Media: The Downfall Nisha Abraham Sullivan University ENG 204: Advanced Writing July 11, 2013 Abstract Social Media is affecting our society in a negative way. From being the number one cause of divorce, ruining people’s careers, and being a haven for teen suicides, many misfortunes arise due to social media. People may not notice its damaging side effects yet it is slowly but surely proving detrimental to all involved in the game. By taking a step back and maintaining self-control, any human being immersed in the frenzy of social media can enjoy its perks without getting caught up in the whirlwind of unfortunate events.
Keywords: social media, internet, cyber, cyber bullying, suicide, divorce, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, society. Social Media: The Downfall From the girl who played in your sandbox twenty years ago to the man who fathers your soon-to-be adopted child from India, social networking websites grants you the opportunity to connect with just about anyone you please in a way you couldn’t have years ago.
While such an opportunity sounds like what eating a bowl of your favorite ice cream feels like, being a part of the cyber world can prove to be disadvantageous.
Just like almost anything in life, social media provides its perks but it has its downfalls as well. Social media is most definitely having a negative impact on society. While social networking allows people in the workplace to interconnect with each other and other prospects, sites such as Facebook and Pinterest can serve as one of, if not the, biggest distractions to people at their place of work.
Social media significantly hinders efficiency and productivity which causes people to get less work done. Who wants to focus on monotonous tasks when one can look at pictures from last weekend’s epic pool party?
No one. While society encourages multitasking, “Research confirms that whether you are 22 or 62, trying to do two things at once ensures that neither will be done well. By definition, one task interrupts the other, and such interruptions have a profoundly negative effect on productivity” (Weddle, 2011, para. 9). By subconsciously allowing social media to sucker minds away from important tasks at hand, people can result in job loss, low self-esteem due to job loss, and further being consumed into social media due to new free time.
Alongside being able to connect with peers leisurelier, being able to connect with foes and online predators are just as easy. Adults can be just as easily duped, but kids are usually more prone to becoming victims of online bullying. Social media networks make cyber bullying that much easier and causes victims to lose self-confidence and lack self-esteem. “Social networking sites were used in 48 per cent of all the suicide cases, while messaging (text, pictures or video) were used in 25 per cent of the cases” (CBC News, 2012, para. 18).
It is in plain sight and shown several times in statistics that cyber bullying has one of the strongest ties to teen suicide payable to social networking sites and online attackers taking advantage of easily influenced youth. Yet another example of how social media has plagued our society is the fact that it influences people to make their private lives more public. While it is almost idolized to share your inner-most thoughts and personal photos on your personal social networking page, it can damage your future because anything on the internet is on there forever.
Future employers will easily be able to view your most unflattering moments during background checks and will undoubtedly have a negative effect on your future job opportunities. “These “boundary-crossing” technologies blur the already elusive line between the private and the public, the home and the workplace. Private information that was previously segregated now becomes easily accessible to employers, colleagues, recruiters, and clients, among other perhaps unintended audiences” (Abril, 2012, para. 4).
Yes, most social media sites attain privacy settings but one must always remember there are hiccups in everything on the internet and no guarantees leaks will not occur. As much as social media has managed to ruin our society, it plays a positive role for the public as well. Social media allowed people to use their networks as a form of reaching out to old friends and family across the world. With America being known as the melting pot of the world, our society has several people with family on the other side of the Earth. With social media in effect, this permits people to stay in touch with long lost loved ones and keep ties tight.
Not only has it sanctioned friends and family to keep in touches but has granted people to relocate birth parents and unknown family members as well. Yes, social media has failed our society greatly but there is always a rainbow somewhere after a rainy day. Social media can play a positive role by bringing people back together. Even though the world may seem small, we have a larger community than most can see with their eyes. The internet blinds people from the dark abyss of deceit, lies, and secrets but it is gradually becoming more apparent to society what can come about from misuse of social media.
With research, attention, and self-control, society can overpower the dark side of social media and turn it into a sunny one.