Disadvantages and Dangers of Social Media


By Marija Kraljevic, Arts and Entertainment and Photo Editor

As the world advances in technology, it also advances in new forms of communication and means of social interactions. An example of this advancement is social media, and it’s many applications that are available to people of all ages in society. Kids and adults use social media almost every day and consume the content that other creators make, or follow up on well-known celebrities using apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

Recorded last month, around 3.5 billion people in the world use social media daily, according to Oberlo. Social media itself definitely has a lot of positive aspects to it, including the ability to get famous easily, interact with other people across the world, and the opportunity to display one’s creativity. Along with all the great things about social media, also come all the negative things about it. 

1. Higher Risk of Human Trafficking

Most social media users have had their social accounts since they were younger and more and more of today’s youth are glued to their phones while following different trends on social media. Kids today don’t understand just how dangerous other people can be, which is why they’re easy targets for human trafficking accounts. Besides children using social media, there are also plenty of young adults who don’t understand the risk of being trafficked and how exposing everything about themselves on the internet isn’t safe. Traffickers will use social media to their advantage as they contact victims through direct messaging and isolate them from other people. These accounts will also monitor their victims’ social media use as they even impersonate the victims, share intimate images, stalk a victim’s account and activity even after leaving them.

2. Pedophiles

Like most kids my age, our social media accounts have existed ever since our 5th grade school year. Over time, I’ve learned plenty about myself and how society can be divided based on either your looks, opinion, background, or intelligence. There’s no need to give a child an Instagram or Snapchat account, and I regret growing up with having both of those types of social media. Kids should be outside, playing with their friends using their imagination, and creating memories that an app can’t give you. Without censorship and protecting the youth, giving them an outlet on social media also gives people like pedophiles quicker opportunities to come after young children. Pedophiles will do things such as taking a photo of a child off of their own account or a parent’s account and morph it into another shot of a child sexual abuse image, according to the National Post. As disgusting and sickening it is to hear about the growing cases of pedophilia arising; social media just happens to be one of the biggest contributors to this field. Trends on TikTok that are meant for adults to do have also played a role in the growing accounts of pedophiles preying on young and innocent children. Dances and trends that aren’t appropriate for younger children are encouraged as these kids become sexualized and prime targets for pedophiles on TikTok and other social media applications. 

3. Increased Bullying, Harassment, Depression, Anxiety

Other than human trafficking, social media is the leading cause of depression and anxiety within teens today. When teens have issues online, they don’t ask others for help, which leaves them feeling more vulnerable and sad. These issues are either from cyberbullying or having self-confidence issues from this idea of needing to be perfect while seeing unrealistic beauty standards online. Around 42 percent of teens are cyberbullied through Instagram, and the numbers keep growing. Social media enables teenagers to communicate with all of their friends and people from different areas nearby at the touch of a button. This ability takes bullying to the next level. Teens can effortlessly create rumors or spread other’s secrets online, and the well-being of the victim can be devastating. In the worst cases of cyberbullying, a teenager’s reputation can be destroyed in a matter of minutes, and the social fallout can push one to commit suicide and leave social trauma. The concept of photoshopping and filters also degrade a person’s self-esteem. They see others posting perfect pictures of themselves as though it’s all-natural, but in reality, it’s not. 

4. Decreased Social Cues

When it comes to the disadvantages of social media, it’s critical to understand the impact that it can have on a teenager’s or child’s social skills. Interacting with peers is about more than the words you use; it’s all about knowing how to read other people’s body language and understanding their vocal tonal rather than communicating through text messages or online. Since teenagers often rely on social media to stay in touch, they don’t have many real interactions with others. This isolation can prevent them from learning the critical social skills that they will need in life as well as realizing that social media isn’t the most important thing in the world and that forming genuine connections with people in person is both mature and valuable.

So the next time you go on Snapchat or TikTok, think: is this what you’ll be doing for the rest of your life, and is it worth it to let life pass you by while you sit in your room on a screen all day?