The Cons of Social Media


Gwynith Hayden

Could your use of social media be harming you and others?

Samuel Milliken , Video Editor

Although social media websites can be enjoyable, entertaining and informative, they also have many downsides that make them unwise to use. Here are some of the problems with these platforms.

Have you ever noticed that once you get on social media, it’s very hard to get off?  That’s because social media is designed to be addictive. The people who design social media platforms even borrow techniques from casinos to make it harder to stop. 

Social media allows you to switch from one post to another constantly. It fragments your attention. This can make it difficult to focus even when you’re not on social media.

Another problem with social media is that it lowers inhibitions.  People write things about others on social media that they would never say to them in person. This can be especially harmful when looking for employment because one of the first things a potential employer will do is look to see what you have said on social media.

Not only are people interacting unnaturally with people on social media, however, but they are also doing it at the expense of real interactions with people who are physically with them.  It’s common now to see people constantly looking at their phones instead of interacting with friends, family members or even pets.

Social media use has been linked to problems with anxiety and depression.  Social media users inevitably contrast their own imperfect, stressful lives with those shown on social media, which often appear nearly perfect and stress free.

Finally, social media sites can and often do relate your personal information to other companies. According to The New York Times, Facebook has done a large amount of this, even giving some companies, such as Spotify and Netflix, the right to look at and remove people’s private messages.  An article from NBC news revealed that the site Flickr, on which people can share photos, gave close to a million pictures to IBM for the company to use in developing the technology of face recognition. This was done without the permission of either the photographers or subjects of the photos.

For these reasons, it would be wise to seriously consider either majorly restricting or altogether eliminating your use of social media.

Statistics taken from Pew Research Center, “Social Media Use in 2018”. More information can be found at:
Graphic created by Gwynith Hayden.