In the previous article (Benefits of Social Media) we discussed major benefits of social media but do the benefits prevail over its harms? You can never answer this question in simple Yes or No. like every coin, social media also has two facets- positive and negative. It’s a double-edged sword having both pros and cons and it depends on us how we make use of it. Considering the negative side there are many harms of social media and if learn to avoid them we’ll certainly make the best use of it.
Spread of Unauthentic, Misleading and False Information
Social media is getting populace with each passing day. According to a study of if social media was a country, it would have more population than India or China. There are 2.67 billion active users of social media in the world. For every topic, social media users share information. In a desire to get more likes and surpass others, users publish news without authenticity which leads to the spread of unauthentic, misleading and false information. It is for this very reason, social media posts often result in the spread of stereotypes, defamation of highly revered personalities and afflict some people with strong emotional pain.
Social Media Damages offline relationships
Where social media has gathered people at a single platform, it has played a deleterious role in creating distances and differences among people. These sites are so luring that people spend half of their day wandering on these sites neglecting the need to spend time and communicate with family or friends.
Social Media Distant us from Nature
Everything is available on the Internet. You might not have the resources to visit a soothing natural place like Switzerland but Internet has made it easier for you as you can search for its videos or pictures and can feel yourself roaming there. Anyhow, it has also become a cause of isolating people from nature. People pass most of their time with electronic gadgets these days. They prefer staying indoor playing games, chatting or checking their accounts on the internet rather than going outside and playing in rain or on streets. People have become so involved with these sites that they miss out on so many things like rain, going out in good weather, the sunrise or sunset and what more.
Lack of Concentration in Studies and Bad Grades
At one side where students are performing better with the help of these sites, there are many who are losing their interest in studies and scoring low in exams as these sites distract student a lot. As it is said ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’. Once you procrastinate from original work, it takes hours to get your attention back. And especially in students, these sites promote procrastination to a great extent. Social media has become an addiction for so many students which engender the lack of concentration in studies and bad grades in academics.
Social Media-A Source of Depression
Studies have shown that the more Facebook friends a person have, the more he got depressed. There is a lot of boasting on social media. People pretend to be something they are not hence making other envious. It has become a reason of complex in people too. Also, people are always in an attempt to prove other wrong by disagreeing them. Due to these things people become involve in face to face heated arguments that lead to useless revolts.
Social Media Impair Health of the Users
Reading newspaper was once a morning ritual in many families but today due to internet people have deviated from this activity. Secondly reading online puts a lot of stress on eyes whereas printed texts are very soothing. Newspaper and magazines- provide you with all the news at one place. Sports, health, environment, trade, economic situation; you can find all on one paper whereas you have to scroll and search for articles relating these terms on different sites. Looking for long on the screen for long hours cause a headache, dryness of eyes and can also disturb your sleep.
Social Media Engender Hostilities
Social media has divided people much. People have formed groups against each other. There is a lot of politics going on the internet. These sites have aid the spread of hate groups. Fake news, yellow journalism, partiality, conspiracies these things have played a major part in creating hatred between countries.
Social Media Dependency and reduced IQ levels
While social media sites have aided people in making their way through tough exams like SAT and GRE, it has also enabled plagiarism on a subject assignment. Instead of scratching their heads on tough questions, many students Google it as everything is available there. It has made them and their brains lethargic. Not only students but also office workers have become too much dependent on it for their works.
It is true to say that technology itself is neutral, it doesn’t force one to act in specific ways. The responsibility lies with the users, how they interact with technology and get the maximum benefits out of it. The need of the day is that we create a general awareness about how to use technology for the betterment of the society and once we learn this, it is highly plausible that social media will enumerate its benefits in the society.