Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and any number of other social networking sites have made a huge impact on our culture. We now can connect with just about anyone, anywhere in the world. We can connect with our co-workers, the neighbor down the street, or friends and quaintness from thirty years ago in high school. We can connect with people from all over the world and feel as if we are part of a large community by browsing internet sites that are of interest to us. We do have to be careful thought, there is a downside to this easy casual connection we have in the electronic environment.
The social networking sites do their best to encourage use to be less inhibited about our personal lives. They are forever asking for more intimate details of our lives as are some of our so called friends on these sites. There are time people get lost in the moment and skip on past filters they may normally use and post private and intimate information they normally would not do (Jung, 2015). Posting personal information leaves you open to criminal activity such as identity theft, stalking, and robbery. I always like when one of our Facebook friends post pictures from vacation and let everybody in the world know they will be gone for the next week or two. Anybody who sees their post will now know that their house will be empty for that time period. Wait until you get home then post the vacation pictures.
You may also want to rethink about posting pictures you have taking or had taken of you at a party throwing back the shots and drinking straight from the keg. They may not appear as funny or spectacular when you are applying for a job. Many companies run a background check on the internet before hiring a perspective employee (Ta, 2014). Most of the social networking site allow users to control who can and cannot see your posting but sometime we may forget to set them or they do not work as well as we may think. To be safe becareful what you post, the language you use, and you may want to leave those racy spring break pictures off the internet.
Social media sites also give people a false sense of connection. In studies at Cornell University,, it was found that people have a hard time distinguishing between meaningful relationships that they build in the real world and the numerous causal relationships built through the social networking sites (Jung, 2015). When people bury themselves in their computers spending all their time and energy on meaningless relationships online their connections with their real world relationships become weakened and possibly lost.
Many businesses today use social networking sites to advertise and communicate with clients. This works well for business but can also pose a distraction for employees. When employees spend more time checking the social networking site so see what friends have posted or post themselves work productivity has been shown to drop. “In a study done by Nucleus Research they found that Facebook takes away 1.5% of office productivity (Jung, 2015). It is also claimed that British companies lost billions of dollars a year thanks to social networking sites (Ta, 2014). This has led to companies taking the step of blocking access to social networking site as a means of keeping addicted employees from accessing these sites (Ta, 2014).
Probably the biggest negative impact of social networking is the Cyber-Bully. School age children, young girls and women are often the targets of bullying and harassment by unscrupulous people trolling the internet. The ability to remain anonymous online allows for dark impulsive behaviors to come out in a person that may have been suppressed in the real world. These cyber bullies will attack their victims anonymously or even pose as people their victims trust. These cyber-bullies will terrorize their victims in front of their peer and family. The impact of cyber-bullying leaves its victims with deep mental scars and has even led to prompt some victims to commit suicide.
Cyber-bullying has spread rapidly and according to a 2010 CBS news report over 42% of youth have been victimized by a cyber-bully (Ta, 2014). If you are a victim of cyber-bullying you do not have to take it. Bring it to the attention of somebody, if you are in school; take the incident to a trusted teacher or guidance counselor and pursue legal action. If you are an adult again do not take it seek legal action against the perpetrator.
Social Networking is great, it allows us to keep in contact with friends and family, meet new people from all over the world, and use it in the business world. But it is not all sunshine and flowers; we have to be vigilant of the negative side of social networking. We cannot let it lead us down that dark road.
Jung, B. (2015). The Negative Effect of Social Media on Society and Individuals. Retrieved from Chron: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/negative-effect-social-media-society-individuals-27617.html
Ta, J. Q. (2014, August 13). What Impact Has Social Media Truly Had On Society. Retrieved from Business 2 Community: http://www.business2community.com/social-media/impact-social-media-truly-society-0974685#ReTtJ8uEKqJZSzA1.97