What are the Effects of Social Media on Our Youth?

Are We Letting Sites like Fcebook and Twitter Become too Prominent in Our Lives?

Technology such as social media websites have become prominent parts of life for many young people today, but what is it really? What are the negative affects? And the positives? Are we as a society becoming a people who are more concerned with Facebook than our daily lives? When it comes to these sites there are many positive aspects but there are equally as many dangers that come with the use of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, in order to be aware of all the sides of social media sites we must dig in and research this topic thoroughly before we or our children become over indulged in it.

First, What are the Good Parts?

Social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace can also act as a great tool for professionals, both helping to market skills of small business owners and also find business opportunities, “you can also use these sites to network professionally. You might be able to help someone else out. For instance, one friend might mention on his profile that he needs a carpenter to come to his house. You might know someone who’s perfect for the job; all you have to do is send a couple of messages and you’ve helped two friends out at the same time!”


Now the Hard Part, the Negatives..

On the negative side there are many risks involved with the social media and the internet in general. One of the risks that is most highlighted by today’s media is cyber bullying; over the internet, which mostly occurs on social media sites, such as Facebook. Cyber bullying is defined as the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. (google.com)

Another scary fact about young people and the internet is that they are too open and public with personal information, “most youth do not read websites’ privacy policies or may be unaware that their information is at risk of disclosure to third parties like advertisers. Though concerned about talking to people they don’t know online, teens appear to be less worried about posting information about themselves. Twenty-one percent of teens say it is safe to post personal information, including photos, online to a public profile” (www.phi.org) When teens, young adults, and anybody else for that matter use the internet without reading all disclaimers and policies it opens them up to having their person information divulged. This is a serious issue due to the rising rates of cyber crimes like identity theft. Once you’re a victim of identity theft or even a computer virus, there’s not much you can do to make it better, the best way to avoid this misery is to be careful and conscious of what you’re putting out on the internet before it happens. Social networking sites can very be harmful to the wellbeing of your computer if you’re not careful, many hackers can get access to your information very easily by using tactics such as social engineering. Social engineering plays on human nature to get results. Basically, the hacker goes into a friends account or creates a false account for a friend and gets you to click a link to a video or another site and when you click, your computer becomes infected with a virus of some kind.

New studies have shown that site such as Facebook can actually influence you to spend more money. The way they do this is through advertisements on the corner of your screen, the ones nobody pays attention to. This kind of almost subliminal advertising can subconsciously pressure you to buy a certain product or service. Reader’s Digest shows that, “New research suggests that heavy social media use might be correlated to lower self-control, which marketing experts believe could lead to higher spending. ‘Ultimately, the way you counteract this is by raising your self-awareness,’ Columbia University Professor Keith Wilcox”


How much Influence do we Give This Part of Our Life?

In many cases it is clear that social media has become not only part of people’s lives but the thing their life revolves around. We see people on smartphones every two minutes looking for the newest Tweet or status updates from friends. We find that being “Facebook official” brings validity to things in our lives and the list of examples goes on. It’s important to realize that this great tool is just that, a tool, not a lifestyle.

In this day and age we are pressured ten different ways as far as our beliefs and opinions are concerned; are we standing up for what we believe in our lives and having our own thoughts or are we so influenced by this phenomenon that we mistake what we have seen for our own opinions? Social media sites can, not only help us become more socially able but, also make us inept as well. We sometimes share too much with too many people and we have to also be conscience of that. Overall, we have to be careful and caution when approaching these things.

Is Our Internet Culture Destroying Us?