The rapid increase of social networking has inflicted ideas upon us about whether it is a positive influence on social interaction or if it is actually destroying how we socially interact. Clearly the use of social networking has become a life controlling obsession. Social Media provides a platform for cyber bullying to take place, causes users to become addicted and allows for the easy distribution of child pornography. Clearly social media is having a negative impact on our society. Social media creates a platform for harassment to occur regularly. There is no visual interaction between a bully and the victim, meaning empathy is reduced tremendously. This makes harassment easier to inflict upon another person because the bully is hiding behind the computer screen. A survey by Australian Children’s Safety Services found that 88% of cases where children have been bullied, has been happening through social media. One in five students have reported being cyber bullied according to John Smith, head of the Principals’ Federation of South Australia. “Depression, anxiety and a decrease in self-confidence are caused by harassment”, he said. In many cases, cyber bullying has caused victims to commit suicide. (Amanda Todd) 16 year old, was harassed relentlessly on Facebook by people she didn’t know, her self-esteem was eaten away and she killed herself. Even after her death, the cyber bullies continued to post malicious comments. Is this the kind of society we Australians want? The platform that social media provides has a negative influence on our generation, as harassment is too easily inflicted upon others.
The accessibility of social networks has influenced users to develop an addiction. Users become obsessed with constantly updating their status, checking ‘Facebook’ updates and text messages. Addiction to social media never came across my mind until I