The social media is quickly and surely metamorphizing into a great force to reckon with in the society. Its power rides on its rising popularity and the immense opportunities it offers to connect and network. Its use has influenced so much including the manufacture of electronic gadgets like the smart phones and tablets and the applications like the camera applications that help photography an even interesting adventure as one can edit and take unique photos for their pages and posts. It has given marketing pedestals to bloggers and other online-based businesses to grow and make an impact in the society through the online community. However, as with anything good, even social media has its own dangers.
Social media can be very addictive and distractive.One can very easily be addicted to the trending stories and ‘group discussions’ on social media platforms. Sometimes one may lose focus and find that you can spend a lot of time on the gadgets used to access the social media platforms. Many companies lose valuable business time in this manner; some employees go online instead of working. This especially has a great impact on the ‘traditional’ companies that are yet to fully integrate their operations online.
Ones privacy is not guaranteed while accessing social media. Most of the platforms need one to give their names, dates of birth, addresses and phone numbers while joining the platform. Some of the information as provided may give hackers an easy way to get into the profiles of the unfortunate victim and sometimes into their online activities inventory. They may have access to a lot of private information for instance the mobile banking details and can cause havoc on the victim’s financial accounts and many other areas of their lives. Nude photos of prominent people have also been leaked on social media. This embarrasses them with no seen benefits for those leaking them. It is an invasion of privacy but with an almost invisible perpetrator.
Mischievous people can cause embarrassment and psychological harm to people on social media. There are many cases of people, mostly celebrities who have had their accounts hacked and ‘private’ photos or information made public. Some of the hackers do it for fun while others may have other sinister motives behind their actions for instance blackmail and kidnapping. Some of these photos may be out to assassinate the characters of the victims for instance when the elections are around the corner. There are even cases where so many celebrities have been ‘killed’ in the social media. Bill Cosby and Jacky Chan are among those rumored to have died and even videos of how for example Jacky Chan fall from a high-rise building and died while performing a stunt were circulated. It is not clear what one gains from such action but, they no doubt enjoy them a lot. There are cases of cyber bullying which can also happen on social media. Some people are bullied because of their sizes, color, affiliations or gender. This bullying in some cases has led to suicide attempts- some successfully so. This bullying leaves a big dent on the people on the receiving end.
Social media platforms can also offer a base and forum for people with evil plans to execute them. Using coded words and expressions, the groups can recruit, radicalize and execute potentially dangerous activities under the cover and anonymity that some social media platforms offer. This is why some countries like China banned some social media platforms some time back though theirs was more on the desire to control information flow. If not well moderated or in the wrong hands, the power in the social media can be dangerously potent.
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