The Dark Side of Social Networking Technology

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8 nov. 2013 (il y a 7 années et 10 mois)

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The Dark Side of Social Networking Technology


When we evolved from horse drawn wagons to cars, we were able to travel to places
faster and in a more comfortable fashion. However this evolution of technology has also brought
about the production of
harmful gases and the drilling of nature for oil. Technology can make
our lives easier, but there will always be new problems that eme
rge. Social network

technologies
has brought wonders for us, connecting us with everyone we have met through a click of a
button,
but with this massive technology comes with great consequences. They might not be as obvious
or tangible as the production of harmful gases or the destruction of nature

but they do exist.


Social network technologies can be defined as an any online

networking system that
allows for social interaction over the internet. Some examples are Facebook, Twitter,
or
MySpace
.

These new technologies allow for faster communication; we can send messages to our
co
-
workers or friends and family without having to
call them individually or leaving a buzz
-
filled recording.

Social networks help us bridge the time and distance gap between friends;
it's
now
possible for us to connect with our elementary school friends whom we
haven't seen in
years

or friends who live fa
r away
. It is without doubt that this technology

has made many
aspects of our social life
easier, but at the same time, it has brought with it new problems.


Online technology has a habit of stealing our concentration and focus and social network
technolog
y is not an exception.

In Nicholas Carr's article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" he
makes the point that
online
technology such as Google

has

created problems for concentration.
"Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fid
gety, lose the thread,
begin looking for something else to do" (Carr, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"). What Nicholas
Carr pointed out through Google can be further applie
d to other forms of online technology
,
specifically social networking

technology
.
I
t's very difficult
for me to finish doing something
important because I always have an urge to check on

Facebook. Even when I am not messaging
anyone, I tend to check on Facebook just to see if there is something interesting my friends are
doing or an inte
resting status appear in my newsfeed
.
Through my experienc
es
, the use of social
networking technology has many of the side effects described in Carr's article. The loss of
concentration and the constant wandering of the mind.


The

distractive capabilities

of social networks

are evident in our work place. A study
done by London
-
based Morse PLC, an IT services and technology company, found that
employees who use Twitter and other social networks in the office are costing U.K. businesses

more than $2.25 billi
on a year (
Schroeder,

"The Cost of Social Media to Worker Productivity:
$2.25 Billion [Survey]."
).

The distractions caused
by social networking
has become so serious
that some companies use programs to block off access to social media websites altogether.

S
ocial networking can help us communicate with our co
-
workers, but in exchange, workers lose
productivity due to the
excessive use

of the technology.


A
lthough social networking can improve one's relationship with people they have not
spoken to in long periods, it can also damage the relationships of close friends. Traditionally, we
would call our friends and family to find out what's been going on and ho
w they are doing. That
has been replaced by checking the 'newsfeed' on our
social networking sites
.
We no longer hear
the voices or feel the presence of our friends. Instead we see the letters and words they wrote on
a computer screen. Although at times it

is more convenient to leave a message through our social
networks, calling our friends or talking to them in person is much more intimate and bonding
than typing words on a screen.


As of May 16, 2012, the average number of friends a person has

on faceboo
k is 229

(
Goo,

"Facebo
ok: A Profile of Its 'Friends'").

Though the numbers state that social networks are
helping us make friends,
the amount of actual real life candidates for friends is more close to
only a dozen out of those 229 people. According to a s
tudy of Facebook user behavior by
Denmark
-
based Red Associates, close to 40% of respondents said they added 'friends' to their
Facebook network simply because they could do so with the click of a finger

(
Carr, "Users of
Facebook's Social Network Are Mostly

Anti
-
Social:Poll")
.
This goes to show that the majority of
people's social network are just newsf
eed of people they barely know. We can see these
strangers' newsfeeds and updates on their life but we don't actually know them as a person.
Social media has
widened our opportunity to make new connec
tions but does not help to
deepen
them.


Narcissism

has also been on the rise since the emergence of social networking. A 2009
study of college students found that 57% of the generation felt social media was used t
o seek
attention or self
-
promote

(
Grove,
"Study: Social Media Is for Narcissists."
)
.
"Studies are
consistently finding that people w
ho score higher on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory
questionnaire tend to have more friends on Facebook, tag themselve
s more often in photos and
update their statuses more frequently
.
"

(
Firestone,
"Is Social Media to Bla
me for the Rise in
Narcissism?")

S
elf promoting or attention seeking may
be dangerous to individuals because
many of the

traits
being promoted via social networks
are self
-
painted;

users selectively portray
themselves on a social media as someone t
hey are not
.

Living a life based off of lies is not good
for
any
one's self
-
esteem a
nd definitely not good for their

mental health.


Ther
e are many benefits to our lives with the invention of social media. Yet just like all
technology, there are harmful side effects. We have became more easily distracted and less
productive at work. We have also replaced parts of our socializing abilities w
ith social
networking. Just like with other technologies, we need to find ways to cope with these negatives
and not let the technology consume us. One way we can help reduce these side effects i
s to use
social networking less;

Just like how driving less he
lps reduce air pollution. If we can control our
usage of social networking

we will experience less of the consequences brought by social
networking technologies.






















Works Cited

Carr, Austin. "Users of Facebook's

Social Network Are Mostly Anti
-
Social:Poll." N.p., n.d. Web. 2012.

Carr, Nicholas. "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"

The Atlantic
. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012.

Firestone, Lisa, Ph.D. "Is Social Media to Blame for the Rise in Narcissism?" N.p., n.d. Web. 6 De
c.
2012.

Goo, Sara Kehaulani. "Facebook: A Profile of Its 'Friends'" N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.

Grove, Jennifer Van. "Study: Social Media Is for Narcissists."

Mashable
. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012.

Schroeder, Stan. "The Cost of Social Media to Worker Pr
oductivity: $2.25 Billion [Survey]."

Mashable
.
N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012.