Negative Effects of Social Media
Social media has revolutionized communication in the world and has played a significant role in how people choose to interact with one another. Social media has led to the conception of networking sites like Tweeter, Facebook, and LinkedIn that allow personalities to link with one another regardless of the distance between them. The world has been turned into a global village through the internet, and thus when people visit the social media platforms, they create a connection with a larger community. Social media has made it easy and less costly to convey messages from one region to the other. Businesses have found social media very resourceful in advertising their products and establishing customer loyalty through incentives offered in social media that suit its customer base. Despite the tremendous benefits and advantages of social media, it has its negative aspects that are quite detrimental to humanity.
There is a need to investigate the negative aspects of continued uptake of social media to analyze adequately and find a remedy to these problems. Sites like Facebook, and Twitter dominate the social media industry and have been accepted everywhere in the world. Their revenues increase on a consistent basis currently stated at over $3 billion a year. These sites offer their services free for those who utilize them, and questions might arise about how they can raise such hefty amount of revenues. Social media platforms make their money by matching individuals with the products they need. Content that is generated from social media is sold to advertisers and producers who can utilize them to design products and messages that appeal well to their customer base (Frazier 1). These producers and advertisers are willing to pay much money to access this information and therein lies the problem. Social media platforms have been able to amerce the whole world in its utility. If at all the use of these sites have negative attributes, these could have an adverse effect on basic principles of humanity, especially those of communication. There is a need to research the negative aspects brought about by social media and to mitigate them before they get out of hand and have a detrimental effect on generations that are yet to be born. Some of the negative effects of social media that need to be addressed are highlighted in this research.
Research on the topic
The augmented use of social media platforms has raised credible questions on the privacy levels that are adhered to in the course of usage. Many social networking sites that individuals use have set guidelines on how information should be protected and detail what actions users need to take in order to avoid any infringement. However, social media platforms often make changes to these guidelines on a regular basis, and it is quite difficult for users to enable them correctly (Bessenoff 14). Such a system makes it difficult for users to know the amount of private information that they are exposing to the public. Social media sites often encourage users to go public about their personal lives. Intimate details of personal lives are posted on these platforms, and these could have a negative impact on users especially if such information is used against them in future undertakings. For instance, a photo of an individual at a party taking alcohol might not be harmless but if potential employers have accessed such a picture, they might not consider such a person for an employment position. Even though most sites have a security measure that users can utilize to restrict such exposure, such settings are often not utilized. Constant exposure to private information on the social media platform has quite detrimental effects on the users and needs to be discouraged (Jung 1).
Even though social media has created social networks that have improved relationships across the internet, in an actual sense it has created an illusion of connection. Increased uptake of social media has led to constant isolation from authentic forms of communication and, therefore, established relationships that are not quite viable in society. Relationships that are created in social media are often casual and less meaningful than those created when people meet and engage in face to face communication. However, social media creates a sense of social isolation where individuals spend a considerable amount of time on these networks than they do with their counterparts in their immediate environment. Social isolation can be quite detrimental to individuals suffering from it. It can cause mental disorders due to impaired brain hormones thereby leading to high levels of stress, anxiety, and aggression (Degreed 1). The addiction created by social media only discourages sound relations and connections that are created by face to face communication while encouraging social isolation that gives rise to mental issues that have negative consequences for humanity.
In organizations and businesses, constant use of social media platforms can cause laziness and decrease productivity. Most companies tend to utilize social media in finding and communicating with their clients. However, in a bid for companies to achieve their objectives, they establish a reasonable environment for employee distraction from work. Most employees who work via social media tend to show more interest on what friends are posting rather than perform the tasks expected of them. Research conducted by Nucleus Research established that Facebook reduces work productivity by 1.5% (Jung 1). Much revenue is lost in companies due to too much time being spent on social media platforms by employees. In a home set up, for instance, social media has caused massive laziness that is quite detrimental to human health and social relationships. For instance, individuals would rather message their friends rather than walk to where they are and talk to them. If dinner is ready in the house, a person would rather text all family members about it than climb the stairs to notify them. The convenience of social media has contributed widely to increased laziness in the nation where people would rather sit down all day engaging in it rather than partake in other activities that can improve their economic well-being (Price-Mitchell 1). The addiction to social media can be quite dangerous to the economies of nations if not precisely regulated.
The increased utility of social media has led to the increase of cyber-bullying that is quite detrimental to society. Most times children are victims of cyber-bullying where they are terrorized by individuals who pose as people they trust and openly terrorize them in front of other users. The perpetrators often come out in groups created on social media platforms and expose information about the victim that is meant to disgrace them or even blackmail them into doing something they do not want to engage in. The devastation caused by these online attacks can create mental scars especially on children and in some instances leading to suicidal tendencies. CBS News report in 2010 stated that 42% of the youth had reported incidences of cyber-bullying (Price-Mitchell 2). The anonymity feature on social media sites should be checked to eradicate completely cyber-bullying that has serious mental effects on its victims.
Persuasive Theories Utilized
Persuasion is the art of changing a person’s behavior and attitude towards a certain aspects and occurrences in the society. The theories that have been utilized exhaustively in enumerating the negative impact of social media are social judgment theory, elaboration likelihood model, and conditioning theories. Social judgment theory is utilized when an attempt is made to convince the audience that cyber-bullying can lead to suicidal tendencies due to its adverse mental effects. The audience would, therefore, feel that there is a need to stop this from continuing since their natural recourse is to protect life and do away with anything that endangers it. The elaboration likelihood model is used when the advantages of social media are highlighted prior to a complete focus being taken on the disadvantages. Conditioning theories are utilized in getting an emotional reaction from the audience into supporting or not supporting something (Seiter 12). In this research, the conditional theory is utilized when an appeal to emotion is made on how private information is continually being exposed and how such information could be detrimental in future undertakings.
Evaluation of Audience
The audience that this research will be presented to consists of young people between the ages of 16 to 25 years who are regularly engaging in the social media platform. Most of them have cell phones and have experienced the pros and cons of social media. Such an audience is quite difficult to convince that social media has enough adverse effects to them. However, the use of persuasion theories to relate their experiences to the negative effects of social media could come in handy in explaining the research to them.
Bessenoff, Gayle R. “Can the Media Affect Us? Social Comparison, Self-Discrepancy, and the Thin Ideal.” Psychology of Women Quarterly (2006): 239-251. Document.
Degreed. Top Ten Ways that Social Media Affects our Mental Health. 2013. 27 April 2015. <http://degreed.com/blog/top-10-ways-social-media-affects-mental-health/>.
Frazier, Karen. Negative Impact of Social Networking Sites. 2015. 27 April 2015. <http://socialnetworking.lovetoknow.com/Negative_Impact_of_Social_Networking_Sites>.
Jung, Brian. The Negative Effect of Social Media on Society and Individuals. 2014. 27 April 2015. <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/negative-effect-social-media-society-individuals-27617.html>.
Price-Mitchell, Marilyn. Disadvantages of Social Networking: Surprising Insights from Teens. 2015. 27 April 2015. <http://www.rootsofaction.com/disadvantages-of-social-networking/>.
Seiter, Robert H. Gass, John S. Persuasion, social influence, and compliance gaining (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. Book.