Opinion: Be wary of the negative effects of social media

By Camy Jones, special to the Chronicle

Within our culture today, social media is what has shaped us into who we are. We go to the media for fashion advice, recipes, opinions, laughs, and an abundance of other reasons. For these reasons, we are led down rabbit holes of information that have a lot of negative effects.

The first negative effect that comes from social media is the lack of privacy. Essentially, you have no privacy when posting on social media or keeping yourself off the internet. With a simple Google or Facebook search, you can find out pretty much everything about someone. 

Certain platforms have privacy settings that enable you to choose what others see on your profile which is a step forward in the right direction but does not completely solve the problem. 

Another negative effect is the lack of productivity that comes with social media. I find myself spending so much time scrolling through social media rather than doing the task at hand. This directly affects how my work, focus, and accountability. 

For students and employers, social media has been detrimental. It becomes a huge distraction in the workplace and puts a damper on businesses.

According to a study by Nucleus Research, they found that Facebook takes away 1.5% of office productivity. Also, those who use the platform, or others like it, produce a lot of stress. 

As a 20-year-old college student, I am part of the demographic that is affected by social media’s effects. Attempting a “social media” break for an allotted time is very beneficial and can open your eyes to what the world is like without it. But, the “break” has the downside of it only being a short amount of time. 

There is a point where you have the urge to check your Snapchat or who likes your Instagram and then the cycle repeats. 

The last and probably the most talked about the negative effect of social media is the world of cyberbullying. From films to speeches to TedTalks, the awful world of cyberbullying has been put in the spotlight to bring awareness to what people say on the internet. 

Social media has given these bullies a type of platform to hide behind and bash others without hesitation. The worst part of it is that the age of these kids that are downloading social media is so young that they are being exposed to so much at such a young age. 

I have seen the hate comments and the body shaming, but as an internet bystander, I am not sure what anyone could do. Thankfully, most social media platforms have the option to block and report those types of accounts. 

These types of things being said on the internet are what are making young people drive themselves to suicide or severe mental health issues. 

The world of social media is great and allows others to connect all over the world, but think about what you are saying and how it will affect others before clicking a post.

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