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The Dark Side Of Social Media

1637 words - 7 pages

Imagine trying to function properly on four hours or less of sleep each night. Imagine a straight “A” student who just received their first “F” on a report card. Imagine sitting in sixth period anxiously watching the clock tick, waiting to bolt out of class to go home and curl up in front a seventeen inch PC screen to log on. Imagine personal insecurities escalating to the point where ending life seems like a conceivable option of escape from the cruel reality of the world. These are only a few hazardous effects that some encounter using social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. Many teens use these websites daily, hourly, and in some severe cases, even minutely. A 2009 study ranked Facebook the most-used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users. Because the public is more apt to be exposed to the positive, fun side of social media, many users are completely oblivious to the numerous dangers that lurk within the networks’ pages.
Of course, positive effects to responsible social media usage exist. For example, Facebook makes keeping in touch with friends and family who live in a different state or country easier and cheaper than calling them on the phone. Users can view photo albums as well as status posts on everyone‘s well-being. Get-togethers, sporting events, and other occasions are easier to plan and spread the word on Facebook and Myspace. Instead of going through the hassle of buying and addressing several invitations and worrying about the invites arriving on time, one can create a single invitation and send it to over one-thousand people within a matter of seconds. According to an editorial on Facebook dangers, “These kinds of websites,. . . , are a mixed blessing” (“EDITORIAL” par. 10). Despite the positives, a surplus of negative effects follow.
With Facebook addiction on the rise, teens lose focus in school. As stated by Aryn Karpinski, “Every generation has its distractions, but. . . Facebook is a unique phenomenon” (qtd. in Wilson line 14). Countless amounts of hours are spent on daily Facebook usage. With this, grades fall drastically in school. According to a study performed by Karpinski, a researcher in the education department at Ohio State University, “Sixty-eight percent of students who used Facebook had a significantly lower grade-point average than those who had not used the site” (Wilson lines 15-19). One can conclude that students prefer socializing on Facebook than spending time studying for important tests and quizzes. It proves extremely easy for teens to become distracted while attempting to complete homework assignments. On the social network, one moment someone can be typing up a research paper due the next day, and the next moment be browsing through profiles and photos. Rob Barnum, a student at the Australian National University admits, “’I’ll be studying for exams and you are in front of your computer, so you look up Facebook to see what’s...

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