmates would be aware, even though that was damaging enough. Now with social media being an enormous way kids communicate the rumors can spread to 100s of people at a time within a few minutes. 81 % of youth agree that through the use of technology, bullying is now easier (, 2016). Pictures can be displayed, or fake accounts can be set up to cause harm to a person. Someone may feel that they can say more or do more damage to a person’s character because they can stay anonymous.

Do you know how dangerous Social Media is? When using Social Media users don’t think about the negative flaws of the sites they participate in. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are some of the very popular sites, but there are also many more sites people use on an everyday basis. Social Media should be more protected and monitored to keep the dangers away from users. Cyberbullying, Stalking, Hacking, Addictions, just to name a few of the effects Social Media users go can go through or have already been through.

Dangers Of Social Media Essay

social media harm essay

Show More In the last couple of years’ technology has advanced dramatically. This dramatic change opened many doors for communities. Such as, many things are being created and a lot of these changes makes a person’s life much easier. Also, it opens the possibility of social media to have an influence for young people. Social media allows people to be more connected world-wide, but it exists risks for young people to see or do inappropriate things because teenagers see it on social media. For teens, social media turns to an addiction. Addiction is a need and a habit that someone feels they must have it. Some teenagers tend to be immature when using social media and their more likely to bully others. Therefore, social media should be banned or limited …show more content… Social media should be banned for teens younger than 18 because it increases the risk for teens to think about committing suicide . Many people use social media and a lot of them use it inappropriately. A hand full of teens tend to bully others just to have fun. The problem with this is that they are hurting others deeply. Today, many teenagers in the world are using social media and the most common social media is Facebook. According to, the article titled, Where Do Youth Learn About Suicides on The Internet, And What Influence Does This Have on Suicidal Ideation? written by Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, and Zickuhr says, “One potentially influential online source of information about suicidal behavior of others is the widespread use of social networking sites. The most popular of …show more content… When a teen has, or is at risk of depression they are also at risk of social isolation and maybe would not want to speak to anyone in days and these teens always spend time alone. Also, social isolation happens because of teens getting bullied. Many teens who get bullied they prefer not to tell anyone because they feel it will only make it worse. For example, the article Clinical Report—The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families says, “Recent research indicates that there are frequent online expressions of offline behaviors, such as bullying, clique-forming, and sexual experimentation, that have introduced problems such as cyberbullying, privacy issues, and “sexting.” Other problems that merit awareness include Internet addiction and concurrent sleep deprivation” (800). Internet addiction could be the cause sometimes for social isolation to occur to a teen because they are only using the internet and they avoid their surroundings. This is harming today’s teens because social isolation could affect them

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How Social Media Is Detrimental to You

If you can't imagine your life without social media, you've undoubtedly been influenced by the strong grip that social networking platforms have over society. Chances are that you've also experienced some of the negative side effects of social media on others.

Unfortunately, social media's negative consequences are all too real for many people. So let's examine the bad effects of social media on typical users every day.

You might be surprised to learn that the negative effects of social media are both physical and mental. They can change your perception of the world and yourself. While social media has some positive effects, like connecting with friends and family, it also has many drawbacks. For example, studies show that social media addiction is real and can lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation.

If you're doubtful, see the negative repercussions of social media below. If any sound familiar with what's happening in your life, it may be time to limit yourself or even quit social media completely.

1. Depression and anxiety you spend hour upon hour on social media sites could negatively impact your mood. Those who use social networking sites chronically are more likely to report poorer mental health, including symptoms of anxiety and depression.

It's easy to see why. You may view the carefully curated best bits of everyone else's lives on social media, which you then compare to your negatives (which only you see). It's been easier than ever to compare oneself to others since social media has arrived.

2. Cyberbullying

Bullying was previously only possible in person, but now it is possible to bully others on social media—anonymously or not. Cyberbullying is well-known today, and most of us have seen what it can do to a person.

While social media makes meeting new people easier and making friends, it also enables those with little empathy or regard for others to cause emotional pain. Perpetrators of bullying can use the anonymity that (some) social networks provide to gain people's trust and then hurt them in front of their peers. For instance, they might create a fake profile and act friendly toward a classmate, only later to publicly embarrass and humiliate them online.

3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

The rise of social media has given birth to a new phenomenon known as Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO for short. This is one of the most widespread negative effects social media has had on society.

