Research Paper

Dominique Mosby May 1, 2014 Research Paper Negative Effects of Social Networks A Social Network is website that enables users to post pictures, comments, and messages to other users. These sites also display personal information about users that people all over the world can access. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are some examples of social sites visited daily. There are positive and negative effects to these websites. Social networks influence society and have caused many problems. Cyberbullying is a negative effect of social networks. Cyberbullying people leave mean comments on others profiles. Another negative effect of social networking is cyber stalking. People become so obsessed with people on the sites that they follow their every move. Productivity is a negative effect that social networks have on society. This is when the sites come in between a person’s job or schooling. In addition, privacy is another negative effect of social networks because of personal information posted on the site. Overall, social networks have negative effects that cause problems for users in their everyday life. Cyberbullying is one of the biggest problems in social networks. Cyberbullying usually involves sending or posting harmful and rude text through the internet or cellular phones. Stalking, threats, harassment, and humiliation all have ties to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying most likely happens to students who are in school and at home. In 2006, Ted Feinberg of Education of digest showed a study, that 45 percent of preteens and 30 percent of teens get cyber bullied during school. Cyberbullies and their victims tend to be more females than males. The bullies and victims sometimes are strangers but in most cases, they know each other. Cyberbullies can work in groups or individually. Females are the type of bullies who use groups to attack their less social peers. This can cause the bully to stay anonymous which means the bullying can continue. Some do not see themselves as bullies they are trying to help friends that are under attack. The victims considered physically weak use cyberspace as a tool to get back at peers. Cyberbullying victims can also be a target for traditional bullying. These victims are usually unpopular, depressed, and fearful of their peers. There are various effects on the ones receiving the attacks online. Cyberbullying can cause severe emotional harm, which can have long-term effects. Victims can also experience depression, low self-esteem, school failure, and school avoidance. In addition, some may experience psychological disorders. This is because the information given so instant and broad which can be difficult to ignore. One of the worst effects of cyberbullying is violence. Victims can turn dysfunctional which can lead to suicide. Some who get cyberbullied can get through it due to relationships at home and coping mechanism. Many incidents occur from cyberbullying every year, there are ways to prevent and stop cyberbullying from happening. The most common strategy for students is to change their email. This may help but only in certain cases depending on how many actually change the email. In addition, that method only could help in an individual effort. On the other hand, to help stop the overall problem starts with parents and school staff members. They need to involve cyberbullying in school policies. Principals should work with the staff to put an exact definition on cyberbullying and determine the effect of it. They also should create a protocol to report the bullying and collaborating with their local police department. Another thing that could help stop cyberbullying is to educate staff, parents, and students on this issue. The more people know on an issue it should not be that hard to prevent or stop. The parent’s participation is the most important because most of the cyberbullying take places at home. They need to monitor their children and their device usages. In addition, friending their children on social networks to see the incoming and outgoing posts. Limiting the device usage can also help because they will not be able to see all the negative posts if their device is not present. Lastly, teach the child to be internet savvy and report any online activity that is threatening or harassing. This could stop the bullying before it escalates to a major incident. Cyberbullying is only one of the many effects of social networks. Cyber stalking is an effect that many people all over the world deal with. Cyber stalking is having unwanted attention from a peer or unknown user of a social network. This means any type of harassment, threats, or stealing information to harass a person. Cyber stalking can be followed up by real time stalking, both are criminal offenses that if convicted can be harshly sentenced. The person stalking is trying to control and intimidate a person to do whatever they want. Cyber stalkers tend to be well educated and struggle with an internet addiction. They are usually over the age of sixteen and are most likely to be college students. “Incident statistics indicate that cyber stalking is quite prevalent with the victimization rates ranging from four percent to forty percent across college aged populations.” (Reyns et al., 2012) “While the scholarly literature on the topic of cyberbullying is quite extensive and in disciplinary in nature, research on cyber stalking in college-aged populations is limited”. (Piotrowski, 2011) Stalkers try to damage the victim’s life; they post false things on a webpage or blog. In addition, they try to turn people against the victim. They also try to find personal information about the victim. This would get them closer to them to commit violent or sexual crimes. Another way a stalker could use to get information is following the victims every move and trying to get there IP address. Just like cyberbullying, a cyber-stalker can add another party in to join the harassment. Cyber stalking could be consider a form of cyberbullying based on the examples given. Cyber stalking in women is very common, rape threats and other threats to the victim. There is also cyber stalking within relationships, meaning boyfriend and girlfriend harassment. Jealousy usually seems to be the spark of some cyber stalking. This meaning a male or female become jealous of a current or past relationship. Jealously also can happen, when a person is attached to a person who does not feel the same. Another example of jealousy can occur when an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend gets into a new relationship. Cyber stalking in a relationship can be considered domestic violence even though it is not physical. The purpose is to control the significant other and to isolate them from everyone else on the social network. Cyber stalking can cause emotional problems and stress, just as cyberbullying this can turn violent. When a person is afraid, they result to things they usually would not do. Some may cut themselves or harm others while dealing with a stalker. There have been many suicide attempts and actual suicides due to the severity of the problem. Even though this has been an ongoing problem there is still a way to prevent cyber stalking. Not exposing all of your personal information on the web is a start to prevent cyber bullyinh. Having too much information seems like you are inviting someone to harass you. Also being more cautious on who you speak to on social networks can help stop the stalking. Another way to stop the stalking is to tell the person you would like them not to contact you if you feel uncomfortable. The most common way to stop it is to get law enforcement involved. Saving evidence from the stalker would really help to get the issues solved. Just like