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Robert Patton ENG110, Professor Silvey 30 September 2011 The Disadvantages of Social Network Sites It is true that social network sites are growing at an alarming rate and that there are many advantages and disadvantages in using social network sites. If one understands these advantages and attempts to avoid the disadvantages, then one can use these sites to improve their knowledge, increase personal relationships with Family and friends, and create a functioning secure social network on-line.Because social network sites play such an important and valuable role in society today, it is detrimental that one undertstands the disadvantages to using them. Social network sites can cause addiction, lower grades, cyber bullying, health problems, and a false sense of privacy. The intent of this short essay is to bring to forefront, these five major disadvantages.
One disadvantage, and one of the most overlooked, is that social network sites can be addictive.According to a study of 1000 Americans conducted by Pam Dyer of Retrevo (Dyer), several questions were asked, on when, where, and how much time they spend on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Over 48% of those surveyed said they check their on-line status in bed. Facebook recently published its user statistics, which revealed the network had over 800 million users (Zuckerberg).
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If these studies by Dyer are correct, and the statistics of Zuckerberg are accurate, then that means almost 395 million people check or update their Facebook status while in bed.Each day more and more users become addicted to social network sites. Social network sites can lead to a decrease in a students GPA, and this affects high school and college students alike. By spending more time on-line and on social sites, one is expending valuable time that one normally would use to study. In April of 2009, Aryn Karpinski (Karpinski) conducted a study with 219 undergraduate and graduate college students attending Ohio State University and determined that there is a relationship among Facebook usage and lower grades. She concluded that Facebook users had GPAs between 3. 0 and 3.
, while non-users had GPAs between 3. 5 and 4. 0.
That is almost an entire letter grade. Perhaps college students may find other ways to spend their time if they were not on Facebook or Twitter, and they would probably still get lower grades, but perhaps the lower GPA’s could truly be associated with spending too much time socializing on the Internet. Cyber bullying is also growing at an alarming rate.
In a recent survey conducted by the Cherry Hill Police Department, Cherry Hill, New Jersey (Cherry) revealed that 42% of kids surveyed were victims of cyber bullying while using the Internet.This survey, conducted on 1500 teens, also revealed that 35% have at some time on the Internet, been threatened by another user and that 53% of those surveyed say they themselves are guilty of saying inappropriate or hurtful things to someone else while on-line. ABC News (Goldman) reported last year that nine Massachusetts teenagers have been charged with “unrelenting bulling” of a 15 year old who killed herself in January 2010.
The teens routinely tormented Phoebe Prince, an Irish immigrant, through emails and Facebook for dating an older football player.These oral assaults lasted for three months before Phoebe finally hung herself in her home. Bullying is no longer about strong kids picking on weak kids on the playground; it is now all day, every day, and consists of online verbal bashing.
Teens can now bully others through email, chat rooms and on social network sites. In a current web article written by Ashley Day (Day), of Everyday Health Properties, Day examines Facebook in an attempt to define a new illness called, “Facebook Depression”.Day defined it as “a condition said to result when tweens and teens spend too much time on social media, leading them to turn to substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors. ” Facebook could have an adverse effect on both one’s mind and body. Its use could also be associated with narcissism, and even though it is called a social network, it can cause antisocial behavior when the user spends too much time on the computer and little time enjoying a face-to-face relationship. Getting fresh air by attending a sporting event or birthday party is much healthier than watching it on a LED screen.
Just because one protects ones computer, hardware, and software from exposure to viruses, cyber spying, and spam, one can still be at risk to another social network site problem and that is a false sense of privacy. When using the Internet we often develop this false sense or anonymity by thinking no one can see who we are and what we are doing. Doug Fodeman and Marje Monroe (Fodeman, Monroe) discuss this false sense of privacy that users of social network sites experience in a web article titled “The Impact of Facebook on Our Students” that they recently ublished for the National Association of Independent Schools.
The web article attempts to explain why many students post embarrassing, humiliating, threatening, and hurtful content in text, blogs, photos, and videos. The fact that most users feel anonymous and secure in their home, leads to a false sense of privacy. Various adults are looking at student profiles, pictures, and videos. This could range from a professor, teacher or parent to their future boss, prison inmate, or local registered sex offender. Nothing one posts on the Internet is 100% secure.Once this data is released, it is non-retrievable. Social network sites are not private or safe regardless of filters or privacy controls one feels is sufficient.
Today, students that are in the classrooms of Missouri State University using Facebook, Twitter, and Google, fall victim to some of the same statistics that are mentioned above, in various categories. In a random, written survey (Patton) of 45 undergraduate and graduate students, in both Ms. Silvey’s English 110 classes, 96% of the students surveyed said they have a Facebook account.The average daily usage of social network sites, of those surveyed, was two hours per day.
For internet usage, the number was higher at 4 hours per day. Males spend on average one hour more per day on the internet than their female peers do. On average females, have over 750 photos posted on the Internet, while males have an average of just 50.
The number one reason for using social network sites was to stay connected and 38% have their phone number posted on their profile page. What is even more shocking is the over 62 % said they check their Facebook or Twitter accounts for updates before breakfast.When looking at these figures, surveys, and reports, one can see the disadvantages to the use of social network sites. Judging from the information provided and what we observe daily, social network site usage is on the rise. Spending to much time socially on the web is taking time away from ones studies and causing grades to drop.
We post too much personal information and photos on the internet, and the more we use the sites the more addictive they become. Many new health problems are now being associated with Internet usage and social network sites.Checking and updating ones on-line social status is more important than many other daily activities or functions we schedule for ourselves each day.
Unfortunately, many teens are abusing these sites by using them to threaten and harm others. In this amazing world of technology, computers, Internet, and communications, it is important that we recognize, not only the advantages of social network sites, but that we also learn from and attempt to avoid some of the disadvantages. Bibliography “Teens Indicted After Allegedly Taunting . Writ.
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