Binging in a bad way

Overuse of social media poses consequences to user’s safety

By Chris Skarnulis, Staff Writer

 

Take a moment to imagine life without social media. It is difficult to imagine because of its prominence in people’s everyday lives. If this became reality, it is likely that the surrounding world would be enveloped in chaos; people would forget how to function. Most would be quick to laugh this off, but this is an incredibly realistic scenario. Unfortunately, this scenario will never be answered because of its popularity and current presence in media today.

Social media can be beneficial in the aspect of obtaining news and career networking, but its entertainment aspect proves to be its biggest pitfall. Users of online social media are inadvertently ruining their own safety, health and sanity. Most would disagree, but life would be much simpler without the presence of online social media. It poses negative consequences to its user’s overall safety.

Online social media is single-handedly the most popular form of entertainment today. For those that aren’t familiar, social media are sites that allow the creating and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression through virtual communication. It takes its form in social network sites and applications.

Most civilized people are familiar with websites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. That is because they are each their own unique social media site. Although social media can be entertaining and informative, it poses a threat of endangering the mind of its users. Overuse affects not only a person’s emotional well-being but often there are risks associated with it as well. By binging on social media, a user runs the risk of being victim to making false connections, cyberbullying, privacy issues and the danger of accessibility.

Users run the risk of forming false connections online by becoming connected to false interests. Those affected have the possibility of being solicited by unknown persons online and run the risk of being swindled of their belongings. According to TopTenReviews.org, 55 percent of teens have given out personal info to someone they do not know, including photos and physical descriptions.

Cyberbullying is a serious problem amongst adolescents. Social media only further complicates that problem. Since social media is used most by children and teens, they are more susceptible to falling prey to predators/pedophiles through these sites. Children especially are vulnerable to the practice of cyberbullying in which the perpetrators, anonymously or even posing as people their victims trust, terrorize individuals in front of their peers. The devastation of these online attacks can leave deep mental scars.

The issues of privacy come into question when these sites encourage people to be more public about their personal lives. Because intimate details of users lives can be posted so easily, they are prone to bypass the site filters when talking about their private lives. When using social media, users need be more savvy about privacy and security issues.

According to Makeuseof.com, “In general, people just aren’t good about personal privacy and security, but teens are especially bad with it. Only 9 percent of teenaged social media users even have concerns about the privacy of their data.”

Accessibility, while viewed by most as the best aspect of online social media, is in fact the most detrimental effect on health. Because social media can be accessed from several media platforms at any given time, users take advantage of this accessibility and ease themselves into developing an addiction. Mobile forms of media including smartphones, tablets and laptops are used by most individuals and allow use of social media on the go. Users have developed an unfathomable “need” to be on social media as often as possible, which has lead to interference in user’s academic studies and career choice.

Online social media, though it has its perks, proves to be more harmful to a person’s overall safety and health. Most completely overlook the possible negative consequences of social media, but it has the ability to hurt individuals more than they can think.