The social media has often been hailed as the greatest innovation that has brought us closer to our loved ones. Friends and family sitting thousands of miles away can relate to ease and distance has lost its sting. Just by scrolling through our Facebook feed we can get a clear glimpse into the lives of not just our loved ones, but also celebrities. We can find joy in other people’s happiness, rejoice over their achievements and have them hail ours. Or we can grieve with them and lend them a cyber shoulder to cry on. While social media can offer numerous benefits, the dangers of this technology loom close by.
Strangers behind the veil
From an early, we have been taught to be very cautious around strangers for the dangers they might present, however, with social media almost the entire world except select few start out as strangers. While almost most of them might be responsible and normal people, some will turn out to be psychopaths and criminals. This is due to the availability of this commodity to everyone without bias. With the increase in social media sites being used as dating dens, this poses an additional danger. Many people interact through social sites and exchange personal details and addresses, some even plan on meeting. Although most of these strangers might turn out to be lonely old men portraying their actual age as half of what it is, there is a possibility of some of them turning out to be criminals such as rapists and murderers. Many young women have fallen trap to such men, even men have been fooled by other men and women. Due to the veil like the feature of social media, it often becomes impossible to tell if someone’s being honest about themselves. You could easily live a double life on social media and con people from all stages of life.
When the story of Amanda Todd came out, the public started paying attention to social media as a breeding ground for cyber bullies. The young, impressionable girl interacted with a stranger on social media who urged the girl to send him nudes. Soon after the mystery man threatened to leak her pictures on Facebook if she didn’t send him more of those, the young girl refused and soon saw the wrath of a psychopath who made it impossible for her to live her life peacefully. The pictures started circulating throughout school and despite changing schools, the man persisted in remaining behind a veil and harassing her. The cyber bullying, embarrassment, and loss of confidence eventually led the young girl to take her own life, and before doing so, she attributed her misery to social media as the propagator of cyber bullies. These bullies often hurled abuses and profanities at the girl, and despite acting tough on social media sites they kept their identities hidden, which complicated matters as the police could not identify them. Social media often gives an outlet to people to bash and bully others, a route to vent out frustrations of everyday life, however, at the expense of another person’s wellbeing. While the story of Amanda Todd was a famous one, there are countless other people suffering the safe fate due to social media.
Rise in suicidal thoughts
While it can be a great thing to view the happenings in other people’s life, social media has the propensity to distort our psychological wiring by portraying everything as perfect in other’s lives. This might be due to the fact, that very few people share negative life details while they exaggerate positive ones such as birthday parties and promotions. This gives others the feeling of being left out or the thoughts that good things aren’t happening in their life. The rise in suicide rate after the advent of social media is outstanding. Something that was claimed to have a positive effect on people’s psychology has been producing a contrary effect. In order to overcome this negative of social media, it is important for one to realize that no one lives a perfect life and challenges aren’t a bad thing in life, but rather positives in an overall scheme of things.