the stalking on social networks privacy is also one of the negative effects. Privacy on social network is necessary in today’s society as you can see from all the facts above about stalking. Some may think that the privacy policy is not necessary but in most cases, it is. People can steal information off unprotected pages for their own personal use. An example of that is having someone’s phone number on Facebook. Anyone could call them and that could start a problem of stalking. Another problem is being able to access photos that are not private. Stolen pictures are taken from pages to create fake pages that lure people in. They may use the person’s name and pictures to solicit people to converse to them. They may also use the person’s friends in order to imitate them. That is a big problem when you have identity theft on a social network. This can ruin a person’s life and take someone else’s life. They use a person picture to harass others making that person seem crazy. People would never know because you never know who is sitting behind that screen. Another main problem is fraud meaning people can use a person’s identity for financial gain. The information a person post may be enough for a person to get their social security number. Viruses will have a part in this too because people can put a virus on your computer with you knowing. This all has to do with privacy on social networks. Social network users need to watch and refrain from putting too much personal information on the web due to the privacy issue. Though this is a huge concern, there are ways that prevents it. The first way has to do with the users, do not put too much information on social networks. In addition to less information be careful who you friend on these sites. Investigate a person sends you a friend request. Look at how many friends you have in common, consider if you know this person, and look at their profile to see if it looks legit. Although they may have friend in common with you it could still be a false page. If you put a nickname instead of your real name that can stop your identity from being taken. Social networks tend to ask to scan your contacts to see who has the network in your contacts. Be careful not to scan your phone it may take information from your phone from bank accounts. The simplest method to stop the privacy issue is to have a private profile where only family and close friends know. There are still computer hackers on social networks but they cannot get the information if not presented. Awareness of the things and people on social network will help many people from having privacy problems. The last negative effect of social networks is the affect it has on productivity. Social networks can affect productivity on the and in schools. Sometimes a student may spend too much time on a social network and forget the complete homework. On the job, an employee may not due their best work due to socializing on social networks. In the workplace if an employee, makes a bad post it could damage the company’s reputation. Others can also use the post to harass the company. Some employees use computers to complete work but there are worries that internet use is weakening productivity. There is also the worry that employees may share data externally putting the company at risks. Even if there are not computers in the workplace employees, still have internet access through cell phones. Student’s productivity goes down with social networks too. If they are looking on social network, they can miss a lecture or important point the teacher is getting across. Grades could go down due to the concentration of social networks. A way to stop the productivity from going down in the work place is to block social network sites on the computer. Also, stop cell phone usage in the workplace except an emergency. The way to stop it in schools is to have a strict cell phone policy and computer policy. Only schoolwork and research will be completed on computers unless permission is given to use any other site. Telling students to stop cell phone usage is difficult by having strict cell phone policy this should stop the amount of social network use in school. Although there are so many negative effects of social networks, there are also some positives. One of the positive sides of social networks is getting to know new people and creating relationships. The world would not be going if there were not any positive relationships. Positive relationships could come from people who have the same interests. Another positive of social networks is finding a long lost friend and family member. Those are the memories people most look for when joining these websites. When I first joined Facebook, I looked for friends that I have not seen in a long time. Many positive things came from me meeting my old friends. I received help with a job when I found my old friend. These sites can help a shy person make new connections with the outside world. Social networks can also help you with a job. I have heard when you fill out applications the employers can find any profile you have. If you have a positive and uplifting profile that could help, you receive a job. Social networks are also good for the economy. An important positive effect is how fast news spreads on social networks. Some people do not watch the new but if something happens near them, there is always a person who posts links to local incidents. That could save a life, they had a car on the expressway acting as the police pulling people over and robbing them. I would not have known that if it were not for Facebook, due to me not watching the news. Catching criminals on social networks is a positive effect. Law enforcement crack down on people posting pictures of guns and drugs. Those type of crackdowns saves lives in the community. There are not just negatives in social networks there are also big positives that come from the sites. Overall, I have displayed my opinion on social networks. My position focused on the negative effects and facts were given to support each effect. There were also solutions to each effect. Even though there were many negatives, there were also many positives with social networks. The negative effects outweighs the positive effects due to the incidents that occur during some of the effects. For example, the cyberbullying problem people actually lose their lives over that. I hope the negative effects open the eyes of people who use the social networks daily. Works Cited Reyns, Bradford W. The Anti-Social Network: Cyber stalking Victimization Among College Students. El Paso: LFB Scholarly Pub, 2012. EBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 9 Apr. 2014. McGrath, Leanne C., PhD. "Social Networking Privacy: Important Or Not?" Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research In Business 3.3 (2011): 22-8. ProQuest. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. Elphinston, Rachel A, and Patricia Noller. "Time To Face It! Facebook Intrusion And The Implications For Romantic Jealousy And Relationship Satisfaction." Cyberpsychology, Behavior And Social Networking 14.11 (2011): 631-635. MEDLINE Complete. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. Feinberg, Ted, and Nicole Robey. "Cyberbullying." The Education Digest 74.7 (2009): 26-31. ProQuest. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. Patchin, Justin W, and Sameer Hinduja. "Cyberbullying And Self-Esteem." The Journal Of School Health 80.12 (2010): 614-621.MEDLINE Complete. Web. 2 May 2014. Vanderhoven, Ellen, Schellens, Tammy, Valcke, Martin. "Exploring the Usefulness of School Education about Risks on Social Network Sites: A Survey Study." Journal of Media Literacy Education 5.1 (2013): 285. Web. 2 May 2014.

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