A social networking is an online interaction service that managed to build people and connect them with shared interest. Social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter has attracted millions of users who have integrated these sites into their daily practices. Some sites cater to diverse audiences while others attract people based on their common language or national –based identity by making their own blog in the web. Last year, there are 483 million daily active users on average in December 2011 and they had 845 million monthly active users at the end of the said year (Facebook, 2011).
Moreover, these sites are becoming so popular in the status quo because it continuously attract many people especially Teenagers since their interests are being catered by these websites . Besides, virtual communities enhance people’s friendship and love relationship. In line with this, three of many features that SNS could offer- first, users can make their own profile that would associate to their selves and users could easily edit it as much as they want to share their information by adding friends. Second, there is an instant messaging, so you can easily communicate to other parts of the world in your place and time.
And lastly you could check the other users’ profile including their pictures and read their personal information without their permission. Further, today’s generation has become so technology dependent. Students tend to consult the educational related websites such as Google to supply their needs from time to time but then they also visited other websites including Facebook to check their profile and ended up they spend too much using Facebook rather than making their assignments or whatsoever. Having these statement we could accumulate that Social Networking Sites brought a great impact to the youth especially teenagers.
Thus, this impact could be advantageous and disadvantageous. What are the negative effects of social networking and what are the problems that result from these effects? Now, this term paper aims to discuss the effects of social networking sites to teenagers. It increasingly interest academic and industry researchers who were intrigued by Social Networking Sites’ affordability and reach. Besides, we researchers want to specify that we would like to discuss only negative effects of Social Networking Sites to teenagers focusing with these areas. First, Social Networking causes cyber bullying and personal fraud. How are these two connected?
According to Ann Frisén, Professor of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg, Cyber bullying occurs when new technologies such as computers used to harass or bully somebody. The perpetrators often use SMS, e-mail, chat rooms and Facebook to spread their message. While personal fraud is a crime type that is rapidly growing in the society because of the wide range of expansion and availability of internet technology and the enhancement of electronic storage, spread and distribution of data (Australian Bureau of Statistics,2008). Then, cyber bullying and personal fraud would lead to several problems, these includes: depression, isolation nd invasion of privacy. For better understanding, the researchers would discuss briefly these three problems. First, Young victims of electronic or cyber bullying which occurs online are more likely to suffer from depression than their tormentors are a new study of (Science Daily, 2010). Cyber bullying has more grave impact to its target victim mentally because of its wide range of audience since it can be seen worldwide and this causes traumatic experience to the victims that lead to mild or severe depression rather than traditional bullying which caters only limited audience.
Because of severe depression of the victim that would lead to another problem which is isolation since the victim is being humiliated it would now be a hindrance for the victim to mingle and could weaken the strong ties as e result of preoccupied mind and eventually interferes and lessens with the victim’s interpersonal skills. This is true also for the victims of personal fraud since their information are being stolen. And this would lead to invasion of privacy, since the victim has no personal space anymore and plagiarizes the personal data of the victim.
For further integration, the researchers would discuss thoroughly these problems in the later part and discover how these affect the point of view of the readers. Furthermore, the researchers have conducted this study to give importance to this rising problems and to look at the possible effects and analyze each effect further. If each effect would already be understood then pieces of advice on lessening these effects will be further studied and eventually be given by experts.
Body The Internet has created a whole new world of social communications or social networking for young people who are using e-mail, Web sites, instant messaging, chat rooms and text messaging to stay in touch with friends and make new ones. While most interactions are positive, new technologies have given young people a new and powerful platform from which to target peers through social networking. One effect that social networking have brought to the society is cyber bullying.
What is Cyber bullying? Cyber bullying is defined as “bullying through information or communication technologies” (Webster, n. d. 2011), mediums such as, e-mails mobile phone text messages, phone calls, internet chat rooms, instant messaging and most importantly and recently, social networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo. As part of the study, the researchers’ have tackled on the prominent reasons why social networking greatly causes cyber bullying to teenagers (Hardcastle, M. 012). To begin with there are a lot of reasons why social networking causes cyber bullying. According to Rebecca Sweeney (Online Conference on Networks and Communities, 2011), social networking has been used as a platform for bullies to say things they might not usually say to someone in person. This is because they do not have the feeling of fear anymore since there is anonymity and no physical proximity on the victims. Bullies could just easily contact or attack their victims.
