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The Negative and Unhealthy Effect of Social Media

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Social media is a fun and easy mode of communication. But too much of a good thing can certainly be bad. These are the negative and unhealthy factors about social media.

A False Sense of Connection
It is easier for us to trust a stranger and confide in them than with our own friends and family. Thus social media sites can make it more difficult for us to distinguish between the meaningful relationships we make in the real world, and the many casual relationships formed through social media. By focusing so much of our time and psychic energy on these less meaningful relationships, our most important connections could weaken.

The immediacy provided by social media is available to predators as well as friends. Children especially are vulnerable to the practice of cyber-bullying in which the wrong doer, anonymously or even posing as people their victims trust, terrorize individuals in front of others. There have been instances where a hurt loved one insults and verbally abuses their former partners on their respective social media page for the entire world to see.

Decreased Productivity
While many businesses use social networking sites to find and communicate with clients, the sites can also prove a great distraction to employees who may show more interest in what their friends are posting than in their work tasks. New technology products have become available that allow social networks to be blocked, but their effectiveness remains spotty.

Social networking sites encourage people to be more public about their personal lives. Because intimate details of our lives can be posted so easily, users tend to bypass the filters they might normally employ when talking about their private lives. What is eerie is that the things they post remain available indefinitely. For example- a photo of a person having a glass of beer at a party may seem harmless; the image may appear less attractive in the context of an employer doing a background check.

Most people who are very active on social media tend to over emphasize their activities. Images of them “partying hard” with alcohol and other substances or constant pictures of people in love pose a negative influence. Viewing such images can invoke a sense of insecurity in others and deplete their self-confidence. This can also cause depression as people believe that these images depict the actual situation.

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