Effects of Social Media

Langmia Annan

The use of social networks has changed our lives; some could talk about the good impact that this has had in us as a humanity. Because they offer us a way of communicate with each other, express our-self’s, etc. But not everything is so good as it seems to be. In several aspects the social networks affect us negatively and actually it could be harmful. Hereinafter we will specify some of the consequences that we find nowadays when using social networks.
First, let’s talk about privacy: Hackers prowl the social media networks looking for victims. They tend to use spyware which they can easily install on your mobile phone, laptop, iPad or/and computer remotely via downloads, emails, shortened URLs or instant messages. The spyware gives the hacker information about the passwords you use on your social media networks and other accounts which you access online. Most of the social media sites have information that’s required, like your birthday and email address. Identity thieves tend to gather their victims’ personal information from the information available on the social media sites. Many identity thieves tend to hack their victims email accounts by simply using the personal information available on social media profile. For instance, one of the more common techniques used by identity thieves, is clicking on the “forgot password,” and then trying to recover the password via email. Once they access your email account, they basically have access to all of your personal information. Social media sites utilize mobile apps and the location based services to allow users to check in at their current locations. This normally reveals the user’s current location to all of the people they are connected with in their particular social media networks. The information posted can be easily used by malicious people to track your whereabouts. Moreover, telling the online community where you are, or where you are going to, can end up inviting burglars and thieves to your home or business. For instance, by posting your current location and saying that you are on a long vacation in Australia, you will be letting the potential burglars or/and thieves know exactly where you are, and how long you will be gone. To mitigate such risks, you should avoid posting your travel plans, and using the location based services.
In addition, when it comes to relationships, we’ve all felt the pressure to prove a relationship is going well through an outpouring of highly visible romantic messages, but how much of what we portray online is reflective of reality? And does our public performance of love hurt our real relationships?” Here we can read about a woman who had some struggling’s in her life with her husband due to uncertainty about the role that social media was playing in their relationship, and how it had been affecting it. She wrote very interesting things like this: “I’ve talked to a distraught friend after they had a relationship-threatening fight, just to see them—moments later—post an “I love you more than the world” status and a photo of their partner on Instagram.” She also wrote “I’ve envied the relationships I’ve seen online—you know, the really sentimental ones, where partners write long, heartfelt statuses about each other. But in reality, the couples who write those gushingly romantic posts might be, at best, trying to make up after a bad fight or construct a reality that portrays their desired relationship, rather than their real one. ” This shows that social media can serve to distort reality, something that facilitates the insincerity in people due to the ease that it can be to create a fictitious reality in order not to face the true reality that is lived; thus facilitating the non-resolution of problems in interpersonal relationships.
And finally we find that, the use of social media while working damages employee productivity. The overall finding of the study is that this type of distraction can potentially decrease work performance and productivity. However, it can also encourage interaction between employees and sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter can be used as free or cost effective advertising channels for your business. According to a study by Nucleus Research; a company which allows its employees to use Facebook in the workplace loses 1.5% of its productivity. Instead of performing their work-related tasks, employees can get distracted and compulsively check Facebook or Twitter for status updates, photos, chat with friends or update their profiles. Even though employees may also access these social networking sites for business-related activities, there are also a lot of distractions that can make a negative effect on productivity.
In conclusion, Social media is not going to disappear, but by realizing some of its dangers, we may be able to limit its most harmful effects. We should use social media to your advantage. Beware of its dangers and be aware of its of how it should be used. 
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