The Advantages & Disadvantages of Social Networking

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Nowadays, it is very difficult to find young people that have a phone, but does not have any account of social networking sites on their phone such as Facebook, Instaram, Wechat and whatsapp as the social networking brings more advantages than disadvantages to them. For me, I disagree with the statement that there are more advantages rather than disadvantage. Social networking can be considered as an iceberg. Some of the iceberg that we can see are all the advantages of social networking. But, the other part of the Iceberg, that we cannot see, hidden in the water are referring to disadvantage of social networking. The hidden part are very bigger compared to the part that we can see, that can lead into a bigger problem. First of all, based on the United Nations, young people can be defined as combination of adolescence and youth. Adolescents are the persons that aged 10 - 19 years while youth as those between 15 - 24 years. So, young people are refer to persons that aged between 10 to 24 years old. Some of the reason why it is more disadvantages rather than advantages are it will exacerbate cyberbullying cases, reduces family closeness and decrease face-to-face comunication skills.

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According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, cyberbullying can be defined as a willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices. So, it is the act of someone who deliberately and repeatedly uses electronic materials for the purpose of harming others. Social media allows teenagers to communicate with all of their friends at the touch of a button, and this ability takes bullying to a new level. Without much effort, teens can reveal each other's secrets or spread false information online, and the results can be devastating. In the worst cases of cyberbullying, a teenager's reputation can be destroyed in a matter of hours, and the social fallout can push him or her to commit suicide.

Based on researched conducted by Cyberbullying Research Centre, the rate of cyberbullying prevalence has changed over the years that we have studied this phenomenon. On average, about 28% of students who have been part of our 10 recent studies say they have become victims of cyberbullying cyberbullying at some point in their lives. Cyberbullying disturbance rates also vary between research studies we have done. On average, about 16% of students who have been part of the last 10 studies have admitted they have another cyberbullied at some point in their lives. So, it can be argued that almost everyone who has social networking will be involved with cyber-cases whether they become victims or become bullies.

The impact of social networking to the family is very powerful. Most often, technology can bring a negative interactions in family between siblings or parent-child. As humans, we are social by nature and wish for bonding within relationships. Although we feel that we are connected through social media, but it strips us of our ability to hear and see verbal and nonverbal messages. Based on a study conducted by International Islamic University Malaysia, urban families are being affected both positively and negatively. In terms of the positive effects, urban families indicate that social media have helped them improve their quality of life.

In terms of negative effects, their families have been spending less on interpersonal interaction during meals, spending less on leisure time together, less sleeping time, and family members are less interested in family activities. The rural families, on the other hand, are affected by the social media in terms of negative influences only, namely, in reducing communication between them, experiencing strained relations among family members, and family members spending less time in resolving problems face-to-face. Whereas in fact, both rural and urban families get more negative impact from social networking in their life. So, social networking can reduces the closeness between family members. Besides, social networking can decrease face-to-face communication skills. Lack of face-to-face communications induces people not to use verbal expressions and use proper body language. People are losing their communication skills when they’re constantly speaking virtually. You’re unable to convey facial expressions, tones and inflections when speaking on the Internet. Consequently, when you’re in person, you’re at a loss of what to say to someone who you speak with through technology only. In a recent research conducted by University of Maryland, it was found out that the rapidly growing new forms of communications, which are of course social networking sites, have resulted in the dying of interpersonal, or communication skills.

They added that social networking sites do allow a person to communicate quickly and effectively, however it definitely takes a person away from reality by immersing one in the virtual world of communicating. This finding is somehow alarming because it seems like the emergence of social networking sites is threatening the conventional style of communication which is indeed essential in order for each of us to connect to one another in the real world, not just in the virtual world. So, it's true that social networking is causing a lack of face-to-face interaction skills.

Although some people find that social networking can help the introverts in communicating. However, for me it is very unhelpful but will have a worse impact on an introverted person. This is because, an introvert can not change from its original state to a better condition where they can communicate face-to-face and effective. For an introvert, using the site doesn't always mean posting to it, she points out. Based on the studied that was done by P. Sheldon, she said that shy people and people who are more lonely use Facebook to pass the time. Her research shows that introverts spend more time there than extroverts do. Thus, an introvert communication skill will not develop. How about the hope of our country that wants young people that can communicating and lead effectively for the future? Will an introvert person always hide themselves behind social media? So, it is clear that social networking will have a negative impact on someone introvert because the development of their communication skills is limited in social networking only.

In a nutshell, no one can say for sure whether social networking give an advantages or disadvantages, it will continue to be a pivotal part of society. Even though one person might benefit from it greatly, another person could end up being hurt by it. There is no way to know which way it is going to go because everyone has their own perception of social networking and the benefits or drawbacks that it brings to the table. But for me, I’m pretty sure that social networking can gave us many disadvantages compared to advantages. Social media is, and will continue to be, harmful, unless something is done about it. The power it has over people is dangerous and often goes unnoticed. Avoiding from it must be very difficult. Especially in a circumstances where someone used it daily and shifts within a week. This is a very challenging task, but in the long run, you do not have to worry about being cyberbullied, reduces family closeness and decrease face-to-face communication skills.

Works cited

  1. Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2018). Cyberbullying: An update and synthesis of the research. In Handbook of adolescent health risk behavior (pp. 195-211). Springer, Cham.
  2. Kamaruddin, M. S. S., & Bujang, S. K. (2018). Impact of social media on family relationships. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 26(1), 1-10.
  3. Kirschner, P. A., & Karpinski, A. C. (2010). Facebook® and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1237-1245.
  4. Lee, J. E., & Chae, Y. G. (2007). Children's Internet use in a family context: Influence on family relationships and parental mediation. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(5), 640-644.
  5. Livingstone, S., & Haddon, L. (2009). EU Kids Online: Final report. EU Kids Online.
  6. Martin, K. (2014). Self-presentation and belonging on Facebook: How personality influences social media use and motivations. Personality and Individual Differences, 71, 93-101.
  7. Moreno, M. A., Jelenchick, L. A., Egan, K. G., Cox, E., Young, H., & Gannon, K. E. (2011). Feeling bad on Facebook: depression disclosures by college students on a social networking site. Depression and anxiety, 28(6), 447-455.
  8. Pempek, T. A., Yermolayeva, Y. A., & Calvert, S. L. (2009). College students' social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30(3), 227-238.
  9. Rosen, L. D., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 948-958.
  10. Turkle, S. (2011). Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Basic Books.

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