Is it now time to put social networking sites to an end? With an increasing amount of crimes that involve social media usage, is it finally time to start establishing laws that could control social media usage in our current society? The presence of social media established a change in the way we communicate since about a decade ago. Although social media has many benefits, it is also important to consider the consequences that may arise from using it. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate how Social Networking Sites (SNS) could be a potential source of danger for its users. Background Social Networking Sites (SNS) are defined to be online platforms that allow users to create a public profile and interact with other users on the website. Social networking started in 1997 through a social media platform called Six Degrees. It was the first site that enabled users to create a profile and add other users as friends. The establishment of Six Degrees started the craze over blogging that is still present now. Some of the social networking sites that has gained popularity in recent years are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
The users of these SNS varies from children to adults, as there are many kinds of SNS that fulfills the needs of each person. For example, LinkedIn is an ideal platform that is mainly accessed by college graduates to create career connections. On the other hand, a social media such as Facebook does not have an audience that is as specific as LinkedIn, anyone can create a Facebook profile and be friends with anyone they want. Even though the internet is free for anyone to access it, young adults, however, are still to dominate in the amount of social media consumption. As founded by Pew Research Center, 88% of 18-29-year-olds surveyed claimed that they have use any form of social media. Followed by 78% among those ages 30 to 49, 64% among those ages 50 to 64 and 37% among Americans age 65 and older. Discussion of Topic Each SNS usually has its own feature that is unique from the other site, which captures its users’ attention for that particular site. For example, Snapchat was one of the first social media that popularized face filters. It is a nice and fun feature that catches most of young adults’ attentions, hence why they are the site’s biggest users. According to Pew Research Center, Facebook is the main platform that is used by about two-thirds of U.S. adults.
The main reason why people enjoy SNS so much is because all of it has a common feature, which is the ease of communication. After the release of Facebook, we had the chance to reconnect with our old friends by simply searching their name in the search bar. The characteristics of a SNS include the fact that it is open to public and it helps connecting people together no matter where their geographic location is. SNS can be accessed at anytime from anywhere in the world as long as there is access to a computer or smartphone with internet connection. The ease of access contributes to the increase in social media usage. Thus, this creates ideas for people to find ways of utilizing SNS features. Businesses and entrepreneurs look at social media users as a good market to advertise their products. The rise of SNS usage begins soon after smart devices, especially smartphones, made an appearance in our society. It has now become a part of a lifestyle for most people. Social media has become a place where people update their daily activities to show their friends and families what they have been up to.
However, some people may upload a little bit too much about their life on social media and it could be dangerous. Instagram could be used by people to show off their wealth and it could turn them into a potential target of fraud or robbery without them realizing it. While there may be a lot of benefits from using SNS, there are some potential dangers that could arise from the use of it. One of the biggest issue nowadays is the effect of SNS on mental health. Instagram is thought to be the most damaging platform on mental health as it might trigger anxiety and depression. By looking at other people’s pictures, it might make you feel like you are missing out and then you will start to compare your life to other people’s. This will cause you to have a low self-esteem. Cyberbullying on social media could also lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and in extreme cases it will cause someone to start having suicidal thoughts. Next, through these social media you are sharing a lot about your life. The viewers of your profile might be a completely random person who might have bad intentions. They could start by observing your social media profile to collect your personal information and they might sell that information or use it against you.
Also, the simple copy and paste feature could lead to an identity theft. Someone else could be making a profile with your picture on it without you even knowing about it. People might start to think that the other profile is you and this could lead you to feel like you lost your identity. An example of the danger of SNS is the story of 16-year-old Dominica Sadurek who was one of an online fraud victim. She was offered to work as a model by a ‘modelling agency’ but after she made a ?? 400 payment she never heard back from them. She was invited to do a photoshoot in a studio that looks quite convincing, however after that they keep trying to call the ‘agency’ but their calls were never returned. This shows how easy it is for fraudsters to convince young, underage, social media users to scam them for money. In order to be able to safely use SNS, there are some things that you need to be aware of to prevent encountering danger. Firstly, make sure to open only legitimate sites. If a site is not legitimate, usually it contains a lot of advertisements and some clickbait links. If you click on one of those links, it might make your computer download a file that may contain a virus. Secondly, do not overshare on social media. There are limits that you have to consider before posting a picture on Instagram, because as I had mentioned before boasting your wealth could give you a high chance of being a fraud or robbery target.
Also, it is important to be mindful of what you post on the internet. Make sure what you post reflect yourself, so that the things you post online would not be something that could be used against you. Always remember that anything that you post online is open to the public. Conclusion To conclude, social networking sites has many benefits since it first was made public to the world. The main factor that is made easier through SNS is communication between individuals.
However, after years of using SNS people are starting to find new ways to utilize the features of SNS. There is online shopping, advertising, and many more. As time goes by, there are more and more potential dangers that arise from the usage of SNS. Dominica Sadurek, a 16-year-old girl, was one of the social media fraud victim. She was promised to be made as an aspiring model from a supposedly modelling agency. In order to prevent encountering danger on SNS, there are some safety precautions that should be followed as discussed above. Future Discussion For future discussion about this topic, it would be helpful to discuss in depth a different example of danger that arise from using SNS. An interesting future discussion is to examine extensively the effect of SNS to a group of users, for example teenagers, and comparing the difference in behavior between users and non-users of SNS.