The Dangers of Social Media
Social media holds a significant influence over how society can have an impact around the world. Social media can be found as fun, but it is also dangerous if used incorrectly, and it can have consequences that can not be taken back. In “Consequences,” an international reporter and columnist for The New York Times, Max Fisher talks about the dangers of social media. He focuses on his experiences within companies and goes more in-depth on how social media is dangerous because people misuse it while bringing wars and politics into the mix as well. Social media is dangerous and misleads its audience with wrong information, and the fact that the public is able to comment and spread wrong information, this sometimes leads to misinformation being taken as if it is correct. Facebook is particularly guilty of this. Despite the average person’s knowledge of cyberbullying on the internet, many people, however, do not realize the impact social media has on real-world conflicts. Two major examples of this are the insurrection at the Capital Building of the United States in January 2022, as well as the George Floyd protest. However, this is not only happening in those large-scale events but also in neighborhoods. Social media mirrors school conflicts but also intensifies them to the point of death in some cases (Elsaesser 2).
Social media can promote and encourage youth to physically fight in the real world. This can be very terrifying in areas that have a lot of gang activity and easy access to firearms. This form of internet-provoking has been coined as internet banking, which involves taunts, disses, and augments between crews, gangs, and cliques. As a result, it leads to physical fights, shootings, and death (Elsaesser 2). This usually occurs when a wide range of people nag at an individual in comments or posts and live streams. One example is a story that a 17-year-old girl shared about her cousin who told another girl to come to her house to fight on Facebook Live. “But mind you, if you got like 5,000 friends on Facebook, half of them watching… and most of them live probably in the area you live in. you got some people that’ll be like ‘oh, don’t fight.’ but in the majority, everybody would be like, ‘Oh, yeah, fight’” (Elsaesser 2). People act like posts on social media do not affect the real world when, in reality, they do.
In “Users unhappy with social media: report,” Jacob Axelrad points out that social media websites are among the companies with the lowest scores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The report attributes these low scores to privacy concerns among users and the proliferation of ads on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Everything in social media can be useful and have an impact on society. Max Fisher found links between social media and riots, radical groups, and conspiracies. This was observed in the algorithm, promoting posts that were seen as radical. That can cause teens to bring violence outside of the screen. An older generation can also take issues higher up and brush them aside. They viewed social media as a tool that will enrich the human mind and expose the world to different views. However, this seems to not be true considering, as we have more technology, the political divides in the country have just become worse. When research was suggesting this many people on Facebook brushed it off and now they are being faced with legal action. This false information and comprehension of the information is the reason why social media websites are ranked so low.
One of the most dangerous things on social media, on the side of political evidence, is cyberbullying which can be caused by differences in opinion. Most often, young teenagers suffer from this. The more that young people share their identities and thoughts on social networking sites, the more likely they are to be targeted than those who do not use the sites. Cyberbullying, like any form of bullying, is relational aggression. According to Nancy Willard of the Center for Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet, cyberbullying can take the form of flaming or online fighting with vulgar language, harassment or repeated sending of mean and insulting messages, denigration or demeaning gossiping, and impersonation or pretending to be someone else and posting damaging messages. Cyberbullying is the use of the internet or other digital devices such as email, instant messaging, text messages, and social networking sites. These are usually used when the victim or bully is a minor. It is also applied to the cyber harassment of college students. It is intended to make the victim feel frightened, humiliated, helpless, and, too often, hopeless. What results from cyberbullying is particularly harmful and, in the worst of the cases, young people can commit suicide. Social media is deadly. This needs to change. The more days that pass, the more lives are taken by the wrong use and danger of social media.
Overall, social media is a treacherous game. The American Customer Satisfaction Index lists social media websites as among the companies with the worst ratings. According to the survey, user privacy concerns and the abundance of advertisements on websites like Facebook and Twitter are to blame for these low rankings. Everything in social media has the potential to be helpful and affect society. Social media and riots, radical organizations, and conspiracies have connections, according to Max Fisher. Cyberbullying is one of the riskiest activities on social media from a political perspective. The use of the internet or other digital tools including email, instant messaging, text messages, and social networking sites is known as cyberbullying. It might manifest itself in the form of harassment, flaming, or online combat using foul words.
Axelrad, Jacob. “Users unhappy with social media: report.” Christian Science Monitor, 22 July 2014. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A375757705/OVIC?u=hpu_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=952d6dd. Accessed 19 Oct. 2022.
