I found an interesting blog post outlining someone’s detailed position on the negative effects of social media. To begin, the post explains how it will show how social media negatively effects society because of privacy breaches, electronic relationships, and other relationships.
The first argument for why social media is negative from this post is that it allows people and businesses the opportunity to “facebook stalk” others, which could lead to a potential breach of privacy of that individual. It also mentions how companies are able to do this on a larger scale to gain advantages over competition.
The next reason why this post claims social media is negative is because of the somewhat “fake” relationships that are built online. This post describes how because we only put our best selves forward on social media, we are not forming real relationships. It also claims that trust can only be built in person, so online relationships can also never fully be trusted. The post also mentions that this draws us away from the people we really care about.
The last argument that this blog makes is that spending too much time communicating on social media sites like Facebook negatively effects the way we communicate in the real world. It claims sites like Twitter that limit users interactions to 140 characters or less, are going to effect peoples spelling and communication. It also makes the claim that teenagers are communicating much less face-to-face any more.
While some of these points are somewhat valid, I feel this is a very poor argument overall. Yes these are negative effects of social media, but they do not even come close to comparing to the positive effects that social media has had on the entire world.
The first argument has a simple solution; change your settings to private. Almost every website like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram have the option to change their profiles to private. If people fear potential employers seeing their information, they can simply switch their profile to private. Also, everything that is put online is voluntary. People don’t have to post things that they don’t want others to see or know about and that solves the problem as well.
Relationships that are built online sometimes allow people to be more themselves. A lot of people have troubles with social anxiety, so to eliminate this allows people who possibly would not have interacted with others at all in person, the chance to build friendships online. Real relationships and trust can be built over the internet, even stronger in fact, as all barriers are removed and people can just be themselves.
Finally, the effects of social media on communication are debatable. Just because relationships are primarily built over social media does not mean they lack substance and value within peoples lives. Again the people communicating this way are people who feel they are really unable to do so in person, and thus without social media they would have no social life at all.