Various a coin, the effects of social networking are

Various studies show that the average person now spends more
time on their phone and computer than they do sleeping. Shocking right? As much
as we may hate to admit it, social media has become a very vital part of our lives
and we become even more dependent on it as the days go by.

Before we delve any deeper, what is social media? Social media is a term used
to describe the interaction between groups or individuals in which they
produce, share, and sometimes exchange ideas over the internet and in virtual
communities. These include sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and
Instagram. Social
media is very quickly transforming the manner in which individuals, most especially
the youth, interact with the people around them, their environment, as well as
how they make use of technology.

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Just
like a coin, the effects of social networking are twofold.  On the positive side, social media serves as an incredibly powerful
instrument for broadening one’s social horizons. Getting
to know new people, starting useful acquaintances with people you would never
meet otherwise, learning new skills through online reading materials, getting
instruction and assistance – all these possibilities are quite helpful and make
the modern youth much more flexible than their earlier counterparts. In
addition, social networks can act as invaluable tools for professionals. They
provide young professionals with a platform to market their skills and seek
business opportunities. Social networking sites may also be used to network
professionally.

On the negative side, social
media is laden with a number risks such as cyberbullying. This can be defined
as the use of cell phones, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites to
harass, threaten or intimidate someone. The anonymous nature of the internet has made it easier
for bullies to hide behind this mask and carry out these despicable acts.
Cyberbullying has been known to cause severe psychological problems and has
become a major cause of depression and suicide cases among young people.

Social media also leads to
distorted body image among several of our youth. The world is full of perfect people
today: with perfect skin, body and hair or as it may appear to the young today.
Thanks to Photoshop, the standard of beauty has become impossible to achieve.
And these images are everywhere. This has led to distorted body image which in
turn leads to anorexia and bulimia. This is not limited just to the girls but
boys are also made to feel less “manly” if unable to achieve the perfect body
image.

Social media has also led to
social isolation where young people spend too much time on these sites rather
than making meaningful relationships through face to face interactions. Their
virtual life on social media sites becomes more important than their real life.
Social isolation has been known to lead to a host of emotional, psychological
and physical complications in individuals.

It is very clear that social
media has become a very big part of our day to day lives but looking at both
sides of the coin raises the question, just how much is too much?

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