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Zhicheng Yan

Jason Roberts
ENGL 1010-016

Is Social Media Really Harmful?

In 21st century, as technology develops rapidly, almost everyone has at
least one electrical equipment to access to Internet. It the meantime, social
media has become a way to entertain; people can share their interesting
moment on Facebook, look for something funny on Twitter, and chat with
friends on Messenger. However, social media also has some bad sides that
can cause many troubles to users: on the Internet, there is a group of people
believe that social media is not a good thing, since teens spend too much
time on social media, employees often be distracted by new messages while
working, moreover, some thieves even can steal users private information
from the users social network, as many users did not realize the importance
of privacy, and just post some stuff that containing their personal
information. So in our life, the social media has changed us a lot
unconsciously, with those effects of social media, a lot of concerns are

First of all, Ruth Campbell, who covers K-12 and higher education for
the Southeast Missourian, raised a concern, which is social media might has
bad effects to kids writing, some children even in kindergarten and first
grade became used to write abbreviations and ignore the punctuation, so
they might have difficulty in formal English writing when they are required to
write papers or reports or other assignments; in other words, the way people
write on the Internet is replacing the academic writing gradually, people
could have the possibility to forget how to write professionally. Moreover, in
his article, he also pulled out some data from an online survey by the Pew
Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, in this research, it shown
that 68 percent of teachers polled by Pew say digital tools make students
more likely to take shortcuts and not put effort into their writing. And 46
percent said these tools make students more likely to write too fast and be
From these information, we can see Mr. Campbells worry about the
kids writing in this generation. From those evidence above, we can tell that
social media have the bad effect which is it can wreck childrens writing.
However, is the social media really bad for childrens writing? Andrew
Simmons, a teacher, and musician, and a writer who has written for The New
York Times, Slate, and The Believer, has putted an opposite view in his
article. At the beginning, Mr. Simmons has mentioned the bad effects of
social media like the using of slang on student writing, but he said social
media also can help students, especially male students in high school, to

write better, because students can reveal emotions and discuss topics that
make their writing more powerful and honest. Also, the comparison between
students in 90s and students in 2013 was made from Mr. Simmons personal
experience: My students in 2013 are more comfortable writing about
personal issues than were my classmates in the mid-late '90s. When I assign
narrative essays, students discuss sexual abuse, poverty, imprisoned family
members, alcoholic parents, gang violence, the struggle to learn English in
Americatopics they may need to address, not merely subjects they believe
might entertain or interest a reader. From these words he said, it is very
easy to see that students have many improvement with accompanying of
social media. So this article has proved that social media is not all bad for
people, it has some advantages, as well.
But what is the purpose of social media? Generally, people know that
social media is a kind of entertainment, people share on social media, people
complain on social media, people say what they want to say on social media.
Yes, social media is not a tool for students to makes them write better or
wreck their writing, but a platform for every individual to communicate
online; on this aspect, we can see the effects of social media, as well.
Michael S. Rosenwald, a reporter who in The Washington Post's local
enterprise team, has written an essay about the effects to shy people, he
claimed that social media could help most of shy people to overcome
shyness when facing others people. There are a lot of examples of people
whom are shy to talk to strangers have become able to chat with others

normally after using social media, But on Facebook, the 32-year-old

Woodbridge resident is Mr. Personality. He constantly refreshes his status,
comments on others' updates, posts pictures, makes jokes and registers his
likes. More important, when he sees his digital connections in person, he
said, his shyness often disappears. And the author used data from the
studies Can the Age of Oversharing bring the shy and lonely out of their
cocoons? which is people whom used to be shy are not shy for talking to
strangers any longer, and they even develop closer friendships via the
network than the non-shy say they do. to support his opinion. However, he
also said that social media could not 100% solve all the peoples problem,
many shy people still reported feeling lonely even they use social media
frequently, some clients who use Facebook can be seen that anxiety increase
because they focus too much on how many friends they have. From those
research in his article, we can see both the good and bad things of the social
media, some people can make it as a helpful tool to let them talk freely, but
some people focus on the wrong thing, not only did not get any benefit, but
also make themselves feel worse than before. As the users whom use social
media every day, we need to realize that, so we can maximize the benefit of
social media.
At the other side, social media is a platform that enable you to share
your life, which means you are telling others your personality, habits, even
personal information. So the social media can be a place that your