Fear Of Missing Out, or FOMO for short, is an anxious feeling one gets when they're afraid of not being included in a positive experience someone else is having. For example, you might check your messages obsessively to see if anyone has invited you out somewhere fun, browsing Instagram all day to ensure that none of your friends are doing something without you. You may also come across pictures from an event or activity that looks like a blast and feel left out because you had another commitment and couldn't attend.

4. Negative Body Image

If you browse popular Instagram accounts, you'll find that most people are incredibly good-looking, wearing designer clothes and with perfect bodies.

It's now an issue for nearly everyone to have a negative body image. After all, when you're constantly bombarded with images of people who supposedly meet society's standards of perfection, it naturally makes you compare yourself unfavorably and feel bad about your appearance. But unfortunately, not everybody can see things from a healthy perspective in this situation.

5. General Addiction

Social media may be more addicting than cigarettes and alcohol. However, it has a strong draw for many individuals, causing them to check it frequently without considering why.

If you suspect you might be addicted to social media, try to go a full day without checking any of your accounts. Do you feel bad if someone unfollows you? If all social networks disappeared tomorrow, would you feel empty and depressed?

How to Manage the Negative Side Effects of Social Media

With everything else, there are both advantages and drawbacks. Likewise, social media has benefits and drawbacks, as with anything else. Old Testament Studies help you to finde more information. We've covered some of the harmful effects that social media may have on others, but it's up to you to decide if there's more assistance or damage to it for you personally.

Stop using social media if it is having a detrimental impact on your life. However, if you must use it, there are strategies to waste less time on social networking and enjoy it more.

Social Media: Negative Impacts

Introduction, intrusive advertising, bullying/harassment, privacy threats, works cited.

Social media is a natural phenomenon of modern hi-tech life. The impact of virtual communication is significant as people are often willing to pay more attention to online interaction. Besides, due to the development of technology, social media plays the role of platforms not only for communication but also fir effective advertising and entertainment. Digital content that is published in various groups has a large target audience, which allows influencing people and providing demand for specific goods or services. However, the controversy of the benefits of social media lies in the potentially negative impacts they have. In addition to using specialized web resources for communication, many Internet users utilize them as tools for bullying, intimidation, humiliation, and even violence. An opportunity to remain anonymous opens up significant prospects for cybercriminals, which complicates the task for law enforcement agencies. As a counterargument, today, there are various means of account verification and support services that are ready to ensure the safety of communication on social media and provide users with protection from scammers or blackmailers. Nevertheless, people who are well versed in the digital field can bypass such locks easily. Among the real negative effects that social media have, one can note intrusive advertising, bullying and harassment, privacy threats, fake news, and violence. Social media are gradually losing the function of communication tools and gaining the status of platforms that allow posting any content, including illegal and immoral materials.

Advertising on social media has become so intrusive and widespread that it has ceased to have its promotional function and often causes users more negative emotions than interest. At the same time, it is hard to get rid of advertising completely since many creators of digital content sign contracts with advertisers, and profit depends directly on the activity of the public. However, in case of excess advertising, people feel annoyed and ignore certain offers deliberately. According to Shareef et al., “irritation due to any advertisement can distract consumers from receiving the intended meaning of the statement, and thus can have a negative effect on the value of the advertising” (p. 61). Such a statement is logical because, in their quest for profit, advertisers provoke a natural reaction from the target audience to condemn the excess of promoting content. Customer perception largely depends not only on the essence of specific offers but also on the way marketers deliver them. Therefore, in case of intrusiveness, advertising content on social media causes rejection and is often blocked by users. Shareef et al. confirm this and argue that the context of marketing materials may be more important as a driver to convince the public of the value of specific goods or services (p. 66). The objectivity of such an idea is due to the fact that initially, social media were not intended for advertising, and only the creativity of marketers can be an effective way to attract public attention. Finally, Shareef et al. mention viral marketing as one of the methods of intrusive advertising on social media and note that this form of promotion are relevant only among a narrow target audience. In other words, the more annoying the advertisement is, the lower is the chance to attract a wide range of new consumers. Nevertheless, intrusive advertising is significantly less dangerous than bullying or harassment, which are found in modern social media.

