Social Media: Harmful To Society Essays Example
Humans are social creatures who crave numerous ways to communicate with one another. Though the world’s population is steadily growing, standing at a solid seven billion, we spend most of our time communicating through social media. Myspace revolutionized communication was we knew it. Once, those who were miles away were at our fingertips. People we otherwise never would have met were now accessible. As social media grew, however, so did its uses. Today it is used for more than just communication. Unfortunately, we do not always use it with good intentions. People can use social media to harm each other, as well as themselves.
Communication through social media can be a wonderful thing. The introduction of a new form of media into the human environment was a fascinating thing to watch unfold. However, as it grew, the communicative efforts began to turn nasty. Personally, I attempt to practice honorable virtues throughout my daily life. Kindness and compassion are important to me; therefore, I was not privy to the evolution of cyberbullying. Despite that, it began to take place everywhere I looked. What once only took place on playgrounds and in school cafeterias was now following children home from school. They are now unable to get away from bullying because it is in their computers and phones, crawling all over their Facebook walls, Twitter feeds, and YouTube comment boards. While many believe this is not a big deal and only a simple part of growing up, a marginalized group knows cyberbullying is serious, primarily because they have lost somebody to it. Essentially, cyberbullying can kill. It can be hard to believe, but many adolescents and teens have committed suicide because cyberbullying has become too aggressive and overwhelming for them to cope with. Moreover, devices linking bullies and victims together are virtually everywhere, making it impossible for parents to moderate actions as often as may be necessary. The communication that once was revolutionary has become murderous.
Social media can also harm individuals in other ways, by stripping them of all privacy. Social media spans the far reaches of the internet, touching everybody who has access to it. This is often a difficult concept for an individual to grasp until it affects them personally. In many instances, they do not understand until they are impacted negatively. For example, social media slowly eliminates a person’s sense of privacy. As social media became more popular, individuals became more comfortable with their pages, feeds, and boards. Believing they were in total control of their content and where it went, some posted inappropriate phrases and photos. Specifically, many women have shared partially or fully nude photos of themselves, only to have the photos circulate to people they never imagined would see them. This can be damaging to a person’s sense of self-worth, as well as their self-esteem. A sense of privacy is important, and the illusion of privacy has caused many to forego their one self-worth to test the boundaries of these privacy settings. Because followers and friends alike have a similarly disintegrating idea of what privacy is, they often have no qualms with circulating intimate pictures of other people, effectively destroying their lives.
It is true that social media can be used to destroy the lives of others, but we can also use social media to harm ourselves. Without even realizing it, many people become addicted to social media. Posting statuses, thoughts, photos, and polls earns an individual likes, stars, comments and other favors of adoration. We revel in this form of attention, many times because we have to do very little to get it. In essence, we are lazy, and earning the favor of our followers takes nothing more than posting a thought they agree with or a photo they will like. It is an easy way to fool ourselves into believing we have friends, or people who care for us, without putting in the time and effort required to have a caring network of friends. We become addicted to the attention, as well as the lack of work that goes into maintaining these so-called friendships and, without realizing, in a day we spend more time checking our phones and computers for the approval of strangers than we do having meaningful conversations with real people in our lives who love us. The personal connections in our lives are important and significant, but become inconsequential when we try to earn the favor of followers and other strangers online. Social media, in effect, becomes more important to us than those in our real lives do. We lose true support systems and are left truly alone thanks to this addiction.
These consequences seem dramatic, and they are. They also appear unavoidable, but fortunately they are not. We are a part of a unique generation that has seen a life before and after social media. We know people are capable of better behavior than what they are displaying and it is likely that social media is responsible for a lot of what is going on. Parents, for example, often do not stress the psychological impact bullying has on other children and, therefore, they have no way of knowing what cyberbullying can do to others. Parents may not be able to mediate their children’s ever move on social media, but they can teach them kindness, and not to bully others. Furthermore, they can teach them that social media spans the entire internet, and once something is introduced to it, it often cannot be deleted. In short, parents can teach the next generation responsibility when using social media in an effort to prevent individuals from sharing inappropriate media. The promotion of face-to-face interaction should also be stressed, not just by family, but by friends. We can all make an effort to have voice and face contact with our close friends and family in hopes of delaying social media addiction.
In sum, social media can be harmful. There was a time when it was a revolutionary tool only used for good. However, as it has evolved, it has been used for reasons that are more nefarious. Many use social media to bully people they do not like, rather than exercise face-to-face conflict resolution or work on the flaws they do not like within themselves. They also neglect to understand the full power of social media, losing all appreciation for privacy. In an attempt to build a brand for their face and personality, they may post an inappropriate image of themselves that could damage their reputation or ruin their lives because others do not care about protecting them. Finally, this never-ending crusade to gain more friends and popularity becomes an addiction for many, eventually leaving the individual’s life empty and unfulfilled. Social media was once fulfilling, used for communication and interconnectedness. Now it is often only used as a tool for maleficence and destruction. Fortunately, there are solutions these destructive issues. Parents can teach their children kindness and responsibility, while we can all make an effort to seek one another out physically, rather than behind a screen. Social media can then once again be used for good, rather than harm.
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