The dangers of social networking
In this age and era of technology, almost everyone who has a Smartphone or access to internet are social networking. When you walk down the streets, sit in a bus or any public place where there are youths and adults, you will find everyone busy with their phones. All these individuals are social networking each other. It means that social networking is a tool that is being used as a communication device, however, many people are worried regards its negative consequences on the life of youths and adults in the current society. This is the reason social networking has been a debatable topic with various divided opinions regarding its benefits and risks on the life of people. There are those who think it is an amazing tool, while others refutes this idea claiming that it has caused and is causing more harm than good. However, the bottom line of this discussion is that regardless of the benefits it offers, the dangers are more visible than good. The dangers of social networking outweigh any benefits it offers because of the ways it has negatively impacted the lives of youths a statement that not everyone agrees with thus is analyzed below.
Today, there are currently several social media network channels such as Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat among many others. This has created much pressure on the youths today who feels that they must fit in properly thus ends up using some if not all of these channels. However, being a youth especially a teenager is a critical stage in life whereby an individual feels confident, but at the same time they are deeply vulnerable to whatever they expose themselves (Lillington, 2016. p 1). A new study conducted has identified that teenagers that take part in social media especially during the night after school damage their patterns of sleep placing them at a risk of being depressed or anxious about life itself (Williams, 2015. p. 1). However, this does not apply to youths alone because adults too are addicts of social networking. Anyone who is on any social network is under pressure 24/7 especially to check on posts or texts or reply to messages sent to them. The anxiety increases emotionally investment on the social media which is not healthy for anyone. People will even wake up in the middle of the night not to miss on any discussion on social media (Udurie, 2015, p. 1). In the end, most people are tired and not as active as expected throughout the day because they never had enough sleep which is the onset of depression in their lives.
Another dangerous issue is regarding the strong emotional connection that people have with social media. Many girls today comfortably use social media to air their experiences –good or bad on social media instead of talking to their guardians or parents about it (Savage, 2014, p. 1). At the same time, teens are used to posting disturbing images of people who are dangerously thin as a way to inspire other girls to be like them. However, studies have revealed that this habit is causing more damage than good because it puts the teens under pressure to try and copy the “trending” lifestyle without considering its advantages or disadvantages. It means that social networking influences behaviors of teenagers and this has been tested and found true based on the ways in which they behave all over the world (Student reports, 2013, p. 3)
A study conducted by Leonard Kimberly revealed that there are certain hashtags which are being used on social media that are strongly associated with teenagers self-harming themselves (Leonard, 2015, p.1). For instance, he found a video regarding a challenge that involves swallowing a spoonful cinnamon in less than sixty seconds minus taking anything, a habit which scientists have revealed that is dangerous to the lungs (Monroe, 2014, p. 1) Majority of teens goes around using the same hashtag posting their videos as they take the challenges. This shows how much social media is influence negative behavior among people.
At the same time, there are risks involved in posting things on social media. One thing that is certain is that after something is posted, regardless of whether the owner retains it or not, there is possibility of the contents being shared, downloaded or screenshot. This has led to cases of social media bully because the messages or pictures will be regularly posted or viewed by other people who will end up judging them or even criticizing them in a way that lead to depression or suicide (Riley, 2016, p. 1).
However, regardless of how bad social media may appear to be, on the eyes of some people, it is a tool that has made the world a better place for everyone. First, it increases connectivity meaning that a person can still keep in touch with their old friends or family members regardless of where they are in the world. At the same time, apart from keeping people connected, people have taken advantage of social media to advertise their products by pushing website links which they can follow and get to learn more about it (Foresite group, 2015, p. 1). Some adults have taken social network as a platform to educate others by sharing messages about their business. This has increased purchase of products especially among those people who are either busy to go shopping or those who want a particular product that they cannot access within their vicinity (Peckerar, 2015, p. 1). At the same time, teenagers use social media network to connect with each other in groups and conduct online discussion based on their course of study. This has boosted learning experience while at the same time decreased the level of idleness among the teenagers.
In conclusion, the debate on social media networking especially its advantages and disadvantages is arguable because each person has different opinions based on what they see and think. However, one thing that is certain is that the dangers of social networking outweigh any benefits it offers because of the ways it has negatively impacted the lives of youths a statement that everyone may agree with.