The anonymity factor that may persist when interacting on social media is one of the reasons for bullying that some Internet users are forced to experience. A sense of impunity for aggressive behavior and insults towards another person exacerbate the situation. Moreover, bullying is a trend that is common in children’s communication on social media, which poses a serious threat to the fragile psyche of young users. According to Canty et al., online bullying is a unique phenomenon that has expanded in the virtual space due to the emergence of means to preserve anonymity and, in particular, the ability to go unpunished (p. 52). These factors are most obvious reasons why children, who are often humiliated by their peers on social media, become self-absorbed and cannot figure out the wrongdoers. Harassment is a similar problem, which, however, is characteristic of the adult population and often has a sexual background. Chadha et al. state that modern digital technologies “amplify attacks on gender-based and sexual minorities,” thereby acting as negative consequences of progress (p. 241). This statement assumes that the context of harassment is not limited to one topic. In addition, as findings show, virtual space is a favorable environment for this phenomenon:

Online communities and social media platforms offer many benefits, but they also have become breeding grounds for an assortment of sexist and misogynist behaviors. Importantly, the harassment behaviors evident today differ from off-line and pre-social media-era harassment, given the affordances of these networked spaces, including – but not limited to – the visibility and persistence of content, the anonymity/pseudonymity of users, the spreadability of content, and the multimediality of smartphones (Chadha et al, p. 250).

As a result, the openness of online communication creates a favorable environment for harassment and affects user behavior. Chadha et al. mention requests for personal data and addresses as easy consequences of harassment and note that people who have faced with real threats see this phenomenon as an extremely dangerous and aggressive trend (p. 243). This conclusion is logical because, despite different environments, online and real-life harassment have a common background. In this regard, the issues of privacy and accompanying risks are negative consequences of social media.

Privacy threats are fraught not only with identity theft but also with other problems that may entail anonymous bullying or blackmail. Today, for users of social media, communication options are not limited solely to correspondence. Interlocutors can comment on each other, share links, and perform other actions that go beyond a particular platform. As a result, as Aghasian et al. note, “the distribution of information in real world is almost local, the publically shared information in online social media can be retrieved on the internet anytime, anywhere and by anyone” (p. 13118). The significance of this statement is that virtually no one can be fully protected, and precautions should be taken. Aghasian et al. argue that users should be able to protect their personal data not only from intruders but also from familiar people who can become intermediaries in the leak of information (p. 13118). Those people who face privacy threats may lose their money or valuable digital content through negligence by providing their data to third parties. Due to the widespread use of virtual interaction, various leakage channels are discussed:

For example, a user normally share his/her personal information in Facebook which may pose a privacy risk. This user may share his/her occupation history and background in another site such as LinkedIn. His/her job information has again its own privacy risk, but a combination of the information from two social media accounts can pose the user to higher risk as more information is revealed. Consequently, by considering the overall information from multiple source, a more accurate quantification of the privacy disclosure score can be obtained. (Aghasian et al, p. 13118)

In addition to individual data leakage channels, the forms of privacy risks themselves are numerous. Aghasian et al. mention the threat of government data theft, the disclosure of confidential information about trade transactions, and even religious secrets (13119). Such a variety of risks explains the need for comprehensive protection. Social media, in turn, are a favorable environment for such fraud since the predominant number of Internet users have accounts at least at one specialized site. Wherein, according to Aghasian et al., “one of the challenges in addressing privacy concerns is how to measure the privacy of a user participating in multiple social networks” (p. 13129). The increasing role of social media in people’s lives inevitably leads to threats to personal data, especially if they are stored on different platforms. However, not all negative aspects of virtual communication are aimed at interacting with a particular person, and the example of fake news distributed online is a confirmation.

Social media are becoming the most common sources of news, including both entertaining content and serious political and economic reports, which, however, are not always reliable. One of the main reasons is the desire to attract a large target audience. The greater the news resonance is, the greater is the potential success of a particular media platform. For example, Shu et al. give the following statistics: “62 percent of U.S. adults get news on social media in 2016, while in 2012, only 49 percent reported seeing news on social media” (p. 22). This ratio proves that even the adult population of the country began to use virtual platforms more often. In addition, this growth may be due to the wider use of social media by numerous agencies that have individual accounts. The authors emphasize that fake news as a negative consequence of digital communication is disseminated most actively through social media due to an opportunity to create a public outcry quickly (Shu et al, p. 23). News groups fight for the target audience in any way possible, which entails publications based on unverified or false facts. Spohr explains the reasons and argues that “the producers and curators of fake news content are able to monetize their content through advertising platforms from Facebook and Google” (p. 156). This conclusion is logical since material gain is the most objective explanation for such publications. In addition, the researcher notes that fake news creates a resonance that, regardless of whether it is positive or negative, serves as a means of popularization (Spohr, p. 150). Therefore, the ability to influence the masses opens up prospects for fraudulent actions, although fake news cannot do such harm as violence, which is another negative effect of social media.

