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NILL SALUNKE <nillasmi@gmail.com>

Disadvantages of Social Networking


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NILL SALUNKE <nillasmi@gmail.com>
To: NILL SALUNKE <nillasmi@gmail.com>

Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Disadvantages of Social Networking: Surprising


Insights from Teens
Honestly, I sometimes truly wish that tools such as the iPhone (or any smartphone), laptops, iPads, tablets,
etc. hadnt been invented. Sure, theyre great, incredibly useful, and fun time-killers. But the way teenagers
abuse them, and turn them into mini social control rooms is frankly awful.
At first glance, you might think this quote came from a parent or grandparent lamenting on the disadvantages of
social networking and how social media has doomed todays children. But it was written by a Seattle-area tenth
grader as part of an assignment to answer the question, How has online social networking influenced your
relationships with friends and family?
This student goes on to write, The teenage way of life has completely changed from what it was only twenty
years ago. Now, there is a dramatic decrease in face-to-face communication, which reduces our generations
ability to interact with others on a speaking level.
This is a two-part article gleaned from reviewing the essays of a class of tenth graders, with their permission, of
course. It is meant to generate additional discussion on the benefits and disadvantages of social networking and
its effect on healthy youth development.
Below are the most discussed disadvantages of social networking according to these tenth graders, including
quotes from their essays. In a similar format, you can also read reflections on the benefits of social networking in
my column at Psychology Today.

10 Disadvantages of Social Networking


1. Lacks Emotional Connection
A couple weeks ago, one of my friends and I got into a fight and she told me all of her feelings as to why she
ignored me for two weeks. Assuming it would have been really hard to say it to my face, she sent me a text
message. The negative side was I didnt know if she truly felt sorry because I didnt hear it from her. The quality
of a conversation using social media is awful because you cannot sense the emotion or enthusiasm from the
other person. It makes you wonder if they actually mean what they say.

2. Gives People a License to be Hurtful


I do think it has gotten to an extreme point where you can say things you cant say or get away with in person.
Im disappointed whenever I hear about social media being used as a way to hurt people. I wonder if this
happens when the writers forget that there are real people behind the screen.

3. Decreases Face-to-Face Communication Skills


Computer reliance could hurt a persons ability to have a face to face conversation by making it awkward and
unusual to hear something and respond with a thoughtful message through the spoken word because of ones
dependence on a keyboard to convey a message.

4. Conveys Inauthentic Expression of Feelings

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Social media conversations today are filled with haha, LOL, and other exclamations that are meant to
represent laughter. This shorthand has become second nature and is often used when the sender is not even
smiling, much less laughing, in real life. On the occasion that our roflcopter is actually put to use at a funny
moment, we are replacing actual laughter with, in this case, a simple ten-letter acronym. According to Robin
Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford, the actual physical act of laughter, and not the abstract idea of
something being funny, is what makes laughing feel so good. If we are so willing to replace the act that, honestly,
we all love, with an artificial, typed representation that doesnt even bring the same joy, what else would we be,
potentially subconsciously, willing to exchange?

5. Diminishes Understanding and Thoughtfulness


Since the inception of social networking, the quality of conversations has dropped. I believe that people are
spending so much time online that they dont always understand the feeling, emotion and/or character of the
person they are talking to. When you talk to someone through a message or even a voice, you cant always fully
understand them.
Social networking has ruined the thoughtfulness in basically saying hello in person. For instance, you could say
hello to your friend in Germany with Facebook, chat in seconds; but what if there was no way to communicate
via social networking? Well you would have to write them a letter and that is something very thoughtful.

6. Causes Face-to-Face Interactions to Feel Disconnected


When I see my friends on their phones and I am around them, I feel disconnected even though we are only two
feet apart.. Unfortunately, sometimes friends use their phones so much that it is difficult to have an actual
conversation with them. Sometimes friends can get so socially attached to something such as a blog or gaming
console that they lose touch with friends, creating small gaps and holes in close friendships/relationships.

7. Facilitates Laziness
The new socially active era causes laziness because instead of running to your friends you can message them.
Or instead of walking upstairs to notify the family of dinner, I can blog it. Social networking makes life so
convenient that it creates laziness. In my opinion staying fit is important, but it is difficult to go beyond the newly
developed status quo.
Its really easy to spend hours doing nothing.Its a fantastic way to waste time.

8. Creates a Skewed Self-Image


We tell ourselves lies about ourselves and develop something we are not. We post pictures of us looking
perfect and share the good news. We never post pictures of ourselves when our dog dies, when someone we
love leaves, and when we lose a job. We never share the bad news that always clouds our lives. We all develop
this perfect image of ourselves and some of us actually try to rely on this imaginative thought we have of
ourselves instead of staying true to who we are.

9. Reduces Family Closeness


Texting, Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail alienate us from our families more than we actually think it does. When
my family is spending family time together and watching a movie, in reality my brother and I are on our phones
rather than actually watching the movie with our parents.