These attacks include receiving threatening messages; having their private emails or text messages forwarded without consent; having an embarrassing picture posted without permission; or having rumours about them spread online. Another, bullies can come in online contact with their victims anytime, anywhere, day or night and not just in a school yard; making online bullying more accessible. Also, bullies have this feeling of confidence whenever they are online due to the lack of fear already, enabling them to do what they want and it has a very wide audience who can be able to witness the whole bullying events.
In addition, cyber bullying has also turned the usual image of “the bully” on its head; it’s no longer only the “tough kids” who may act aggressively – it can just as easily be the shy, quiet types, hidden behind their computers making victims of cyber bullying. There are a lot of different cases on how cyber bullies target their victims through social networking and according to a study, young people are most likely to encounter cyber bullying through instant messaging, followed by e-mail, Web sites for games and social networking.
Like for example, in one case students used a camera-enabled cell phone to take a photo of an overweight classmate in the shower after gym. The picture was distributed throughout the school via posting it on a social networking site. Due to accessibility of social networking it contributed to the worsening of the problem of the victim. Another on social networking sites, you can easily tag images with the names of people who are in the photo. This simple act can lead to cyber bullying, as these photos will appear in any search into this person’s name and it could be inappropriate.
This is due to profile settings that do not protect sufficient access to them. It was also researched that a quarter of youth who perpetrate cyber bullying are teenagers who have also bullied others offline. However, the remaining three quarters do not bully others in person – implying that the Internet has empowered youth who would never consider bullying anyone in the physical world to do so in the virtual world. (Hardcastle, M. 2012) What is personal fraud?
Personal fraud or identity theft refers to a person obtaining personal information and using another’s personal data without the consent of the rightful owner. This is used through fraud or deception usually for personal gain (Webster, n. d. 2011). Personal fraud is a huge problem in today’s society and has come about as a result of the rapid expansion and availability of internet technology and the increase in personal data found on social networking sites. (Sweeney, R. 2011). Sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter facilitate personal fraud in two mains ways according to (Sweeney, R. 011) first, is that sites encourage you to ‘edit your profile’ this includes adding your interests, full name, where you live, who your top friends are, your email address and even personal details like your phone number and relationship status. This information disclosure causes a huge problem as the more information you have on your profile the easier it is for posers to verify themselves as being you. The second main issue is the privacy settings on these social networking sites also help facilitate personal fraud.
While there are built in features that allow users to change their privacy settings and not allow other users to view such personal details, these settings are never default, so that users are usually unaware how much information they are sharing not only with their friends, but with the rest of the world. According to (Gonzalez, M. 2012 ), due to the easy accessibility of one’s information, scammers could easily steal the identity of a certain victim and use it for personal gains like using the information they got to get money from your friends list since your friends would think of the person asking money from them as “you. With all these, it can threaten one’s relationship in the community. Once someone has your password they can use it to destroy your profile or send out spam messages and viruses, which could do irreparable damage to your online reputation. Another case is when status updates posted on Twitter, Facebook and many other social media sites can be used by criminals. Another is with the trending style today of telling people through social networking sites almost everything they’ve done like updating posts like out of town or on vacation, this just opened themselves up for burglary.
