Side effects of SNS
In 2011, a story of a young man who burned himself to death had provoked a democratic movement in Tunisia called the ‘Jasmine Revolution’. It surprised the world that twenty-three years of dictatorship had collapsed in a flash. Social networking services played an important role in the movement of that as soon as the young man killed himself, people were sharing and tweeting how he died. As far as that moment, SNS seemed to have represented political power in a positive way. Indeed, the introduction of social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, My Space, etc. have affected our society. Since then, people can easily collect, process, and disseminate information at anytime and anywhere. Unfortunately, despite the convenience of social networking services, some side effects are causing problems in the current society. The following social problems are about adverse effects of SNS on human relationships in reality, a rising number of privacy issues today, and a severe addiction to SNS. These issues can be seen as insignificant matters for now, but it would be better if the problems could be avoided beforehand.
First of all, online-based communities seem to weaken social ties in reality nowadays. According to the research, there are one billion Facebook accounts, five million Twitter users, and eighty-one million Kakao Talk users. Likewise, the world has become much informative that people are not willing to go back to the past when there was no Internet. People are already too adapted to highly developed technologies. There is no doubt that the emergence of social networking sites made the world much smaller. However, an incredible innovation seems to weaken the social bonds in the real-world. As an example, people usually make friends easily on Facebook even with someone who has not had any interaction with them before. The problem is that people are steadily degrading their skills to make relationships and maintaining social ties in reality. In other words, people traverse through online connections and click ‘Like’ on others’ walls without any hesitation while they are disconnected in face-to-face situations. Moreover, places like a café or a bar where people usually meet friends to talk seem to be much quieter than they used to be, because people talk without eye contact, busy with staring at their own smart phones, chatting and surfing on the Internet. Problems have not occurred yet since the majority of users are most likely teenagers and young adults, but it could cause some serious social problems when they became more influential in the society. To prevent from the happening, teenagers and young adults should learn old-fashioned ways to interact with others in a proper manner.
Secondly, social networking services are very addictive. The first thing smart phone users do when they wake up is check their texts and news feeds on social networks. Contemporary men never let their smart devices away while waiting for a bus, having a meal and even in the toilet. Without smart phones, they get agitated and cannot concentrate on their work or study. It implies that people, especially, young generations are suffering from severe smart device addiction. According to a study conducted by Wilhelm Hofmann (University of Chicago, 2012), social media is more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol. As a result, texting and checking Facebook and Twitter come in just below sex and sleep as impossible to resist urges. The reasons are, people always shave a desire to check updated comments, reactions and assessments for what they have posted instantly, and if their desires are fulfilled within a short time, then it weakens willpower and self-control which they are more easily addicted to social media. Many addicted individuals feel relief by checking updates in real time. In a situation when, they do not get to check updates, they feel isolated and unstable. However, when it takes a serious turn,...
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