Social Media – I don’t think I need to tell anyone now a days what these two words mean. Ask anyone, even if he or she can’t give a perfect definition of social media, can still give examples like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram etc. So, if everyone knows, then why am I writing about it? Simple, I feel all the information in this regard are available but are scattered. So this is an effort to consolidate whatever info I know so far.
- This is a huge network over the internet that keeps people across countries in staying connected. The messages sent over this media reaches the receiver in the other side of the world in almost real time.
- It helps in creating social media communities that work for the betterment of our society.
- Social media does really great in digital marketing; which means increasing the popularity of a person, product or service among the targeted audience.
- I personally have been able to reconnect with many of my school time friends, who I had never thought I would be able to meet again.
- It helps people to stay updated with current affairs as most news agencies are also there on social media.
To be precise, the usefulness of the social media is immense. However, it’s good as long as it’s used for the benefit of mankind. Unfortunately there are several and really dangerous side effects also associated with it. Let’s see what they are.
- The most dangerous side effect of social media is ‘addiction’. When someone gets addicted to it, they just can’t stay away from it even for a while. I’m sure you must have seen those pictures where all members of a family are sitting around in their drawing room and everyone is busy with their own mobile phone, checking facebook or whatsapp.
- Rumours spread really fast, sometimes causing emergency situations. In some countries and states we have seen social media being banned by the government to stop negative information from spreading and causing unrest in the society.
- It provides so much of information. But most of that information is fake and tailored in such a way that people will easily believe and circulate. Such info doesn’t provide any scientific evidence to substantiate their claim. But they are written to touch the pain points of the present society and therefore people blindly consider them true and then fall prey to its side effects.
- Similarly it has the ability to twist any truth to appear as false information; which is equally bad for the society.
- Do not keep any expectation of privacy after you upload any information on social media. Suppose you uploaded a picture and shared it only among your friends, it can still be seen by others after your friends like or share the pictures. Even if another person may not download the picture, he/she can still take a screenshot of it, modify it in any way they want and recirculate in the social media with malicious intent.
- Morphed photos and videos have the ability to create riots; one of the worst cybercrimes.
- Have you heard about identity theft? That’s very much possible, now even in India, with little help from social media.
- Addition to it can cause stress, eye strain or lack of sleep. Lots of health related information is circulated across social media, however most of them are without any evidence to support what they claim. So adopting them without ample research may prove bad for your health.
- When two German universities joined forces to investigate social networking, researchers discovered that one in three people surveyed felt worse (“lonely, frustrated or angry”) after spending time on Facebook, often due to perceived inadequacies when comparing themselves to friends.
- Even in my own case, when I’m lost deep in social media and someone suddenly disturb, I become too stingy.
- Did I mention ‘blue whale‘ game?
I think you must have heard about the recent Facebook data breach. Let’s understand in details how much and what kind of risk that poses to our society:
Oversharing: Social media accounts and particularly Facebook are a treasure mine of personal information like birthdays, education, mobile number, email address and family relationships. And this same personal information is used as a security check for password recovery. An attacker could easily guess password recovery questions simply by visiting your profile on Facebook or Twitter and then break into your social media or bank accounts. The more details about your life you share on social media, the more at risk you are causing by leaking your own personal information that can be used to hack your accounts.
Here is a video on side effects of social media on teens:
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