Social media seems like a great place to spend time and chat with others. Just like the name suggests, you get a chance to socialize with friends, family, and even strangers.
Some platforms also have groups that invite like-minded people to share their ideas and build a community.
On the surface, it seems like social media poses no threats and that more people should use it, right? Well, the reality is quite different. Things can snowball out of control if you are not careful, and spending time on social media could cause multiple problems.
Knowing about the dangers on social media sites is a good way to start. The list of problems below should give you a clearer picture of why you should avoid social media if possible.
Problem #1 – Identity Theft
There were more than 3 million cases of identity theft in 2019. It should not be surprising that social media names are quite common when it comes to identity theft.
Some people just do not pay enough attention when they post pictures of themselves. Moreover, they believe that only their friends see it, but that is not the case when you have a public profile.
Besides their own details, someone may end up sharing information concerning other people, like their friends. And if a fraudster gets hold of such information, they will not hesitate and take it.
You can take certain measures to protect yourself online, like work on email security, avoid shady websites, use virtual private networks, or have reliable antivirus software.
However, all that effort will go to waste if you make one mistake on social media. And the consequences can be pretty dire.
Problem #2 – Oversharing
If you do not have that many people you are close with, you may want to join social media with the intent to make some friends. However, trusting strangers is not the best approach.
It is easy to start believing that the person you chat with has good intentions. It leads to building trust and oversharing information, which will ultimately backfire.
Scammers on social media manage to get bank information, addresses, email details, and other personal information. And if you become a victim, there is no telling how much you will have to pay for it later.
Problem #3 – Bullying
The internet may be a source of happiness, but the opposite can happen just as well. Take students, for example. Most people are aware of bullying that some students have to deal with every day while attending school.
Social media could be another platform for someone. It is easy to break down if you are a victim of cyberbullying.
Stalking is also quite common. Just like some people experience it in real life, they have to deal with the same problem on social media.
Enabling privacy settings or just straight up blocking unwanted people are some of the best ways to deal with these issues if you cannot leave social media.
Problem #4 – Addiction
You may find yourself spending hours on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter when there is nothing new there. Refreshing the same pages just because you are bored is not good for your health.
Social media addiction is a real problem, and it is not just the teenagers. Plenty of older people have problems putting away their smartphone or quitting the internet browser on a computer.
Quitting social media might not be that simple. If you struggle, gradually decrease the time you spend on Facebook or Instagram until you reach a point of no desire to scroll through an endless feed.
Problem #5 – Reputation Damage
Public content can be seen by anyone. If you are looking for a job, social media could be the thing that prevents you from getting the desired position. And it may not be your own fault. A close friend of yours might have posted some embarrassing pictures with you and made them available to the public.
HR managers scan through social media profiles of potential candidates. Keep that in mind the next time you go job hunting.
Problem #6 – Exposure to Inappropriate Content
Those who desire to look at inappropriate content should have few issues finding it on the internet. The problem with social media is that you may scroll through your newsfeed and encounter something inappropriate because a friend of yours decided to share it.
If you are an adult, then you can ignore it, especially if there is nobody else around you who may see it and roll their eyes at you.
But what about children who use social media? Parents should do their best to protect kids from inappropriate content exposure, and limiting or prohibiting social media usage should be the thing to do.