What are the negative effects of social media sites?

social media sites
As one of 56% of the population that utilizes social media sites, I am constantly plugged in so to speak either by text messaging or browsing Facebook. By spending so much time engaged in these frivolous activities I have come to realize I have neglected more important responsibilities in my life.

According to StatisticBrain.com, Americans spend a total of 7.6 hours on social media sites everyday. The top social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and Google Plus also show astounding percentages of time spent on their sites. YouTube users spend 2.9 million hours per month on this site. On Twitter, the average amount of tweets users tweet per day is 190 million. In regards to Facebook, the site boasts 1.2 billion users world wide with 56% of the population using the site. Linkedin holds 13% of the population's users while Google Plus has 8% of the population accessing their sites.

According to e-marketer, global social networking revenues will exceed $10 billion in 2013. Although most social networking sites are free to their users, they still make significant income. In 2011, Facebook earned $1.6 billion. You may ask how exactly these social networking websites earn such astounding incomes. Based on user's personal preferences, the social networking sites can target advertisements specifically to the user, a service that advertisers know will bring forth huge profits.

Although many social networking website users enjoy using these sites, there are many drawbacks that include diminished privacy, health consequences, isolation, and cyber bullying.

Although social networking sites strive to ensure high levels of security for their users, a research study developed by Northeastern University and Max Planck Institute for Software study deduced that a user's privacy is not as secure as they may think. Using an algorithm, researchers were able to find out about users personal traits from friend lists, including educational level, university attended, hometown and other private data. In addition, even though these social networking web sites encourage their users to frequently update their privacy setting, this is usually not done. Tagging also subjects users to privacy invasion. When a user is tagged in other user's posts it can reveal sensitive data.

Excessive use on social networking websites can also prove detrimental to a person's health. A 2010 Case Western Reserve School of Medicine study showed hyper-texting and hyper-networking correlated to unhealthy behaviors in teens that include, drinking, smoking and sexual activity. Hyper-networking has also been associated with depression, substance abuse, poor sleep patterns, suicide and poor academic performance.

Social networking websites trick their users that they are being social when in fact these users spend less face-to-face interaction. This type of isolation can lead to numerous mental, psychological, emotional and physical problems.

Cyberbullying is also a major negative issue on social networking sites. There have been numerous reports of kids being cyberbullied and as a result committed suicide. Some victims of cyberbullying have also reached out on You Tube to tell their story. Cyber bullies often appear anonymous or posing as people their victims trust and then terrorize the individual in front of their peers. According to a 2010 CBS News report, 42% of youth report being a victim of cyberbullying.

Written by : Kelly Adams Dennis, United States(USA)

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice