The dangers of social networks include the trivial like loss of valuable personal or work time to the more serious like teenage suicide following online bullying or blackmail.
While social networks has become a staple of social interaction, therein lies a great deal of potential dangers.
WarningSocial networks have many uses and can be helpful in many aspects of life. However, this modern phenomenon may still present dangers to its users . These dangers are not to be ignored.
If you can’t imagine your life without social media, you’ve probably fallen victim to the power that social networking sites have on people.
You might be surprised to learn that the negative effects of social networks are both physical and mental . They can change your perception of the world and yourself. While social media does have some positive effects, it also has a lot in the drawback column.
Additionally, many businesses effectively use social media to promote their products and connect with customers.
ImportantHowever, social networks can also pose a risk to companies . Not only can social media use interfere with productivity, but information shared on social networks can do real damage both to co-worker relationships as well as your brand.
Don’t believe it? Read on for a list of social media’s negative effects and dangers. If you recognize any of them as issues in your own life or business, it may be time to reduce your usage or even stop using social media altogether.
Opium For The Masses
Unhealthy obsessive usage of social media is a potential danger for individuals who have developed a psychological need for affirmation of the self through attaining likes and numbers of online friends or followers.
Social media can be more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol.
WarningOur dependence on social media is even becoming worse than drug addiction. Researchers have found some troubling parallels, but the situation is much bleaker in reality.
Many people are becoming so addicted to the use of social networks that they are unable to resist checking their handheld device or mobile every few minutes, waiting for messages from friends.
And they become frustrated if they do not receive any update from friends or comments.
ImportantSimilar to a gambling addiction, the high feeling when the body releases endorphins can only be felt for a fraction of a second – when you are notified. As soon as the smartphone is out of sight, many people start to feel uncomfortable and as if they’re missing out.
Social networks take advantage of our social nature, our tensions and emotions, our energies and our desires.
All this is simply to continue feeding the well oiled machine that generates cash for its billionaires , or serves other interested parties, such as governments and intelligence agencies.
We are addicted to the social networks, and our youths view “likes” as a measure of social status.
We see the harmful results all around us. They are called “social” networks but they are actually very good at alienating us against one another , and isolating us from genuine human interaction.
If this is not convincing enough, look at those founders who have abandoned Facebook, and speak openly about the conscious emotional manipulation of users , and how algorithms are programmed to draw the most attention from us.
Eventually, this can become an unhealthy substitute for and distraction from the leading of meaningful personal relationships in daily life.
Social networking sites are common places for cyber bullying to occur. Victims of stalkers are often confronted with threatening messages.
While social media makes it easier to meet new people and make friends, it also enables cruel people to tear into others with little effort.
Perpetrators of bullying can use the anonymity that social networks provide to gain people’s trust and then terrorize them in front of their peers. This may include threats of violence, slander, or even leaking personal images .
WarningAdults can become victims of online abuse, too. Since screens hide our faces, you can end up being a jerk on social media and other websites without even realizing it .
These online attacks often leave deep mental scars and even drive people to suicide in some cases.
Conversely, public humiliation is a possible consequence of posting an opinion or joke that jars with the sensibilities of some social groups, a personal revelation that exposes you to judgemental and condemnatory reactions, or a poorly checked purported fact you got from a potentially biased or unreliable third-party source.
Colleagues may also experience tensions if they follow each other on social platforms.
ImportantWhile many workers are careful to avoid expressing opinions on controversial subjects at work, they may be less restrained online. If a colleague spots an opinion that he finds upsetting, the disagreement may spill over into the workplace, potentially interfering with productivity.
Seeking validation online is a danger because it has us relinquish our power to affirm ourselves even more.
When we seek validation, we attempt to define who we are online, not have online complement who we are. Let’s cut all the validation at the roots and get back to being our true selves .
here is why social networks are dangerous
Spending too long on social networking sites could be adversely affecting your mood . In fact, chronic users are more likely to report poor mental health, including symptoms of anxiety and depression.
It’s easy to not see people all day, but rather see them online.
ImportantIt’s easy to shut ourselves off from interaction because we believe our interaction online is enough. Distance yourself from this tendency to isolate . Allow social media to push you in the world even further, not away from it.
Many mental health professionals are deeply concerned about the impact that social media has on mental health.
