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How Social Media Can Cause Cyberbullying, Loss of Privacy and Affect Our Mental Health

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Is social media a blessing or a burden? We think having a phone or social media is more beneficial to us than consequential, but using social media is affecting us and being harmful. Social media is used by everyone from kids to grandmas in their daily life. Mostly everyone has a certain type of social media account. People are always on their phones and are not communicating outside of their phones. We think it easier to text through phone than having a conversation with someone face-to-face. Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating. Social media is bad for people because it can be an addiction, can cause more cyberbullying, loss of privacy and can affect our mental health.

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In the article “The Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media states “There has been a phenomenal increase in the use of online social media (OSM) services in India, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In addition to these services, one-to-one messaging services like WhatsApp have 200 million users, the highest in the world. India has 462 million users accessing the Internet, among these: Facebook has 250+ million users, LinkedIn 42+ million, and Twitter 23+ million users, and the majority of users access these services through their mobile phones. (1) Social media is bad because it can be an addiction. We use our phones but some people use it more than others. Checking our phones and scrolling through social media has become a popular hobby or daily habit. We wake up and the first thing we do is grab our phones and check our social media. We can’t seem to get off our phones for a second and then that leads to addiction. One click goes to another and then another and times pass by without noticing. It’s like if our hands are chained to holding our phones. In this article, “Negative Effects of Social Media on Teenagers,” it states “Teenagers are constantly engaging in cell-phone use throughout the day. Users are even “texting, sharing, trolling” and “scrolling” while studying or completing homework assignments. ChildMind.org states that teens are now spending more time engaging in cyber communications as opposed to sharing and experiencing in-person interactions with others” (1). We are losing skills because of addiction we don’t know how to communicate with someone or be there for someone. We are lacking communication skills and lack of poor judgement. We don’t know how to make friends off online. Addiction is making us less connected to the outside world. Social media addiction is bad and we should start looking for help if we have it because we tend to leave things on side to look through our phones and can become worse.

Social media can cause more bullying to happen. Bullying has always been a thing. Bullying at school can go away, but if bullying happens in the internet it stays forever. Cyberbullying can be from body shaming, racism, stereotypes, etc. According to Richard Aborisade, “Similarly, Eshiet (2014) found that approximately 20% of Nigerian youths had indicated being a victim of cyberbullying at some point in their lives. Electronic technology also enables adolescents to hide their identities by posting or sending messages anonymously, by using a false name, or by taking up the on-screen identity of someone else” (5). Bullying can be done anonymously and that fact that they don’t get consequences is wrong. People tend to bully for attention, they put people down so they can feel better about themselves. In this article, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Social Media” “believes that, victims of cyberbullying experience greater levels of depression than face-to-face bullying” (1). Unlike regular bullying that happens at school you can get home and get away with but cyberbullying you always received it and be reminded of it. It stays on social media forever. Bullying should not be done no matter what. In the article “Automatic detection of Cyberbullying” by Cynthia Hee Van, claims “Cyberbullying research is mainly centered around the conceptualisation, occurrence and prevention of the phenomenon . Sociolinguistic studies have identified different types of cyberbullying and compared these types with forms of traditional or offline bullying. Like traditional bullying, direct and indirect forms of cyberbullying have been identified. Direct cyberbullying refers to actions in which the victim is directly involved (e.g. sending a virus-infected file, excluding someone from an online group, insulting and threatening), whereas indirect cyberbullying can take place without awareness of the victim (e.g. outing or publishing confidential information, spreading gossip, creating a hate page on social networking sites)”.(7)

Privacy is what we want but social media takes that away from us. Everytime we open a new social media account we lose our privacy. Social media companies have all information from what we like to what we dislike. People tend to not care and put their information out there. According to Maggie R. Guinta states, “Madden and colleagues (2013) reported that teenagers share more personal data on social media than they did in previous years. Middle aged adolescents (14 to 17 years) share their cell phone number, their school name, relationship status, and pictures of themselves more frequently than younger teens (12 to 13 years). While most adolescents with Facebook profiles choose to enable private settings, over 60% of teenage Twitter accounts are made public” (2). People now get to post the location they took a cellphone and upload it which can be dangerous. Hackers can hack into people’s social media accounts and get all their important information. People can post negative comments and responding back to them can be hard. We have no control over what we post. We can search something on google and next you know as you are scrolling through social media an ad pops up what you were searching for. Mani, Subramani insists “Social media is rampant with examples of mindless behavior, including bragging, bad language, exhibitionism and a desperation to please. According to a study by the University of Salford in the U.K., over 50% of social media users indicated that it caused a negative effect to their personal lives, including poor self esteem issues”(1). It can be difficult for a parent to know what is okay and what is not okay since they lack and are new in technology.

Mental health is important and social media is making it worse for us. Spending to much time on social media can affect our mood. In the article, “Social Media Effect on Mental Health: How Americans Youth are More Vulnerable to its Negative Implications” believes, “This suggests that viewing augmented photos of peers or celebrities may lead to false beliefs as to what represents reality, and may have negative mental health consequences. This is further supported by a study showing that when women between the ages 10 of 18 and 35 were exposed to images of beauty and fitness, their self-ratings of attractiveness and self-esteem decreased, and they reported higher levels of anxiety, depression, and body dissatisfaction” (10) People comparing themselves leads them to depression because they want to be like them. People tend to follow social media “famous people”. People tend to get anxious because they fear missing out on social media. Some people tend to do “all nighters” this is when you stay up all night to be on social media. You are losing lack of sleep which can cause anxiety and depression. People start comparing into other lifes. Melissa Magner reports “Another important finding from the survey indicated that after using social media, none of the respondents reported feeling happy and good about themselves. While 16% reporting not feeling any different than before using social media, 32% stated they felt sad or lonely, and 52% stated they felt different things depending on the day or what they saw posted. These findings suggest that social comparisons, whether to peers or celebrities, can result in negative psychological feelings” (13) We think that we need to be accepted or popular in social media and that makes us go crazy. Social media brings stress. Stoney Brooks claims “Researchers have defined technostress as a contemporary disease of adaptation caused by an inability to cope with new technologies (Brod, 1984) or, more specifically, negative attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, or physiology caused directly or indirectly by technology (Weil & Rosen, 1997). Symptoms of technostress include an inability to concentrate, irritability, and a feeling of loss of control” (3) For people who are new with technology it can be stressful, including if you have to use it into your workplace.

Social media can be fun and all but can be dangerous. It can become addicted, cyberbully, loss of privacy, and affect our mental health. There is more good than bad. Its addicted because we are so stuck in the social media world and not enjoy the real world. Cyberbullying happens more than we think we bully for fame. The more social media accounts the less privacy we have. We get depressed because we compare each other lives and post on social media. Though social media has negative pointer it will still grow and grow. The new generation will all be improved technology. We have to balance the social media world with the real world. We need to seek help if we are addicted or have a break on social media. You will see how much you are missing out.

 

 

 

Work cited

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