Despite the fact that violence in its natural sense cannot be realized online, the manifestations of violent acts through social media are possible. This phenomenon is similar to cyberbullying, but it involves strict measures of intimidation or harassment, while bullying can be superficial. Today, particular attention is paid to youth virtual violence, as children and adolescents are vulnerable groups. As Tripathi notes, “most children and adolescents (65-91%) report little or no involvement in violence over social media platforms” (2). At the same time, the author argues that time spent online is one of the factors on which the risk of violence depends (Tripathi, p. 3). In other words, the longer and more actively a child interacts with other users, the higher is the threat of psychological violence. This statement is reasonable and carries an open message about the need to reduce the access of young users to free online communication. Also, gender-based online violence is another form of bullying, and its consequences can be extremely dangerous from a social perspective:

Gender-based violence online is rampant, ranging from harassment of women who are public figures on social media to stalking intimate partners using purpose-built apps. This is not an issue that can be addressed by individual states alone, nor can it be addressed satisfactorily through legal means. The normalization of misogyny and abuse online both reflects and reinforces systemic inequalities. (Suzor et al, p. 84)

This position on gender-based violence proves the effect that indifference to this problem may cause. According to Suzor et al., most modern social media promote themselves as platforms for expressing individuality and personal opinions, which can be dangerous in conditions of the freedom of speech and anonymity (p. 89). Not only women but also other vulnerable groups can experience the effects of virtual violence, and impunity is one of the most dangerous consequences. The authors are convinced that “deeply entrenched structural features of existing social media platforms often exacerbate the effects of online harassment and abuse” (Suzor et al, p. 94). Thus, social media carry many negative implications, and an opportunity to go unpunished for aggressive or annoying behavior is a severe social omission.

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Negative Effects Of Social Media Essay

People use social media for a variety of reasons. But does anyone ever stop to think about the negative impact that social media has on a person, persons or generation? Why social media is bad? Two essays, The Onion’s “New Facebook notifications alert users when they not currently looking at Facebook” and Kat Ascharya’s “What Facebook is doing to your brain is kind of shocking” support and explain how social media impacts people in a negative way. The lack of social skills, perception of an idealized reality and increase in isolation are the adverse effects of social media.

In an era where technology is all around, it is no surprise that there is a noticeable difference in the social skills of many generations. The delay in response time on social media allows people to be reactive rather than thinking and making thoughtful responses. The anonymity of a response protects those making a comment, whether it is critical or complimentary. It is not really a method of communication, it is a method of response since there is no real communication going on because it is not face to face interaction. We don’t get to see micro-expressions that show us in-the-moment responses. Sherry Turkle, an MIT professor, argues that many of our online connections are, by design, shallow and superficial. When you are raised with social media and computers as a main source of communication it can inhibit your ability to understand body language, inflection, facial expressions or social cues.

social media harm essay

As social media continues to be an influential part of everyday lives, it is easy to comprehend how this would create an idealized reality. Most of the population uses some form of social media which allows each person to control what is seen about their life. These sites such as, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are all in competition to generate the most traffic and be the top social media platform. CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook stated, “We hope these helpful new alerts will improve our users’ experience by prompting them to revisit the site in the event they momentarily turn their focus elsewhere.” Social media, once a way to network and connect with people has changed from a positive tool to something more pernicious. It has allowed the public, foreign and domestic, to create any reality that they so choose. With continuous advancements in technology it is even possible to modify pictures and present a completely different image of yourself. “It’s really up to us to restore that sense of mindfulness with how we use our devices to communicate and relate to one another (Ascharya 135).”

Having the ability to connect with virtually anyone in the world should be used as a tool rather then a temporary solution to fill the void of loneliness. As humans we need in person interaction, however, there are some people who struggle with this for various reasons and rely on social media as the only means for outside connections. Even married couples or someone who surrounds themselves with people may still experience isolation and loneliness if they feel unloved or misunderstood. Although social media may be a temporary relief for the sadness someone feels, it is detrimental to a person’s mental and physical health if it is the only way they communicate with others. It also creates a lack of genuine connection when a person uses it to find anyone to talk to in order to ease the feelings of loneliness they may be experiencing in that moment. This allows someone to control the content and direction of what is said and enables them the option of simply ending the conversation if they start to feel uncomfortable. They do not have to deal with reactions, emotions or possible conflict that may arise in a group setting or face to face conversation. Though there may be an increase in isolation with the rise in popularity of social media, the feelings of loneliness start within ourselves. Genuine connections take time to build and social media is only a band aid for the deeper issues that some may not be ready to face.