Some believe that the constant distraction of social media contributes to shortened attention spans. In addition, many people who regularly use social media platforms report high levels of stress .
WarningIn addition, multiple studies have shown that the psychological effects of likes, comments and shares are proving detrimental to the mental health of the general population.
The design of Facebook in particular has caused what researchers have called a context collapse, where users are locked into a single persona by the platform.
This persona has led us to create the perfect version of it, another factor leading to social networks envy, and a reason many people are actually buying followers.
Comparing yourself to other people is a sure path to anxiety, and social media has only made this easier to do.
Social media lets you see the carefully selected best parts of everyone else’s lives , which you compare to the negatives in your own life. When we see other’s accomplishments, how many of us envy them? Like validation, we’ve always done this with our peers.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon that was born around the same time as the rise of social media.
FOMO is a form of anxiety that you get when you’re scared of missing out on a positive experience that someone else is having . This fear receives constant fuel from what you see on social media.
Privacy Blind Spots
Loss of privacy is perhaps the most subtle danger of social networking. The personal information posted on social network can be exploited by anyone , since it is open to the public.
There is a major gray area as to who would own the materials that we upload.
Someone who might be concerned about this might be a professional photographer or a musician who might want to share their work. Uploading content is a great way to get a lot of potential friends to notice it, but you might want to think about whether the network could end up owning this material.
Personal data is being bought and sold to the highest bidder.
ImportantThird-party data brokers, or companies that buy and sell information on customers, have become massively influential in the era of big data. For social media platforms, these transactions present an enormous new stream of revenue .
Social media users don’t understand the value of their personal data, and it’s become more common to accidentally expose themselves to malicious activity.
Facebook users were outraged when the third-party data firm Cambridge Analytica got its hands on personal data for as many as 87 million Facebook users — without their permission. While that breach was the the most publicized one, there have been additional breaches since then.
Once information is posted on a social networking site, it is no longer private and may be freely open to others.
Fake As Usual
As most people probably know by now, social media forms unrealistic expectations of life and friendships in our minds.
Most social media sites have a severe lack of online authenticity.
ImportantBut in reality, you have no way of knowing whether this is all a farce. While it looks great on the surface, that person could be in massive debt, and just desperate for Instagram likes as a form of validation.
One simple way out of this mess should be for everyone to quit lying on social media . But in the era of influencers who earn millions from being inauthentic, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
Social media has become a marketplace first.
Facebook is a prime example of a social network that has become more commercialization rather than a place to connect with friends . While the platform’s viewership has slowed considerably, its ad revenue jumped by 42 percent in early 2018, demonstrating the company’s aptitude for making money over its aptitude to forge connections.
The cry of “fake news” has become commonplace and consumer confidence in even traditional media outlets has been significantly eroded.
WarningUnfortunately, false, misleading, or confusing online content can harm your brand’s reputation, upset even loyal customers and can dissuade people from even considering the purchase of your products or services.
Untrustworthy and misleading content is easy to find on the Internet as a result of the lack of rigorous quality controls on the content.
It is intellectually important to retain a sceptical mindset towards any factual claims made on websites that are not held to the fact-checking standards of scientific publications or the conventional ‘quality’ news press.
Social networks are full of dangers, which could have profound consequences on you or your business. You can avoid many of these pitfalls just by using these networks carefully .
Social networks can be used to make friends, find romance or even to market yourself or your business.
ImportantThe important thing is to remember that these sites can also be misused and we need to take care of our privacy and reputation. Think twice about the way you use social networks .
It is just as equal of a danger to stay on social media than it is to leave.
We’ve discussed some of the negative impacts social media has for many, but you’re the one who must decide whether there’s more help or harm in it for you personally.
What this means is we are free to choose.
We are free to pick which set of problems we want. We can decide how we want to improve our online experience . The choice is yours.
WarningSocial media are generally a useful communications and marketing tool in the 21st century, but it pays to use them conscientiously so as to avoid the potential pitfalls.
Any technological innovation that does not advance humanity towards the purpose of its development only harms it.
Once we move our personal relationships away from social media to networks that value privacy, we may eliminate the current toxic social media environment and get back to the basics.
InfoGary Vaynerchuk is widely considered an expert of social media because, well, he is doing well for himself there. So he does have the credentials to speak and he does have experience in it.
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Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.