In “Users unhappy with social media: report,” Jacob Axelrad points out that social media websites are among the companies with the lowest scores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The report attributes these low scores to privacy concerns among users and the proliferation of ads on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. While Facebook climbed five points to a score of 67, it is the lowest-scoring social media website. LinkedIn saw its highest score to date at 67, as did Twitter at 69. Overall satisfaction with e-business sites climbed by 2.9 percent to a score of 73.4. Wikipedia was the only site to see a decline in user satisfaction. Google performed well ahead of all competitors in the ACSI rating.
Jacob Axelrad was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and attended the University of Michigan, where he worked as a writer and editor for the school newspaper, The Michigan Daily. He previously worked as an intern for Michigan Radio, an NPR affiliate serving lower Michigan, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Elsaesser, Caitlin. “How Social Media Turns Online Arguments between Teens into Real-World Violence.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2022. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/TZOMEW784378694/OVIC?u=hpu_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=75256c1e. Accessed 19 Oct. 2022. Originally published as “How social media turns online arguments between teens into real-world violence,” The Conversation, 5 Apr. 2021.
Dr. Caitlin Elsaesser argues that arguments on social media can trigger real-world violence, particularly for teens. A typical teen in the U.S. uses three different forms of social media, spending more than seven hours a day in front of a screen. She suggests teens exercise self-control, deescalate, and get bystanders to intervene to avoid escalating conflicts. “Internet banging” involves taunts, disses and arguments on social media between people in rival crews, cliques or gangs. These exchanges can include comments, images and videos that lead to physical fights, shootings and, in the worst cases, death. Four social media features in particular escalate conflicts: comments, live streaming, picture/video sharing, and tagging.
Dr. Caitlin Elsaesser is an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a MSW and a Ph.D. from the University of chicago. Her career as a researcher is built on a decade of direct experience working with adolescents and families. She is also currently the Principal Investigator of a CDC-funded K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award.
Fisher, Max. “Prologue Consequences.” Chaos Machine: The inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World, QUERCUS PUBLISHING, S.l., 2023, pp. 3–12.
The author Max Fisher found links between social media and riots, radical groups, and conspiracies. This was observed in the algorithm, promoting posts that were seen as radical. There were many loopholes that radical groups would use to prompt their groups while keeping their posts unflagged. This led up to the united nations blaming Facebook in part for adding the provocation of one of the worst genocides since WWII. when this issue was taken to the higher-ups it was brushed aside. They viewed social media as a tool that will enrich your mind and expose the world to different views. However, this seems to not be true considering as we have more tech the political divides in our country have just become worse. When research was suggesting this many people on Facebook brushed it off and now they are being faced with a lot of legal action.
Max Fisher is an international reporter and columnist for The New York Times. He has reported from five continents on conflict, diplomacy, social change and other topics. He writes The Interpreter, a column exploring the ideas and context behind major world events. A weekly newsletter of the same name features original reporting and insights.
Phillips, Suzanne. “Cyberbullying Is Dangerous.” Bullying, edited by Noah Berlatsky, Greenhaven Press, 2015. Current Controversies. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ3010956212/OVIC?u=hpu_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=b6035485. Accessed 19 Oct. 2022. Originally published as “Dealing With Cyberbullying: Online And Dangerous,” http://blogs.psychcentral.com/healing-together/2013/10/dealing-with-cyberbullying-online-and-dangerous, Oct. 2013.
Once again cyberbullying results in the suicide of a child, Suzzanne Phillips writes. The more that young people share their identities and thoughts on social networking sites, the more likely they are to be targeted than those who do not use the sites. Cyberbullying, like any form of bullying, is relational aggression. According to Nancy Willard of the Center for Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet, cyberbullying can take the form of Flaming or online fighting with vulgar language, Harassment or repeated sending of mean and insulting messages, Denigration or demeaning gossiping, Impersonation or pretending to be someone else and posting damaging messages. Cyberbullying is the use of the internet or other digital devices such as E-mail, instant messaging, text messages, and social networking sites, is technically used when the victim or bully is a minor, it is also applied to the cyber harassment of college students. It is intended to make the victim feel frightened, humiliated, helpless, and too often—hopeless. What makes cyberbullying particularly harmful and in the case of too many young people who have committed suicide, so deadly, is the nature and virulent reach of electronic media.
Suzanne Phillips is an adjunct professor of clinical psychology in the doctoral program of Long Island University and on the faculty of the postdoctoral programs of the Derner Institute of Adelphi University. She is the coauthor of Healing Together: A Couple’s Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress.