With all of the social media outlets we have in society today, many young adults have become obsessed with their online personas; according to webwisekids.com, 93 percent of children age 12 – 17 regularly go online. Tweens and teens alike spend hours upon hours updating their various online accounts such as those on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Lately, it appears as though it’s all about your online profile. Unfortunately, with this being the case, many have forgotten the importance of face-to-face communication.
Life shouldn’t be this way. People need to stop obsessing over social media, and return to traditional forms of communication. It’s quite sad that less and less people call each other on the phone or actually make the effort to spend time together in person.
Many people spend much of their time selecting attractive photos of themselves to upload to their social media accounts – sometimes even editing the photos to make them more visually appealing. Someone’s profile picture on Facebook sometimes fails to reflect how that person appears on a daily basis. There’s value to staying true to yourself, and it’s unfortunate that many people portray themselves falsely to feel popular among peers.
Not to mention the dangers that arise from online profiles. Anyone can create a Facebook account; on the Internet, you can be whoever you want to be, which is a frightening thought.
A man intent on harming a young girl could create a fake Facebook account, using a photo of an attractive young man as his profile picture, and “friend” the girl. This could create a perilous situation because if the two were to get close enough on Facebook, it could get to the point where they plan to meet in person, putting the girl in danger.
During the summer of 2012, a fake Facebook account was created under the name Sean Andrews. Sean had “friended” many Miramonte students, saying he was moving to Orinda from elsewhere on the west coast and was going to be an incoming senior. A few girls exchanged numbers with him, and carried on texting conversations for a few weeks. After a while, Sean made a status saying that this had been a fake account created by a university in Oregon. The college had done this because they were conducting a study on how teenage girls would respond to an attractive stranger on Facebook. Luckily, it had been a college behind the fake account and not a predator. Despite the lack of danger, many girls felt violated that they had spoken to and revealed secrets to someone who did not even exist.
In less serious cases, students are concerned that some teachers may create fake online accounts to keep an eye on them. This may be beneficial for the faculty but this could violate the privacy of students. It’s up to the student what they want to post on their online accounts, yet, some are putting themselves in difficult situations by posting school-deemed inappropriate things on the internet. A student could be putting their academic life on the line, risking suspension, by posting inappropriate things on their online accounts if a faculty member were to see it. However, it has not been comfirmed whether or not teachers actually create false online accounts to watch over their students. Still, it is dissapointing that many feel uncomfortable online.
What’s more, many people are “friends” with people on Facebook and other social media outlets whom they’ve never met in real life. This is becoming a recurring trend, which is completely idiotic. Why would anyone spend their time confessing their secrets to a virtual stranger? With social media constantly surrounding us, we’re beginning to lose our common sense. Haven’t our parents taught us never to talk to strangers?
Sometimes, two people will message on Facebook for weeks without talking to each other in person. It’s sad that people can carry on riveting conversations with each other online, but when they’re actually together it’s uncomfortable and neither of them can think of anything to say without the protective cover of their computer screens.
People are losing their communication skills when they’re constantly speaking virtually. You’re unable to convey facial expressions, tones and inflections when speaking on the Internet. Consequently, when you’re in person, you’re at a loss of what to say to someone who you speak with through technology only.
Over the decades, live communication among teenagers has become less and less common. If you were a teenager in the ‘70s or ‘80s, you didn’t have to stress about what was happening in the virtual world because the virtual world did not exist. You didn’t have the social pressures to waste your time wondering what was happening on Facebook, Twitter, etc. A girl could get excited when a boy called her on the phone after school. Now, getting “poked” on Facebook is a cause for excitement.
This creates a disconnection between people when they consider simply a poke on Facebook as communication. This is not communication. No dialogue is passed between two people who are poking each other on Facebook; people really should take the time to speak to each other live.
Someone’s online persona should not hold as much weight as it currently does. If one’s online persona wasn’t highly regarded, the Internet could be a safe place. Individuals wouldn’t have to worry about online predators or harming their social lives or careers by what they chose to post online. Furthermore, people might actually talk to each other live rather than chat them on Facebook. It’s important that we don’t lose our communication skills. So forget about your online persona and focus on who you are outside of the Internet.