Is it possible to change the negative impact social media has on world or is it too late? The world of technology has come so far, it would be devastating if the creation of something so amazing was a factor in destroying humans. Anything can become toxic when used improperly and social media is no different. The responsibility to change for the better lies within every individual on this planet. It is the obligation of those who bring new life into this world to make sure each new generation is raised to respect the technology that this world has created.

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Essay: “the dangers of social media”, by roman volovoy.

As Bill Murray asserts, “Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is depressed.” Social networks are everywhere – it will not take long to find people staring into their phones in public, engaging in their electronic social activity. On the surface, nothing appears to be wrong. People use these incredible tools to connect with friends worldwide, stay up to date on the news, and participate in groups of interest. However, the pretty user interface hides many tricks and methods aimed at keeping users engaged and participating. Software architects built these systems with a deep understanding of human psychology and behavior. Social networks abuse a fundamental mechanism of our existence – the need to form groups with other people, communicate, and coexist. Social media is ripping apart the social aspect of human existence by creating a divide in communication, understanding, and unity (Palihapitiya). Digitizing our lives through free centralized platforms, which profit from human attention, created many problems in society including addiction, behavior manipulation, and misinformation.

            One of the first and most apparent issues with social networks is addiction. It may come as a surprise that it was an intentional design decision; the more time users spend on the platform, the more money that social network makes. The “feed” is a constant supply of information about friends’ posts, reposts, subscribed groups, and advertisement content. The algorithm chooses the information according to its value and scarcity. Streaks of uninteresting information are interwoven with attractive posts to keep the user engaged, and the anticipation of another jackpot is what makes social media feeds addictive but very subtle in their action (Kruger). The article “A Study of Components Of Behavioral Addiction To Social Media Use In Current Generation Of Pakistani Youth” statistically proves that social media causes behavioral addiction similar to that of chemical drugs (Mazhar et al). Researchers describe and compare human behavior alterations with parameters like “Conflict, Mood Modification, Relapse, Salience, Tolerance, and Withdrawal,” used for traditional addiction classifications (Mazhar et al). In the study, most participants were found with all six traditional classical addition parameters due to the regular use of Facebook (Mazhar et al). The ease of access to a wealth of information makes it extremely hard to abstain from using the platform; frequent mobile phone notifications and email reminders of missed events keep users hooked.

            Another issue is that social networks are capable of behavior modification. The collective attention of its users fuels the platform. One of the metrics that any social network tries to increase is the cost per click. The metric describes an amount that the advertiser will pay for a user who clicked on their ad. The more users engage with the ad, the more money Facebook, for xample, makes. So, it is in the platform’s best interest to learn as much as possible from the users’ actions, predict their behavior, and personalize the content. But how does the algorithm get to know the user in the first place? “Likes” are a universal metric that is an indicator of what user prefers; seeing but not liking a post is an indication of disinterest. In “Private Traits and Attributes Are Predictable from Digital Records of Human Behavior,” researchers used personal traits and social media activity history to create behavior models (Kosinski et al). In the conclusion of the paper, they state: “We show that a wide variety of people’s personal attributes, ranging from sexual orientation to intelligence, can be automatically and accurately inferred using their Facebook Likes” (Kosinski et al). Their dimension reduction model was able to find if the subjects are satisfied with life or are emotionally stable and whether they are introverts or extraverts (Kosinski et al). This information is what gives Facebook enough intelligence to drive the prices of targeted advertisements up. The researchers also state that since this information is “inferred” from the user, it is not legally required to request individual consent or notify the users (Kosinski et al). As for the behavior modification, in a large-scale study, “The spread of emotion via Facebook,” a data scientist claims that the social media platform can alter its users’ emotions (Kramer). The study found a statistically strong link between exposure to what the scientist labels an “emotional post” to the users’ subsequent behavior exposed to said content (Kramer). Additionally, the article highlights that emotions can also be suppressed or affected negatively via the use of “Negative words” (Kramer). The algorithms extract as much profit as possible from human attention on a global scale. Sooner or later, these practices will change how humans behave and interact with one another. Chamath Palihapitiya, a former executive of growth at Facebook, stated in an interview that “Your behaviors, you do not realize it, but you are being programmed. It was unintentional, but now you got to decide how much you are willing to give up” (“Money as an Instrument of Change”).

