Impact of Social Network on Society
Currently, people cannot imagine their lives without Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social nets. They surf there for a long time forgetting about their relationships, sleeping, eating, and other common activities. Social media has become their prominent life part making them more concerned with the number of inscribers, likes, and messages and turning them into the victims and the slaves of the virtual life. Without a doubt, there are many advantages of the usage of social networks including the interaction with people without spending time and efforts, the source of information, and the way to entertain and distract from everyday routine. However, the problem is that people are not conscious that the extensive use of social networking is harmful to them as they are unable to stop being online, thus becoming addictive from the virtual life.
The Use of Social Networking and Health
The extensive use of social networking technology is harmful to human health, both mental and physical. According to Hough (2011), social media addiction causes one of the most serious problems of mental health that result in psychological dependence, depression and even aggression when a person has no the access to social nets. Considering statistics, four of five students cannot spend a day without social media and usage of their devices (Hough, 2011). When it happens to them, they suffer from isolation, anxiety, and physical issues. Not without a reason, Hough (2011) compares the symptoms of social media addiction to symptoms of those who are addicted from alcohol, drugs and tobacco as any kind of addiction involves confusion, panic, distress, anxiety, and depression.
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The extensive use of social media can contribute to the development of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. According to Medical Industry Media (2015), few hours in front of the computer can increase the risk of the development of diabetes by 20% and obtaining a heart disease by 15%. Furthermore, the researchers relate the problems of obesity to the wide-spread use of social networking technology as impulsive unhealthy snacking is a frequent activity while surfing in social media. It means that people do not control their appetite when they spend time on the Internet. Moreover, social networks deprive them of time and efforts for cooking and eating the healthy food and doing sports (Medical Industry Media, 2015). Finally, people do not see the boundary between a real and virtual life and neglect their health in favor of social media and even experiment with their health if Facebook or Instagram dictate this.
Social Media and Academic Performance
The problem of many students is that they cannot control themselves when it comes to social media; therefore, their academic performance also changes for worse despite that the Internet can serve as the source of information. Conforming to the research of Abdulahi, Samadi, and Gharleghi (2014), there is a direct relationship between the academic performance of students and the usage of social media technology. Thus, students who spend much time on Facebook have low GPA results and poor academic performance. Time spent on learning and developing new skills and knowledge decreases, and time spent on surfing on Facebook increases (Abdulahi, et al., 2014). Moreover, students are too obsessive with social media that they are inattentive and inactive during their classes and look for the opportunity to use their devices (Abdulahi, et al., 2014). Not without a reason, universities and colleges ban the usage of social media to increase the academic performance and the quality of education.
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Most students tend to think that social media technology is the source of information for their learning. However, according to Rithika and Selvaraj (2013), most information presented in social media is half-true or false; therefore, using unreliable resources results in the poor academic performance. Gender analysis shows that male students use social networking sites more frequently than female (Rithika & Selvaraj, 2013). However, while male students apply social media for obtaining knowledge, and female students use social nets for their entertainment. The statistics show that those students who score 60-80% of a mark are frequent users of social networking technology (Rithika & Selvaraj, 2013). Finally, texting is very popular among students. Still the main problem is that they neglect any rules of grammar and use informal language that is also negative when it comes to writing skills.
Social Networks and Privacy
Social networks presuppose sharing the private information with friends, but there is no guarantee that it can be protected. Therefore, social media can deprive the users of privacy. According to Srinivasan (2012), social networking technology influences users’ perception as it persuades that sharing the private information is used for finding friends and then can release it to unintended people like Facebook does. Consequently, social networks deprive people of not only privacy but security. For example, the update feature on Facebook is vulnerable when it comes to security as the message can be forwarded to a large circle of friends (Srinivasan, 2012). Moreover, the login notifications on Facebook are not reliable and vulnerable to hackers. Furthermore, most users are not conscious of the danger of social networks as sharing information with friends, they can become the victims of maniacs or somebody can use their data for personal interests (Srinivasan, 2012). Consequently, privacy aspects of social media cannot guarantee secrecy and security.
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Social Media and Social Wise
Social networking technology is a restraining force of socialization. Though it involves the interaction between people, it makes them reserved, isolated, and even shy when it comes to communication in a real life. According to the research on face-to-face communication and social media use, social networks have a negative impact on the development of a person as a social being and his or her social relationships (Pea, et al., 2012). It means that online communication does not have such advantages provided by face-to-face communication like the social and emotional development, the ability to express any feelings and emotions, and the possibility to use not only verbal but also non-verbal means of communication. Furthermore, social networks do not teach how to behave and integrate into the society as it is virtual and unreal.
Possible Social Media Benefits
Social networking technology has many advantages that make them popular among young people. Communication is one of the main functions used by people. Social media provide the possibility to connect with people all over the world saving time and money as all social messaging applications are instant and convenient to use. Furthermore, it is the pleasant and entertaining time spending that unites people with the common interests in groups and communities. Moreau (2017) believes that social networking technology is a way of reuniting friends, immediate interaction, and home relaxing. Thus, social media opens many ways and possibilities for communication between people.
How it works:
However, all these advantages cannot diminish the harmfulness and the inefficacy of social networking technology. First, information provided by social media overwhelms; therefore, it is difficult to say what is true and what is false. Moreover, it distracts people from really important problems and makes them absorbed in a wonderful virtual world. Second, it is difficult to say whether the online communication can remain private as all social networks have privacy and security issues (Srinivasan, 2012). Without a doubt, young people prefer online communication to face-to-face, but they should remember that they can become the victims of cyberbullying and social peer pressure that can result in depression, anxiety, stress, and fears.
Social networks can help students with academic performance and encourage them to learn better. According to the article “How Social Media Can Help Students Study” (2015), social media should be used by students because they create a community and presuppose the conversation. For example, students can invite professors who use social nets to discuss any serious problems and develop team work involving their classmates. Moreover, when students miss their classes, they can ask questions or additional information needed to cover the missed topic. Furthermore, social media is a good way to organize learning resources as social nets make course information more accessible and organized.
In most cases, students use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for listening to music, chatting, playing games, and watching movies. They do not associate social media with learning and training practices (Abdulahi, et al., 2014). On the contrary, these social networks take their time as opening their profile page with the intention to spend there a few minutes, they forget about everything and can surf for hours. Moreover, social networking technology makes them lazy and irresponsible. For example, they fail to make notes but make photos of lectures.
In conclusion, social networking technology has contributed to information and communication areas, but these achievements do not diminish its harmful impact on people’s health, academic performance, privacy, and social wise. Social networks can cause mental health problems like addiction and depression and physical like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. Social media make students careless and addictive and lead to the poor academic performance and the negligent attitude to learning. Moreover, they can not provide privacy as other people can see the shared information and even access messages. Finally, social networks deter from socialization as emotional and social development is the outcome mainly of face-to-face communication.