Three billion people are currently using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Most people believe that this is an essential tool to being social, but the reality is that this artificial method of socializing discourages real life interactions, has some serious privacy concerns, and is also at the heart of cyberbullying and fake news.
The first social media site started in 1999. It was called Six Degrees, and it allowed users to upload pictures and make friends online. Gradually more social media sites started appearing. In 2006, Facebook and Twitter became available to users worldwide and ever since, most of humanity has been obsessed with likes and posts. Socializing is hard enough, but it's even harder when you can’t see the people who you are communicating with. Because you can’t see the people who you are talking to, it's hard to know if they are really who they claim to be. In fact, in 2016 1,736 people were targeted on social media by means of fake identity and stolen images.
Another problem with social media is some of the privacy concerns associated with it, many social media sites use your data to determine how to keep you on their site for as long as possible, and because social media has expanded so quickly, a lot of issues such as secure storage of this data, has not been thought about as much as it should and many sites have been breached and their data leaked. In early 2018, it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica managed to obtain the data of over fifty million Facebook profiles, and that Facebook was aware of this from the start. This is an outrageous privacy violation that should have been the end of Facebook and social media as a whole.
Social media is the breeding ground for cyberbullying and fake news. It allows kids to communicate with others without any adult supervision, providing a space where bullying goes unmonitored. Another issue with social media is that once its posted online, it there forever. Since anyone can post anything, it is not uncommon for people to make up things on social media, in order to manipulate people into believing certain things, and ultimately get more likes. In April 2017, an eleven year old boy hanged himself because posts on social media claimed that his girlfriend had commited suicide. Turns out that this had been a prank pulled by a classmate and that his girlfriend had not committed suicide.
Social media is a fake and unsafe way for people to communicate, it harbors serious concerns regarding users privacy. Therefore it has been the cause of many tragedies and scandals throughout the world.
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Williams, Corey. “Michigan Boy, 11, Hangs Himself after Social Media Prank; Juvenile Charged.” Chicagotribune.Com, 8 Apr. 2017, https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/midwest/ct-suicide-social-media-prank-20170407-story.html. Accessed 6 Dec. 2018.