In today’s society it almost seems that being apart of at least one social media site is an unwritten rule to thriving in the 21st Century. The public wouldn’t be able to survive in a world without the internet. Not only has society become addicted to the world wide web, but it has also brought a lot of other drawbacks along the way.
The internet has become a part of daily life. With access to the web on smart phones, people are constantly checking social media accounts or other websites.
Logging into cyberspace is a routine for most, so much that the world would not know how to act without its presence. There is no way of going back to the old days before the Internet existed.
Plato stated in his short story “The Allegory of the Cave,” “(…) such one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situations; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?” This means that if mankind were brought back to the way life used to be, he would not be able to cope with the drawback, which is completely valid for today’s society.
Not only has the Internet caused the public to disengage themselves from society but it has also introduced a new form of bullying: cyberbullying. According to The Dynamics of Mass Communications “One in three teenagers had experienced some form of cyberbullying.” Cyberbullies use the internet, a device that has furthered society and provided so many benefits to intentionally emotionally harm the mind of another person. This can lead to depression and even suicide.
Almost everyone can start their own website or blog page on the Internet. The issue with that is the type of content that ends up on these websites. The owners of the web pages don’t always have the best intentions.
One of the outcomes of this fact are pro anorexia, more commonly known as “pro-ana”, websites. These blogs promote unhealthy eating habits and negative body image by posting photos of women so skinny that each bone in their body is incredibly defined under their skin and calling it “thinspiration.”
Pro-ana websites also offer tips and tricks on how to hide anorexic behavior; a blog called “The Pro-Ana Lifestyle Forever” offers advice such as “eat in front of the mirror, naked or in underwear if possible” to stop food cravings. With the lack of gatekeepers online it isn’t possible to block this kind of content from the minds of young girls and boys.
The lack of privacy is another downside to the Internet. Any tweet that has ever been tweeted or any location that has been checked in on Facebook is easily accessible by anyone. Even though an individual’s social media account is their own and he/she should be able to post any content they please without consequence, it doesn’t always end up that way.
In the film The Facebook Obsession, a woman with over 30 years of experience in her career decided to post her opinions of her students to her Facebook, not knowing that Facebook’s privacy settings had changed her posts to public. The parents of her students eventually saw the post resulting in her losing her job at the school.
It is incredibly alarming how Facebook can change someones privacy setting without them being aware of it. What else can they do with our accounts and information without us knowing?
While the Internet has blossomed a whole new way of life, it comes with many disadvantages. So many of us have become glued to our laptops and cell phones, constantly checking our social media accounts. We seem to be unaware of what is going in the world around us.
The public also trusts social media websites such as Facebook with all their information although no one is certain of what can go wrong with all that trust. With all these issues, the Internet may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
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