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Dangers Of Social Networking Essay

1712 words - 7 pages

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Instagram have attracted millions of users since their beginnings, and user numbers continue to rise. Websites, such as these, offer a way of staying in contact with friends, establishing new friendships, sharing information, posting pictures, videos, and more. Since these options became available to us, many say that social networking has allowed for us to broaden our social landscape. Although many may believe this, it is far from true. Excessive media usage is now beginning to show negative effects in its consumers. Extreme uses of these sites are affecting our interpersonal behaviors, and are enhancing narcissism amongst other ...view middle of the document...

It was during this time that the main game changer in social networking was born, Facebook. Originally, “The Facebook”, as it was known, was initially for college students, but quickly was made available to other users. Its success was mainly because it created a “me” centric environment which allowed for users to personify their profiles, giving them the ability to “speak” whatever was on their minds in the form of a status. Furthermore, it allowed the user to share information easily. Today, Facebook has in total 1.23 billion users throughout the world, with 757 million who access it daily.(Duggan & Smith, 2013) Both MySpace and Facebook are still going strong today because of the variety of services they offer to their users. These services have led to the obsession with social networking that many face today. (Boyd & Ellison, 2008).
Soon after the advent of social networking, controversies began to arise. The media began covering stories of online bullying and child predators posing as young children on these websites. (Boyd & Elison, 2008) Stories such as the suicide of Amanda Todd due to online bullying were becoming more common. Also, the television show, How to Catch a Predator, displayed the haven that these sites were becoming for pedophiles. These reports led individuals to question other dangers that could stem from these popular sites. () In 2006, Jean M. Twenge wrote the book entitled Generation Me, which asked if narcissistic qualities are produced today via social networking and other media sources and will it have a lasting affect? (2006) After producing studies to research questions such as these, she discovered that there is a correlation between narcissism, depression, anxiety, and other psychological conditions (Twenge, 2006). Also, in 2013, this question arose again, this time in the form of a featured article, written by Joel Stein that graced the cover Time magazine. This article titled “
Social networking use can affect adolescent social development. Adolescence is a pivotal time of development in an individual’s life and much of the social interaction that takes place during this time helps to form an identity. Online communication allows for the adolescent to be exposed to the world, portraying themselves whichever way they deem fit. As a result, the adolescent sees this as a way of trying to make one’s lifestyle seem more appealing then what it really is. This constant maintaining of one’s persona can be dangerous because, instead of developing a true sense of identity, the adolescent is establishing an identity that is seen as acceptable or desirable to one’s social networking circle. In other words, it gives a child the ability to live out a fantasy, a persona that isn’t anything like the child. Also, now that more interaction is taking place online, less face to face interaction is occurring, therefore the adolescent isn’t experiencing key social developments received only when interacting face to face, such as...

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