With the advent of internet, we’re introduced to a variety of social networking sites like Facebook. The big canvases of communication individually attract and influence us. We feel awesome connecting and communicating with close and distant friends. Earlier, we counted on our friends. Now, we’re busy counting friends on Facebook. However, it’s time to realize the notions of reality and artificiality. We miss our longstanding habit of communication like trunk calls, hand-written letters, telegram or even a humble post-card. Social networking’s become stagnant nowadays. One’s getting bored and feels that it’s a complete wastage of time. It is like playing charade instead of talking. Here are our top 10 reasons why social networking is a waste of time.
10. Too big to manage:
Every Tom, Dick or Harry can’t be your friend. Your friend, your friend’s friend, their friends’ friends and so on; you’re caught in a web. At times, it becomes irritating; it’s an ersatz, meaningless bunch. There is no reason why we should needlessly go on adding friends on Facebook when we cannot even speak with them on phone about anything under the sun.
9. Privacy intruder:
There is greater risk of loss of privacy when you are an extensive user of social networking sites. These sites store all your personal data. Whenever a user writes a post, shares a photo or likes any page, he/she is prompting the data to everyone listed in his/her network and to several agencies that aren’t. These agencies include advertisers, market analysts, social researchers, security agencies and hackers. This information can then be shared with spamming firms.
8. Fake identity:
Most of the people networking on these sites don’t want to reveal their true self but they love to brag. They fake their identity while making a profile, or they simply tell lies while chatting. After knowing the reality, sensitive souls are might get hurt. More importantly many people have fallen victim to cyber crimes.
7. Awkward situation:
At times, you share some photos or videos which you later think were not appropriate. But the damage is already done and you can’t do anything about it. There are several contacts in the list – your colleagues, friends, family, etc. Your image might be perceived differently by each of your friends on social networking sites. If they see you as a sensible human being, they may be shocked to see an image showing your wild side.
6. Everything is public/negative publicity:
While we’re busy networking, we fail to notice that whatever we share or post, everything goes public. Things go viral on net and sometimes they are blown out of proportion. We have to do our image-makeover later, but that’s almost impossible. Social networking sites advertise themselves magnificently; as if they are a paradise for any small or big business, to build more professional contacts. There’s absolutely no truth in it. Those, who make an effort to accomplish their business goals purely through social networking, are actually fooling themselves. Now, people are becoming more aware and don’t believe in everything the social network has to say.
5. Lack of anonymity:
You practically put across all your vital information, like your name, location, age, gender, relationship status and the likes, on social networking sites. Most of us would control our behavior, even when we’re acting impulsively but after a while, we’re back being ourselves. People are interested in you till they discover the real you, otherwise they keep themselves busy in exploring your personality. At times, we want to keep our identity intact, which’s not possible when we’re under public scrutiny.
4. Bullying and Scam:
Instances of online bullying have become prevalent these days. These sites are harmful especially for teenagers. There are onlookers who keep a tab on their behavioral pattern and innocent teenagers fall prey to them. There are incidents of emotional blackmail, cyber-stalking or demands for ransom. Apart from this, there can be a potential hazard in terms of security, too. Although many sites add special security features to keep a check on several cases of harassment, online scams and identity theft, there are chances of getting trapped into one of the many frauds.
3. Effects on work, study and health:
If the social networking bug has bitten you, these three dimensions of your life will definitely be adversely affected. Face-to-face conversations in real time are replaced by these well-prepared and easier screen dialogues. Kids suffer from physical as-well-as mental health disorder. Young brains are exposed to these fast-paced keys; buzzing noises or bright lights and they have to suffer from chronic depression and loneliness, their studies may also get hampered.
In today’s fast-paced world, people experience more freedom than their fathers. Freedom is extremely essential, but there are people who often exploit it. Social networking sites provide a good platform to people who seek ‘something new’ outside of their personal lives. Such sites have contributed to divorces resulting from infidelity of one or both partners.
1. Time consuming:
If social networking isn’t your top-interest, then you’re just wasting your precious time logging in to such sites. Social networking is supposed to be fun. Many do not realize when they have become addicted to social networking. Social networking should not become a hurdle in your student, professional or personal life. It’s better to keep your defenses up against the infantilizing effects of technology, lest we start behaving like bonded laborers.
Popular on the Web