10. Causes Distractions


When I have my phone out, it makes me feel like nothing else is going on around me. I use social media as a
way to feel popular, important, and also just to fit in. My friends and I always compare ourselves to each other,
wondering who has more Facebook friends or Twitter followers. But what really ends up happening is I begin to
talk less and end up relying on text for a conversation. Ever since I got a smartphone I have been distracted
from everything. I watch television less, do homework less, and even spend less time with my friends and
family.

Addressing the Disadvantages of Social Networking


The disadvantages of social networking and social media will continue to be studied for decades to come. In the

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meantime, we already know it is a significant source of concern among privacy advocates as well as parents
who worry about their childrens safety. But clearly, the disadvantages of social networking go much deeper than
privacy and safety. These high school students described some of the serious drawbacks to relationships the
foundation of human development.
The disadvantages of social networking strike at the very heart of healthy youth development. In his recent
book, Lightweb Darkweb: Three Reasons to Reform Social Media Before It Re-Forms Us, musician and child
advocate Raffi Cavoukian provides an abundance of evidence to suggest needed reform. Using an ecological,
systems framework to delve into this topic, he challenges parents, educators, and citizens, to see the connection
between youth development and what he describes as a vast sociological experiment that may forever change
human relationships.
In the coming months, I plan to interview Raffi for more details about his ideas, which I know have evolved from
conversations with great thinkers and researchers around the world.
What do you think? How will we ensure the healthy growth and development of children and teens, given the
known harmful effects and disadvantages of social networking?

Disadvantages of Social Media


We have all heard the positive aspects of such websites they provide complete connectivity, bring people with
common interests together, and create a platform to share your life with the rest of the world. However over all
this brouhaha, if we ponder over the subject for a while, a few negatives of this new phenomenon come to light.
Some key disadvantages of social networking or rather say risks associated with it are highlighted below.

Disadvantage of Social Networking for people


The balance of good and evil in the world needs to be maintained. Naturally when a far reaching medium such as
the internet brings us social networking sites that spice up our lives a little, it also attracts the fractious few of
society. Some of the things that could lead to potential social disaster are:
1. The one potential risk of social networking cited most often is that of hacking. Incidents of profiles and
accounts being hacked into are commonplace. While this could be restricted to simply playing a practical
joke on a friend, it sometimes leads to the more serious misdemeanour of identity theft. This requires a
low level of technical skill and is referred to as social engineering. This technique banks upon the
psychological aspect of a friend connection; the hacker uses common interests, background and
professional information (all of which are posted on profiles) to extract sensitive information, like
passwords and other details from the targeted individual and use them to create an alternate identity. Just
using simple data like date of birth, name and location allows hackers to create fake social security cards,
drivers licenses and ID cards. Almost 15 million Americans are victims, either directly or indirectly, of
identity theft.The surprising part is that even though people are adequately aware of the risks, only 40%
of them manage their privacy settings (according to a survey conducted by PCWorld). Thus investing
some time on securing your account against fraudsters and unknown individuals would prove to be
beneficial in the long run.
2. Another disadvantage of social networks is that it can help create something which does not exist or may
not be as good as it is presented. For example, if you go to Amazon and see a product has 100 positive
reviews while the other has only 20, you are likely to buy the one with hundred. This is how human
psychology. So if 100 people have shared a post, you are likely to share it too while it may actually be a
hoax or plain spam. You must have seen those click like and see what happens posts on facebook. They
get thousands of likes! The same illusion is created for personal lives of people. Just posting happy and
party pictures do not mean one is actually happy!
3. While social media can help people / companies create good image, it can also be used to tranish an
image with false claims. A viral social media post talking how a product can cause problems can lead to
huge losses to a firm. Till the time the company realises most of the damage is done.
4. Another potential hazard of putting up pictures and videos on these websites is that they could be used
for defamation. Reported cases include girls photos being photo-shopped and used in objectionable
places. Also instances where people use social networking sites to abuse or defame anonymously are
constantly reported. A Telegraph report outlines a case where cyber bullying was being used by students
to intimidate teachers and staff.
5. People recruited in high security professions like the defence services, national project engineers and
scientist face an added disadvantage of hackers misusing any leaked classified information. Any

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unintended slip of information could have serious ramifications if it falls into the wrong hands. Infact people
looking to get close to employees working in highly confidential industries use social media to profile and
study them. This is not a movie or a TV serial story no more.
6. All over the world social media websites are used to get up close and personal without even revealing the
true identity. There have been numerous scandals in which people have gone as far as marrying each
other and then realizing the truth. These relationships based on false information often lead to serious
consequences. There have been so many cases in developing countries where people fall in love over
social media website and end up being cheated financially, emotionally and physically.