If it was also mentioned that they’re away for a business on a weekend, it may leave family open to assault or robbery. When it comes to stalking or stealing an identity, use of photo- and video-sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube provide deeper insights into the victim, his or her family, friends, properties, favorite hobbies and interests. And these are all vital information that when gotten into the hands of a poser or scammer could result to even more grave problems on the victims’ part and the people surrounding him or her. Cyber bullying and personal frauds lead to several problems:
Depression There are a lot of reasons why it causes depression among teenagers. According to (Sweeney, R. 2011) that in terms of cyber bullying, even though that it is not coming in physical contact and instilling physical injury on a victim, it’s emotional and psychological effects are devastating for the victim and can often lead to depression. Also, unlike traditional forms of bullying, youth who are the targets of cyber bullying at school are at greater risk for depression than are the youth who bully them, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
The new finding is in contrast to earlier studies of traditional bullying, which found that the highest depression scores were reported by another category of youth involved in bullying-bully victims. Past studies on traditional bullying show that bully-victims — those who both bully others and are bullied themselves — are more likely to report feelings of depression than are other groups. Traditional forms of bullying involve physical violence, verbal taunts, or social exclusion.
Cyber bullying, or electronic aggression, involves aggressive behaviour communicated over a computer or a cell phone. It was noted by one author who wrote in the Journal of Adolescent Health that cyber victims are reported to have higher depression than cyber bullies or bully-victims, which was not found in any other form of bullying unlike traditional bullying which usually involves a face-to-face confrontation, cyber victims may not see or identify their harasser; as such, cyber victims may be more likely to feel isolated, dehumanized or helpless at the time of the attack.
Victim of cyber bullying can also experience the symptoms of depression including sadness, loneliness, insecurity, poor self-esteem, and academic decline, feelings of not belonging and suicidal thoughts and behaviour. Nancy Willard, author of Cyber bullying and Cyber threats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social Aggression, Threats, and Distress, indicates that the effects of cyber bullying may be more damaging than in-school bullying because cyber bullied children do not have the opportunity to escape the harassment.
Due to the anonymous nature of some Internet harassment, victims may not be able to identify their harasser and feel that everyone is against them. In addition, it can cause a teen to feel totally trapped, because the bully can appear anywhere – day or night. For example, a cyber-bully can post mean or taunting messages on a teen’s Facebook page for everyone to see. A bully can set up a web page, blog, or other online presence that is against a particular teenage peer.
Embarrassing accidents or incidents such as tripping or stuttering can be filmed (or the teen can even be set up for such an “accident” and then filmed or photographed), then posted on video sites like YouTube, played over and over while people laugh and comment. It can make a teen feel like there is no escape. This mental anguish can result in depression. It also brings fear and instills a traumatic experience to the victim due to the feeling of being downgraded and teased at that was being exposed to a wide population.
Teenagers who were victims become afraid to go out from their house due to the fear of being laughed at because of a certain false rumor spread about him or her and much worse it can again instill a traumatic experience on the victim’s part making him or her unproductive in the community. Depression also results when victimized from personal fraud or identity theft. One example, it is not easy to regain a damaged reputation and worst, victims cannot aware all the people who have seen or have witness the damaged.
In some cases, other people may still assume and may not be aware that it is already a poser. They may continue to interact with that poser thinking that it is they’re “friend” or “family. ” Posers can do things that can damage the reputation of their victims like for example, saying false rumors on other people that may result to a libel case. It is also very difficult for the victim’s part to let people believe that it is no longer him or her using his or her account that has already been hacked or used by a poser. And with this it raises more problems on the victim’s part.
Another is when victims have lost a great amount of money on investing on certain stuff but then they were just scammed, and this was done through social networking. It not only damaged the reputation on the victim’s part but it also embarrassed him or her. Isolation Cyber bullying and personal frauds also lead to isolation. It weakens strong ties between the family, friends and even the people surrounding the victim because of the fear inside the victim making him or her becoming less productive in society. Like, they don’t seem to have a very active peer group.
They are not doing things with peers on the weekends or talking much to peers. They may have on line peers but not the kind that allow face to face interactions. Like many teenagers they spend a great deal of time in their rooms away from family but don’t have the other part of needing to be with their peers. Because of suffering the consequences of being a victim of cyber bullying and personal fraud, they find it too difficult to seek out others. They may not have any idea what is happening to them and often they feel defective. They see others having fun that seems unattainable to them.
These teens have developed a poor sense of self worth and isolate to avoid the pain and embarrassment of the abuse. Victims also lose focus in their responsibility in the society or community due to the depression that they are experiencing. They prefer to stay at home and not mingle with their friends or family and with this it interferes with their interpersonal skills. That’s why the saying is quite true– no man is an island. Isolating one’s self when a teenager should be dealing with making new friends in a new environment (high school) may be a sign of a troubled teen.
Normally, teenagers value their peer friendships more than other relationships, even sometimes to a fault when they rebel against their parents as they choose friends over family. But when teenagers shows hardly any interest in peer relationships then this may definitely be a cause for concern. ( Troubled Teens Info, 2009) Invasion to Privacy In a world where people have become so consumed and adapted to social networking on a daily basis, it is often overlooked that a person’s shared information on these sites can be used in ways to hurt or ruin their lives, and there’s no taking it back. On Guard Online, Quick Facts, 2007) Social Networking has become a major trend for teenagers and young adults. With these sites becoming more popular and issues concerning cyber bullying and personal fraud rising by the day, it is important to raise the awareness of the site’s users about the consequences that can come from sharing too much personal information with others. But how does it invade one’s privacy? One example is that sites like, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and many others have morphed themselves into every teenagers’ daily routine, and not always to better his or her lifestyle.
Sites like these encourage its users to upload photos and videos and share personal information with their friends and family. The problem with these applications is that this information is not always used in a positive manner. Teenagers don’t understand the consequences that come from posting personal information and how their posts can increase exposure to people that sometimes have less than friendly intentions. That is why, each user needs to be careful about what he or she posts on their site profiles, and they need to know how to properly protect their privacy and security to avoid invasion of one’s privacy.
It also sets as an example of how accessible it is nowadays to trespass the personal space of a victim. It also promotes plagiarism of personal information of the victim. Weighing the situation, the researchers have come to analysed that despite the beneficial effects social networking does to the society especially among teenagers, behind it are the important negative effects it does to the society especially to the teenagers. Lack of awareness on the negative effects can harm not only the victim but also the bully itself and the people surrounding them.
Conclusion Are you interested in Facebook, Myspace or twitter? These are just some of the social networking hat are popular nowadays. Social networking hit the mainstream when many of the social networking was launch from 2003 onward. Currently, there are no reliable data regarding many people use social networking ,although marketing research indicates that social networking are growing in popularity worldwide (Comscore,2007), but what really is social networking?
These are using social web pages, which allow an individual to construct a public profile that could because to interact with other people online. A major component of the use of social networking is to browse other people’s profile pages. It typically provide general biographical information, photos, statements out one’s views and interests as well as detailed description of the person’s social environment through friend lists and comments or guestbook entries. In addition, some social networking users provide more narrative information about their lives by maintaining weblogs embedded in their profiles.
Meanwhile, some sites cater to diverse audiences, while others attract people based on their common language or shared racial, sexual, religious, or national-based identity. The first notable social networking site was SixDegrees. com which allowed users to create profiles, list of their friends and beginning in 1998, surf their friends’ list. With this more and more social networking sites that involve social networking, came out until they became a global phenomenon. As social networking become phenomenon in the status quo, the rise of negative social effects within our society also rises.
We would have increasing instances of cyber bullying and further cases of personal fraud that could affect not only the victims themselves but also the perpetrators and the people surrounding them. This could also result to even more grave problems on the victims’ and bullies’ parts. We will also see our strong ties relationships weaken to a shallower and ‘convenient’ type of affairs and conversation among teenagers due to some issues that may hinder interpersonal skills. It could cause depression among the individuals involved may bring traumatic experiences to them.
In addition, it could also affect privacy issues and may be crucial when it already has become illegal. Furthermore, social networking has had a huge negative impact on our psychological and social aspect and will continue to do so into the future if it would not be prevented. It is also evident that social networking facilitates all these issues and concerns. Therefore it is undeniably true that Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the like do in fact cause more harm than good in our society.