Many people in our society can relate. We wake up, check our phones. We go to school, check our phones. We go home, check our phones. And right before we go to bed, we check our phones. And for what? What are we constantly checking? Imagine logging out of social networking sites for one day. How would you feel? You would probably feel disconnected and want to log back on as soon as possible. This generation uses these websites to connect, to stay in the loop, and to become involved. However, people will take advantage of the use of these websites, and in return, the websites take over the majority of their life.
The act of constantly wanting to be on a social website has become an obsessive, compulsive activity. Social networking creates a feeling of self-worth. It becomes a daily routine to always know others business, and if it is taken away, it becomes a craving. In this time, the current generation is very dependent and focused on social networking sites. Such social networking sites are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. These social networking sites have sparked a debate on whether it is good or bad for the society.
Social networking can put people at risk for cyber-bullying, false information, fake rumors, and online predators, along with other negative results. It causes two friends that are hanging out, or a mom and her daughter in the car together, to not even converse with each other. Their focus is what is on the phone or the computer. Not the person that they are with. The person thinks they are communicating by being on these social networking sites, when in reality they are being consumed by it. Social networking provides a false sense of identity online where people become limited and blocked from the real world, by a screen.
One big issue with social networking sites is that it gives the youth an easier access to bully others, or be bullied. This is called cyber-bullying, where a person uses technology or online social networking sites to bully or harass another person. Certain cases of cyber-bullying are gossip, exclusion, cyber-threats, impersonation, harassment, and cyber stalking. It has become a problem how so many teens in this generation have been bullied. “More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyber threats online. ” (Cyber Bullying Statistics).
An even bigger problem is the fact that when a kid is bullied, they don’t feel comfortable in telling their parents. “Only 1 in 10 teens tells a parent if they have been a cyber-bully victim” (Cyber Bullying Statistics). Many kids don’t even put their selves out there to be bullied. Some kids will unwillingly have pictures taken of them and have those pictures be put online. “1 in 10 adolescents or teens have had embarrassing or damaging pictures taken of themselves without their permission, often using cell phone cameras” (Cyber Bullying Statistics).
Cyber-bullying has become an even bigger problem, because not only is it little comments and rude remarks, but it has become serious threats. “32% of online teens say they have been targets of a range of annoying or potentially menacing online activities. 15% of teens overall say someone has forwarded or posted a private message they’ve written, 13% say someone has spread a rumor about them online, 13% say someone has sent them a threatening or aggressive message, and 6% say someone has posted embarrassing pictures of them online. ” (Gilkerson). Cyber-bullying on social networking sites can cause serious issues to the current generation.
Another big issue caused by social networking sites that it prevents people having in-person conversations and face-to-face
When online, people are blocked off from hearing and seeing these non-verbal suggestions. “As human beings, our only real method of connection is through authentic communication. Studies show that only 7% of communication is based on the written or verbal word. A whopping 93% is based on nonverbal body language. ” (Tardanico). This can be a real problem to society because if a person acts as if he or she was fine online, they could really be hiding their true feelings, and others would never know. “Awash in technology, nyone can hide behind the text, the e-mail, the Facebook post or the tweet, projecting any image they want and creating an illusion of their choosing. ” (Tardanico). The person may be feeling upset, depressed, or suicidal, and all others can see is the way they pretend to be online. Without nonverbal cues, others will never know the true emotions behind the computer or phone screen. Another issue if that “Soon, they will neglect their family and friends as they are too engrossed with the social networking sites…” (Social Networking-Destroyed Communication Essay).
Essentially, social networking sites have caused families to slowly drift farther apart. As well, family bonds and friendships are being worn down and broken. Social networking has caused the importance of face-to-face communication to lessen; now we depend on little emoticons and the way the person on the other side is going to react to the message or post. This can put people at danger, for others won’t be able to know the truth. The third, and final, issue caused by social networking is the spread of false information, fake rumors, and gossip. “49. % of people have heard false news via social media. ” (Are Social Networking Sites Good For Our Society? )
Social networking sites such as Twitter can cause the fast, viral spread of false information about events such as the Boston bombings, the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, and Hurricane Sandy. For example, during the Sandy Hook tragedy a cop stated, “There has been misinformation coming from people posing as the shooter in this case, using other IDs, mimicking this crime and crime scene,” Vance said, adding that some of the posts are of a “threatening manner. (Roberts) False information this is being spread around is dangerous, because people can we falsely accused of a crime that they did not commit. Also, when Hurricane Sandy occurred, Detroit Free Press states, “The story of Hurricane Sandy unfolded quickly on social media: a poignant photo of soldiers standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a picture of a giant wave slamming into the Statue of Liberty, and TV reports that 3 feet of water flooded the New York Stock Exchange. None of it was true. ” (Bello).
This rumor wreaked havoc, and causing a frenzy throughout the nation, all because of one person. People have been wrongly accused, phony threats and calls have been reported, and fake outcomes of natural disasters have been spread through social networking sites too much. This gives the society a false feeling of belief. If later, what we heard isn’t true, then how will we ever know if the social media is telling the truth or not? People nowadays will tend to believe the first thing they see or the first report they hear. All this causes confusion on the real story of events.
Social networking sites also cause stress and tension on relationships. It gives the society a chance to publicly announce something that probably should be kept personal. “All the social network is doing is exposing the fact that maybe your relationship isn’t what you thought and hoped it was. ” (Social Networks Are Ruining Relationships). In essence, social networking sites are giving our generation an easier opportunity to share their private relationships with the public. Social networking sites can easily spread false information, fake rumors, and can make relationships difficult.
We use social networking sites as a false sense of identity, giving us limited freedom to do certain things, negative or positive, that we wouldn’t be able to do in person. Certain negative effects are cyber-bullying, the wildfire-paced spread of false information, the public pressure on relationships, and the act of averting people’s attention away from the person in front of them to what’s on their phone screen. The thought that a computer or phone screen can cause form a wall between us, and the real world, is a scary thought.