While there are many benefits of social media, there is also a dark side to it.
Bullying is of all times. Up to twenty years ago bullying was mostly verbal and physically. The bullying happened in the absent of parents and teachers. Once the bully got caught there would be a repercussion for his/her action. At home you were safe of harassment. Now a days it is so much harder to get away from the bullying. I am talking about cyberbullying. It is in your face 24/7. Anonymous inappropriate and harassing messages and images distributed to a very wide audience. With just a tap on the keyboard and one click of the mouse your good reputation is down the drain. Once posted it’s a h*** of a job to erase its records. There have been many stories of young teens committing suicide because of online bullying.
An other new phenomenon is the online dating. Today’s world of online dating makes it much easier to search for a match, but it also makes it easy for scammers to search for targets. There are many types of scams, from fairly innocent to very severe. Like ‘cat fishing’. A “catfish” is a person who creates a fake personal profile on a social media site using someone else’s pictures and false identity to pretend to be someone other than him or herself. A catfish usually intend to trick the unsuspecting person either into falling in love with him or her or in some twisted way to get back at the other. In worst case they even take over your identity. There are also cases of romance scams. They use psychological tricks to lure in often lonely singles by gaining their trust and affection. Using lies to try to make easy money from an unsuspecting victim.
Unfortunately there are many more disadvantages associated with the coming of social media. Just think of your privacy is at risk, the addiction, the lack of emotional connection, misleading information and so on.
The question is do the benefits of social media really outweigh the disadvantages? -Bregje