Many social media users are not aware of their addiction because they are “in the loop” – social networks become an integral part of their lives. Their new behavior becomes the norm as they are constantly checking for updates, liking other users’ content, and posting pictures. In a way, their behavior is impulsive and is shaped by the design of social networks. Some experts from the field of human sociology publish their work on the adverse effects of social media, hoping that it will help those addicted to the internet without knowing it. They conduct studies on a substantial amount of people, over three hundred thousand at times, and perform many statistical causality experiments. Nevertheless, some critics still argue against this notion of the intentional addictive design of social networks. They claim that many articles on social network addiction are fictitious and are used to lure readers with their headlines.

In the article “Why ‘Social Media Addiction’ Makes Absolutely Zero Sense,” Adam Singler, a social PR expert, expresses his viewpoints on what he calls a hysteresis in the modern world (Singler). In “The Future Buzz” blog, he highlights a study that was aimed at analyzing addictive properties of the social networks, and then quickly refutes it by saying: “That aside, these additional data points point not to addiction, but to a shifting of behavior” (Singler). Without any argumentation, he says that the study’s data does not prove that social media is addictive (Singler). The statistic reported that “56%: Social media users check Facebook at least once a day. 12%: Social media users check Facebook every couple of hours” (Singler). For Adam, these numbers are not high enough to be considered addiction – “Some other stats from the article don’t even point to addiction” (Singler). His opinion is very subjective and stands no ground. He is being hasty and is generalizing the issues without understanding much about the classical definition of addiction. The subject is more nuanced, requiring evaluation of many factors such as “Conflict, Mood Modification, Relapse, Salience, Tolerance, and Withdrawal ” (Mazhar et al). The study that Adam used for his argument concluded that every tenth person who uses social media checks it hourly. On the contrary, in my opinion, the percentage is very high and is actually indicative of Facebook’s addicting design.

Furthermore, Adam stacks the deck by ignoring the significant factor that encourages social media companies to create addictive products – money. Meanwhile, he does mention that opinions for the addictiveness of social media have anterior motives: “The idea of framing technology as addiction is sensationalistic and done to grab headlines, pageviews and links” (Singler). Interestingly, Adam is employed as is an industry speaker in social PR and online marketing areas. His livelihood is in online advertisements, which, as discussed previously, is the primary reason for the addictive design of these social giants. It is plain and simple – social media depends on the user’s attention to generate its revenue.

Another article that deems social networks as harmless was published by Pamela Rutledge in Psychology Today. It tries to clear the bad rep media platforms get for their ways of retaining user attention. Like Adam, she highlights the potential attention-grabbing ulterior motives of proponents of the idea that social media causes addiction. She is convinced that the entire argument of addiction is just blown up for likes and clicks. In her article, she cites many studies and undermines links found between human behavior and social networks. She states that “sometimes things that are only correlated get reported as being a ’cause’” (Rutledge). Indeed, statistical correlation does not mean causation, but it is a potential indication of it. Simply dismissing many studies as irrelevant due to this prenotion of causality is very unprofessional. She then later attacks those who try to raise awareness of the issue by stating: “First of all, it concerns me that, as a society, we are very cavalier tossing around the concept of ‘addiction.’ addiction is a serious psychological diagnosis based on specific and seriously life-impairing criteria” (Rutledge). According to Mazhar and researchers’ excellent and professional study, addiction can be mild or strong. There is no “cutoff point” for when someone is deemed addicted, as each patient and their condition are different (Mazhar et al). Maybe social media is less addictive than drugs, but dismissing it as harmless because it is not as potent as, for example, opium, is a logical fallacy .

Another argument present in both articles against the addictive nature of social networks is that it is not the network’s fault; instead, it is the users. Both Adam and Pamela dismiss that social networks are the cause of the addition by passing the blame on lone internet users instead. “It is people who already have problems, which are then only displayed through addiction to Facebook” (Rutledge). But, Adam states, “ that would be a manifestation of a real problem and not the actual problem in and of itself.  It’s a symptom, not a cause” (Adam).

All and all, social networks are nothing of a miracle. They can allow communication with anyone instantly. Society had changed and adjusted to this technology, but our primitive monkey brains have not. We still chase the reward above everything else, and we are being cheated by having it for free. The price we pay, as a collective, is enormous. Freedom of information, regardless of its correctness, doubt of the established beliefs, and privacy, are what drives human progress forward. With social networks, we partly lose the means to progress and develop. Instead, we get addiction, hyper-personalized information, censorship, and observation of every move we make on the app. The issues are not apparent at the moment, as they do not have immediate implications. Social networks already have a global presence and are in control of information. As humans depend more on them, their adverse side effects will affect the vast majority of the population, permanently altering the next generation.

Works cited

Kosinski, Michael, et al. “Private Traits and Attributes Are Predictable from Digital Records of Human Behavior.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 110, no. 15, 2013, pp. 5802–5805., doi:10.1073/pnas.1218772110.

Kramer, Adam.” The Spread of Emotion via Facebook” Facebook Research , 16 May 2012, Accessed 3 Oct. 2016.

Kruger, Daniel. “Social Media Copies Gambling Methods ‘to Create Psychological Cravings.’” IHPI News, 8 May 2018, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

Mazhar, Nauman, et al. “A Study of Components Of Behavioral Addiction To Social Media Use In Current Generation Of Pakistani Youth.”  The Professional Medical Journal , vol 27, no. 08, 2020, pp. 1680-1685.  Independent Medical Trust , doi:10.29309/tpmj/2020.27.08.4494. Accessed 7 Oct. 2020.

Palihapitiya, Chamath. “Money as an Instrument of Change.” YouTube, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 17 Nov. 2017, Accessed 3 Oct. 2020.

Rutledge, Pamela. “Social Media Addiction: Engage Brain Before Believing.” Psychology Today , 22 May 2010, . Accessed 2 Nov. 2020.

Singler, Adam. “Social Media Addiction Makes Absolutely Zero Sense.” The Future Buzz , 18 Apr. 2010, . Accessed 2 Nov. 2020.

Roman Volovoy is a Russian student majoring in mechanical engineering at the American University in Dubai. Throughout his years in this major, he has written many scientific reports, but what he enjoys most is writing about contemporary issues in a simple and down-to-earth manner. He has developed an understanding of modern technology and the issues they bring to society. He hopes to shed light on some of these issues with this publication. 

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social media harm essay

Social Media Brings More Harm Than Good Essay

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Social Media: Beneficial or Harmful? Essay

It is important to note that social media is a core element of the internet, and it reshaped how a modern human perceives information, communicates, socializes, and learns about the outside world. It became a primary lens through which one interacts with others, and thus, it is critical to properly evaluate whether or not such a state of affairs is beneficial or harmful to human wellbeing. The given assessment argues that social media, not the internet, is harmful to society and humanity in general because it reshapes the social fabric, causes loss of reason, logic, attentiveness, and memory, violates individual rights of all people as well as proliferates misinformation, which means that social media’s harms heavily outweigh its benefits.

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Firstly, in order to fairly and properly assess the benefits or harms of social media, the latter should be distinguished from the internet. For example, it is stated that “the notion that the Internet is bad for you seems premised on the idea that the Internet is one thing—a monolith” (Goldsmith 597). In other words, the internet is not one thing but rather a collection of vastly different forms of communication, presentation, information exchange, entertainment, interactions, and other functions. Therefore, the internet is a source of many positive aspects of modernity because it not only brings more informational democracy but also prevents restriction and control of the free exchange of knowledge. However, the question is not about the internet as a whole but rather social media. Unlike the internet, which brings a number of benefits, which far outweigh the harms, social media does not bring a similar imbalance in favor of good. Social media was designed to simplify socialization and communication online, but the outcome is unchecked control of the flow of conversation in favor of a specific agenda, profit, and violation of individual rights.

Secondly, not all internet elements utilize artificial intelligence as extensively as social media platforms. The use of AI allows such companies to fine-tune one typology of information consumed, which means that it is social media that makes decisions for its users. While the internet is a library of knowledge, where a person makes a clear choice on what to read, watch, listen to, or interact with, social media uses AI and complex algorithms to influence its user. The underlying business model of all social media platforms is to learn about its user as much as possible and profit from them in a targeted manner. Such a design is not an inherent feature of the internet, which is not constrained to be profitable in this manner since many websites operate through subscriptions, direct sales, or other means. When it comes to such dangers, AI itself can also be a problem. It is stated that “there are indeed concerns about the near-term future of AI —algorithmic traders crashing the economy, or sensitive power grids overreacting to fluctuations and shutting down electricity for large swaths of the population” (Littman 314). In other words, social media’s extensive use of AI in combination with its problematic business model creates a host of issues that are not attributable to the internet.

Thirdly, in addition to social media-specific problems, they are also linked to harms associated with both devices and the internet in general. As stated before, the internet has its harms and benefits, but the latter usually outweighs the former. Similarly, devices come with harms as well as benefits, where the balance is tilted towards the positive aspects. However, not only social media has its inherent design flaws, but it also has problems with devices and the internet in general, which makes their harms far more abundant than benefits. For example, it is stated that “while our phones offer convenience and diversion, they also breed anxiety” (Carr 582). In addition, “as the brain grows dependent on the technology, the research suggests, the intellect weakens,” and “the division of attention impedes reasoning and performance” (Carr 583). Therefore, these device-related problems are multiplied a hundredfold by the fact that social media amplifies distraction and attention division through notifications. Social media is not a highly intellect-strengthening medium either, which further complicates the dependence factor.

Fourthly, social media companies are not properly regulated, and the nature of the business heavily favors oligopoly rather than a proper competitive environment because people want to have a unified platform for communication and audience-building. Therefore, the industry generates highly powerful companies with unchecked capabilities, where the national and even international discourse takes place exclusively on such mediums. For example, one cannot deny the influence of Twitter or Facebook as drivers of political or social discourse. Therefore, there is a conflict of interest among such big tech companies in regards to providing an open and fair platform versus making a profit, and the decision is clearly made in favor of the latter. The very structure of the business model of social media is to influence users to buy the advertisers’ products or services, and thus, it cannot be a just and fair place for discussion on important subjects by definition. Such a state of affairs threatens the fabric of society whether or not these companies intend to do so.

Fifthly, the conflict of interest described in the previous section brings its biggest harm when it comes to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, where private enterprises are not obliged to protect the freedom of speech and expression. Since the national and international discourse and communication are taking the place of social media, where the First Amendment is mandatory to have, these platforms are unable, unwilling, and not obliged to provide it. One can easily observe how such companies can become politically tilted towards one agenda over the other, where accounts of even the most influential individuals can be banned because they violated the terms of service of the company. In other words, a company’s rules override the Constitutional rules. It is important to note that only a better speech can be an answer to a bad speech and not a removal of that voice.

Sixthly, social media platforms are heavily engaged in data collection and privacy violations, which was demonstrated by well-known scandals and criticisms. Once again, the business model of social media companies is structured in such a manner that their primary customers are not users but advertisers. A former group is a form of product or service being sold to advertisers, which means that social media advances surveillance capitalism at its core. In a century where the right to privacy is constantly becoming a problem due to governmental antiterrorism interests, social media further threatens these fundamental rights. The problem is even more dangerous when one considers the ever-increasing cyber threat proliferation, which means a breach of security in a social media company endangers all of its users.

Seventhly, social media does not have a well-structured method of combatting misinformation since its primary incentive is to promote engagement and grab attention. Social media companies are conflicted between ensuring the accuracy of the information on their platform and boosting the interactivity with their users. Such companies want to have interesting pieces of information, which are better provided by misinformation since the truth is always more complex and intricate. Therefore, one can see how social media can become a breeding ground for people with agenda of public deception. In addition, these platforms would not have the capability to ensure the accuracy of information even if they were incentivized somehow. Public panic and political polarization are other phenomena that accompany social networks, and the catalyst for these occurrences is information received both directly by the subject and disseminated using modern social communication technologies.

In conclusion, social media is not the internet, and its harms are far more extensive than the latter because it affects memory, attention, and reason and violates individual rights for privacy, free expression, and fairness in discourse, as well as proliferates misinformation. In addition, social media inherits inherent problems associated with modern devices and the internet in general, which further compounds its harm. Therefore, the effects of social media hurt the social fabric by pretending that it serves its users while its actual customers are advertisers. It also pretends to provide an open and free platform for communication while its very business model implies targeted influence on the user’s preferences. The use of AI also adds to all of the concerns related to artificial intelligence safety.

Works Cited

Carr, Nicholas. “How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds.” They Say/I Say , edited by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, W.W. Norton & Norton Company, 2021, pp. 582-596.

Goldsmith, Kenneth. “Go Ahead: Waste Time on the Internet.” They Say/I Say , edited by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, W.W. Norton & Norton Company, 2021, pp. 597-602.

Littman, Michael. “Rise of the Machines” Is Not a Likely Future.” They Say/I Say , edited by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, W.W. Norton & Norton Company, 2021, pp. 311-314.

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