Social Media’s Negative Effects on Society
Social media is something that is commonly used among many different age groups and different types of people. There are a variety of types of social media apps and websites, all made to allow people to share information and personal interests. Some of those apps and websites include Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and many more. However, no matter how many social media sites are available, it seems as though they do more harm than good. Ever since social media became huge among all age groups, new problems and fears rise among parents and the people who use the sites. Things like increased stalking, fake news, cyberbullying, and many more troubles occur, all due to social media.
Social media seems to be causing a lot of fear within people and the way others use these apps. Things like stalking, kidnapping, and catfishing, just to name a few, have become more easy for people to do. In an article written by Rachel Ehmke, she writes, “Another big change that has come with new technology and especially smartphones is that we are never really alone. Kids update their status, share what they’re watching, listening to, and reading, and have apps that let their friends know their specific location on a map at all times” (“How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers”). Many kids do not understand how easy someone can find them or find out almost everything that they are doing. People posting all about there life and revealing personal information makes it easier for someone to stalk them. Not only is stalking a major uprising of social media but so is catfishing. Catfishing is where someone poses as another person online and many people would not know they are lying. Things like catfishing can grab someone’s attention and lead to even more serious things like kidnapping. Not only is stalking an increasing problem due to social media, but fake news spreading has also become a major problem as well.
Fake news seems to be a term that many people are familiar to today. From celebrities to politicians, fake news is spread about anyone or anything, all on social media apps. Fake news is when false or untrue information is shared with the public. In an AACE review titled “Social Media and Fake News”, it states, “Websites containing hoaxes and misleading information pop up across the Internet and are often shared on social media to increase their reach – by both human users and artificial bots, deliberately or unintentionally spreading disinformation” (Stefanie Panke).
Fake news can cause people to freak out, get scared, spread rumors, and much more all without knowing the truth. However, some people who believe social media is a good thing will say that social media helps spread good information that many other people can learn from. Many people would say that social media can spread awareness of a good cause or it can even help someone in need. Even though some good news is shared on these apps, the amount of fake and harmful news shared is much more significant. In the same AACE review, Panke states, “A recent scare went through social media, particularly in parenting circles: Momo, an alleged social media meme, supposedly targeted children and adolescents to commit acts of violence or self-harm, either through a gamified challenge or subliminal messages in youtube videos” (“Social Media and Fake News”). A massive increase in things like the Momo Challenge has occurred all due to the way social media allows fake news to be spread so quickly. However, fake news isn’t even the worst thing about social media. Fake news and stalking have seen a major increase due to social media usage, but one of the worst increases by far is cyberbullying.
Social media has caused a lot of problems over the years, but one of the worst problems by far has to be cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is almost the same as regular bullying in the sense where someone is harassed or abused by another, except everything is online. In an article titled “Benefits and Costs of Social Media in Adolescence”, it states, “Research found that online bullying often displayed through social media, is associated with more depressive symptoms than traditional bullying” (Yalda Uhls, Nicole Ellison, Kaveri Subrahmanyam). Cyberbullying is a thing that many kids, teens, and sometimes even adults have to experience. Cyberbullying allows the bully to be anonymous and that can make it easier for them to say more hurtful things which can lower one’s self-esteem. However, many people would argue that social media can actually boost someone’s self-esteem when they receive nice comments from friends and family. Even though nice comments and nice posts are shared, the amount of bad and harmful comments overrule the good ones. In the same article, “Benefits and Costs of Social Media in Adolescence”, it says, “A recent study found that risky online self-presentation increased the likelihood of receiving negative online feedback on social media” (Yalda Uhls, Nicole Ellison, Kaveri Subrahmanyam). It is sad to see that when someone posts something online others can comment hurtful things to destroy another’s self-esteem. Cyberbullying is becoming worse the more kids realize that it is a thing. In some horrible cases, some people even commit suicide over those hurtful messages. If social media never existed, maybe cyberbullying would not be a thing too.
Overall, ever since social media became popular among all age groups, the number of problems in the world has seemed to go up. Problems like stalking and catfishing can lead to kidnapping. Fake news that can be easily spread can turn into fear and cause people to freak out. Something like cyberbullying can cause someone to take their own life. These problems have shown that social media has done more harm then it has ever done any good for our world. If social media was never invented, many of these problems would not exist as well.