information is stolen by some bad guys to do some illegal things, and many
people have noticed about the danger of social medias data collection.
One article about the data collection is mainly talk about the data
collection on social media can lead to numerous kinds of violations of
privacy, its authors, Andre Oboler, Lito Cruz, and Kristopher Welsh believe
both social media companies and users need to be aware of this and prevent
the abuses of data.
In the text, many companies such as Google and Facebook, they use
data collection to find out clients habits, based on it, they can guide users to
read the relative articles. Moreover, they can recommend videos to clients,
give the higher visibility to certain articles, so that they can make users to do
the right choice in political area.
But the data collection also provides a good way for social scientists to
do the research, for example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
estimates the population of Australia at 22.5 million. From the Facebook
advertising platform, it gives the information which is the population of
Australia is 9.3 million; over 41 percent of the national population. The
authors wrote As there is less coverage at the tails, Facebook has only 0.29
million people over 64, while the ABS says there are 3.06 million Australians
over 65, the sample for some age ranges must be approaching the entire
population and may provide a very good model as a computational social
science tool. From those information given by authors, we can tell that the

data collection does have the risk of violating privacy, but it also has a
positive side, which is the data collection can be used as a computational
social science tool for other purposes.
Now we move from life to work, the social media still accompanies with
us, and it can affect our career, as well. Because the using of social media to
check employees background has become a trend in nowadays.
Michael Rainey is the editor of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, he
said that "Nobody should make the mistake in believing that social media
background checks are merely a passing fadthey are the wave of the
future." Many people still think that they can do whatever they want on the
social media, but when they are applying a job, the things they posted online
can make a huge difference to the employers decision. "It is definitely the
future," says Jonathan T. Hyman, a Cleveland-based employment lawyer who
is one of the authors of Think Before You Click: Strategies for Managing
Social Media in the Workplace. "In fact, with as many as 90 percent of
companies doing this already, the future is very much here now." It indicates
that the there is an increasing trend that companies are more likely to check
appliers social media like Facebook and LinkedIn to determine whether they
should hire this person or not. As the social media can be used by companies
to check a persons behavior, so it means the social media can influence
peoples career, we should be careful about it, avoid posting inappropriate
opinion on social media.

We can see that there are many argues about the social media, and
they all make sense. So in conclusion, the social media has both advantages
and disadvantages, if you did not use it correctly, the social media can be
harmful for you. But if you treat it appropriately, then you can get a lot of
benefits from it. We all should realize that social media is a tool for promoting
our lives, but everything got a sided nature, therefore, we need to do our
best to get away from the negative side of social media.

Campbell, Ruth. "OMG: Social Media May Wreck Your Kid's Writing." Southeast Missourian (24 Nov. 2013). Rpt. in
Are Social Networking Sites Harmful? Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2015. At Issue.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.
Oboler, Andre, Lito Cruz, and Kristopher Welsh. "Social Media Data Collection Can Lead to Violations of Privacy." Are
Social Networking Sites Harmful? Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2015. At Issue. Rpt.
from "The Danger of Big Data: Social Media as Computational Social Science." First Monday 17.7 (2 July 2012).
Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.
Rosenwald, Michael S. "Can Facebook Help Overcome Shyness?" Washington Post 12 Feb. 2011. Rpt. in Are Social
Networking Sites Harmful? Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2015. At Issue. Opposing
Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.
Rainey, Michael. "Employees Should Accept the Growing Use of Social Media Background Checks." Netiquette and
Online Ethics. Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Social Media
Background Checks." (15 Feb. 2012). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 14
Mar. 2016.
Simmons, Andrew. "Social Media Helps Students Write Better." Are Social Networking Sites Harmful? Ed. Noah
Berlatsky. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2015. At Issue. Rpt. from "Facebook Has Transformed My
Students' WritingFor the Better." Atlantic (18 Nov. 2013). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.