Health Problems
There is an extensive range of mental and health problems known to be associated with spending too much time
on social media. In addition to reducing productivity, creating distractions and increasing burnouts, they can
cause some serious medical issues.
1. Excessive time spent on social networks causes some individuals to experience withdrawal symptoms.
They retreat from actual interaction with fellow humans and assume a virtual persona. Common signs
are anxiety, distress, boredom and loneliness, much the same as a typical addiction! A study 24 hours:
Unplugged conducted by the University of Maryland led to the conclusion that majority of students are
incredibly addicted to social media.
2. Regular recreational or social activities take a back seat when social networking is the prime agenda.
Face to face interaction and socialising becomes something of a burden to an addict. In extreme cases
interactions with close friends and family also stops and is substituted by virtual communication. Much
furore was created about this very aspect due to a paper published by Dr. Aric Sigman, a fellow of the
Royal Society of Medicine, where he mentions that a lack of face-to-face networking could alter the way
genes work, upset immune responses, hormone levels, the function of arteries, and influence mental
performance.
3. The lack of social interaction could result in people suffering from more stress related diseases and
disorders than before. Dr. Aric Sigman in his paper points out the link between reduced human interaction
time and problems like suffering a stroke, blood pressure, colds, dementia and cognitive problems.

Disadvantage of Social Networking for professionals and companies


The social network revolution has left no strata of our society untouched. Organisations face issues over lost
productivity due to employees spending their time on social media. For firms that dole out payments by the
hour, each hour of productivity lost through employees updating their profiles or adding a Twitpic, could prove
costly. Most organisations these days do have set guidelines about the use of social media in the work place,
however their implementation is a major hassle.
1. Furthermore, the use of company resources in these activities is quite substantial. Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn etc require a large bandwidth. Also, downloading pictures and videos streamed through these
sites involves additional costs. Viruses and malware also pose a serious threat to the safety of the IT
systems. Numerous applications available through Facebook are potential sources for these
viruses.Multiple social networks, from Twitter and Google+ to Orkut and MySpace create an information
overload that is difficult to manage. People juggling between these sites have trouble processing all the
information making the whole exercise excessively taxing. A 2009 study by three Stanford University
professors on cognitive control concluded that chronic media multi-taskers are more susceptible to
distraction.
2. Social networking at workplace can also cause confidentiality issues. An angry employee can use these
sites to leak sensitive information. Sensitive information may also be leaked unintentionally to public
causing financial and credibility loss for a company.
3. Another potential disadvantage of social networking at workplace is that it can easily be cause strain
between employees. For example employees of one group may comment about low level work of another
group leading to tensions between them. Employees can also show dissent against their bosses or
management on a public forum of social media which tarnishes image of the company. Immature
emplyees can actually get into "social-media" fight which can spoil whole environment of a company.
4. Companys image may also get compromised if employees post bad comments about the company.
Today prospective employees to prospective clients everyone is on one or another social media. A
negative image (even if false) can hurt business prospects.
5. Social networking websites have, at times, been used for the purpose of furthering political agendas. This
has proved to be significant disadvantage of social networking at many places. Chinas blocking of Twitter

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and YouTube a few months before the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, or the use of
Facebook as a medium for instigating and spreading the message that led to riots in London, have been
questioned. However these are subjective in nature and could be interpreted in a positive light as well.
Social media has brought to the world a common medium for thoughts, words and expression. However its
correct and efficient usage is completely dependent on how it is managed. Being aware of the risks and
vulnerabilities that we are exposed to through these media only empowers further to use them in a positive way.
It is up to us to make sure that social networking does not turn into social dysfunction.

Social Media: What are the advantages and disadvantages of social networking
sites? What should we include in a policy? 6/1/2012
When it comes to social networking in the workplace, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.The benefits of social
networking platforms vary based on platform type, features and the company itself.
Social networking platforms may allow organizations to improve communication and productivity by disseminating
information among different groups of employees in a more efficient manner. While it is not meant to be
all-inclusive, the list below outlines some of the possible advantages and disadvantages of social media use by
workplaces.
Possible advantages:
Facilitates open communication, leading to enhanced information discovery and delivery.
Allows employees to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions and share links.
Provides an opportunity to widen business contacts.
Targets a wide audience, making it a useful and effective recruitment tool.
Improves business reputation and client base with minimal use of advertising.
Expands market research, implements marketing campaigns, delivers communications and directs interested
people to specific web sites.
Possible disadvantages:
Opens up the possibility for hackers to commit fraud and launch spam and virus attacks.
Increases the risk of people falling prey to online scams that seem genuine, resulting in
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data or identity theft.
Potentially results in negative comments from employees about the company or potential legal consequences if
employees use these sites to view objectionable, illicit or offensive material.
Potentially results in lost productivity, especially if employees are busy updating profiles, etc.
Employers do have the right to simply ban all computer activity that is not work-related, but this approach may
not yield optimal results. If employees are to be allowed access to social networking platforms, then a
comprehensive and well-defined policy should be established to prevent abuse.
A social networking use policy generally:
Defines what social networking is particular to your organization, so employees know exactly what is meant by
the term.
Establishes a clear and defined purpose for the policy.
Communicates benefits of social networking and of having a policy.
Provides a clear platform for educating employees.
Takes into consideration any legal ramifications of not following laws.
Refers to confidentiality of employer trade secrets and private or confidential information. Talks about
productivity in terms of social networking.
Provides guidance regarding social networking outside of company time/property that could be associated with
the company, employees or customers. Some employers may prohibit posting of company information on social
networking sites without explicit consent.
Provides examples of policy violations.
Outlines disciplinary measures to be taken for policy violations.
--

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