Online Social networking is a type of virtual communication that allows people to connect with each other. This concept arises from basic need of human beings to stay together in groups forming a community. Michael Wesch, cultural anthropologist at Kansas State University, compared the tribal societies to online social networking. After drugs and alcohol addiction, if the world is facing any new type of addiction disorder, then that is Facebook addiction. This is a kind of Internet addiction, but social networking site influences such that people goes mad behind it.
It?s like people being immersed in virtual life and forgetting about the physical world around them. Alexandra V. Tobias, a mother from north Florida, killed her own child because the boy was crying that make her anger while she was playing FarmVille on Facebook. The shocking story was reported by the Florida TimesUnion in 2010. Salum Kombo, 18 yrs from London, was stabbed by his friend over an argument that started over Facebook.
Salum wrote something stupid on his friend?s wall and that provoked the boy to kill his best friend on the street (France, 2009).
A survey conducted among 1000 people across United States to find people?s addiction to social networking sites, finds 56 percent users check Facebook at least once a day. And 29 percent can stay only few hours without checking their account. Study says people under 25 years are more likely to lose sleep keeping an eye on their friends? post. Interestingly, 17 percent would read a message on Facebook during sex and 63 percent while in the toilet (“People’s addiction to,” 2010). Jerry, a man in his late thirties, ruined his family, job and life because of addiction to social networking sites.
And he realized the pain when his wife tweeted to him “she wants divorce”. Now he is founder of the site Social Media Addicts Association (SMAA). That helps the people to share their stories of addiction to SNS and recover from it. When we searched „Facebook addiction disorder? in Google, it gives 343,000 results. The more interesting thing is that there a number of communities in Facebook itself that talks about FAD. Psychologist Michael Fenichel describes FAD “it is a situation in which Facebook usage overtake daily activities like your normal function, eating, working, waking up, sleeping and many more” “Facebook addiction disorder,” 2010).
According to Dr Mohamad Hussain Habil, director of university Malaya Center of Addictive Sciences, “it?s a brain disorder as a result of neurochemical dysfunction where normal behavior becomes abnormal”. Dr Hussain says “parents brought their teenage children thinking that they were under the influence of drugs when the teenagers perform poorly in school and not interacting as usual. The teens were so obsessed with virtual activities that they were willing to forego their meals, sleep, responsibilities and leisure activities. The fact was these children were addicted to the Internet” (Renganayar, 2010).
Like the tribal culture, in Facebook people project their identity by demonstrating their relationships to each other. You define yourself in terms of who your friends are (Wright, 2007). Wikipedia defines social network service as online platform that focus on building and reflecting social networks or social relations among people who share interests and activities. The growth of social networking sites shows a significant change in the social and personal behavior of Internet users. The beginning of social networking sites started to make contacts with people and build a network of healthy relationship in the society.
But now it seems offering cybercriminals a great advantage to target victims. Haydn and his family were out of home for treatment of his son in Leeds. Instead of making phone calls to everyone, he was updating on Facebook message about son?s health. Someone read his Facebook message and burgled their home during this time. A report by Daily Mail shows “crimes associated with the networking site have increased by as much as 7000 percent in some area – including cases of murder, rape, pedophilia, bullying, assault and burglary” (“Facebook – crime,” 2010).
Pedophiles are using social networking sites because that is where they can lure the victim willingly. Teens easily believe in Love with the person they met online but actually they are falling to a trap of sexual predator. has become an essential medium of communication and entertainment among the young adults. Though it has started to affect the daily activities of normal human beings, the popularity of SNS is not going to reduce in near future.
Everything in this world can be used for a bad purpose as well as for good. It?s us who can make the difference and utilize social networking sites wisely for the benefit of developing social bonds across the geographical borders. However, nefarious act of cyber criminals discussed in the article has to be brought to the fore and stringent measures should be taken to curb the menace. Cyber laws have to be fortified with advancement of rules as if violators cannot escape committing a crime, at the cost of societal values.
Cite this Effects of Social Networking Sites
Effects of Social Networking Sites. (2016, Oct 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/effects-of-social-networking-sites/