We look around and see the impacts of social media, both positive and negative. Over 2.62 billion plus people use social media and it’s estimated to grow 2.77billion in 2019. In 2017, 71 percent of internet users were social media users, and this is expected to grow in the future. This statistics shows the big impact of social media in the world. Social media has been a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse in a way that, if you study social media users, you can tell the influence it has on their psychological being and financial stand. There are a lot of happy faces, stunting and beautiful people, but we have to wonder what are the dark sides is we aren’t seeing?
One of the negative effects of social media is rampant Cyberbullying can be defined as online activities that are intended to humiliate and threaten individuals of lower power. Examples of cyberbullying include sending unwanted, derogatory, or threatening text messages or comments, rumors, embarrassing and offensive pictures or videos disseminated by email or shared by users of social networking sites (Görzig & Frumkin, 2013). Cyberbullying is a little different from a standard bullying in which that the effects of cyberbullying, is much more destructing than that of a standard bullying. With cyberbullying you have the use of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube e.t.c. for bullies to use as a weapon against their victims. On social media, we all know those post or messages spreads like a wildfire and once a bully uploads an unwanted message regarding their victim to degrade them, it will spread and you then have hundreds, if not thousands of people, don’t know the victim, would be making a joke and laughing at the unwanted post. This is cyberbullying and can lead to psychological issues that will stay with the victim forever.
We see a ton of stunting, flashing of an expensive lifestyle on social media and we have to ask ourselves, how were they able to afford this? Well, I am here to answer based on my personal observation and research. Behind the glitz and glamour lifestyle of social media, I can say that not everyone posing as if they can afford it could really afford it. Most people sacrifice, food, rent and all other expenses to spending it on Gucci clothes and shoes, expensive traveling and makeup. Some fake it and later get caught forcing them to close down their social media and some can afford it by doing illegal activities. For examples, there was news out of famous Instagram twin models, they got caught using a dead man’s credit card to purchase things for themselves. This goes to show you that social media, is all about smokes and mirrors, you do not know who is real, and who is fake.
Also, social media shapes the ideal beauty, if we look on social media like Instagram, we see that ladies who get the most likes and follows are those who are beautiful, with an hourglass and toned figures. And we can tell that most went under the knives to get beauty enhancement. This affects how young people will view things, they start to get those beauty enhancements and post inappropriate just to get those likes and follows at the end of the day, it does not fill their void, it will start to hit them, that these people do not care about me just my looks and this could lead to depression. A research on the mortality rate of Gluteal Fat Grafting (Buttock Augmentation) shows that “692 surgeons responding to the survey reported 198,857 cases of gluteal fat grafting. Over their careers, surgeons reported 32 fatalities from pulmonary fat emboli as well as 103 nonfatal pulmonary fat emboli. Three percent (3%) of respondents experienced a patient fatality, and 7% of respondents reported at least one pulmonary fat embolism in a patient over their careers. Surgeons reporting the practice of injecting into the deep muscle experienced a significantly increased incidence rate of fatal and nonfatal pulmonary fat emboli. Twenty-five fatalities were confirmed in the United States over the last 5 years through of autopsy reports and interviews with surgeons and medical examiners. Four deaths were reported from 2014 to 2015 from pulmonary fat emboli in AAAASF facilities” ASERF TASK FORCE. We cannot deny that social media like history caused the rise of butt augmentation, because people who are prone to body image issues get lured into the body portrayed on the gram which is usually as I stated above, toned, hourglass, extremely huge booty that in most cases looks unnatural, etc. This can lead to serious health issue later on in life.
Additionally, some people have learned that once you post content online, it can never be erased; there have been so many stories of how one click on send can change your life for the better or worse. This risk can be amplified once a person has reached the so-called “ Fame” status, because once you get there, people will be researching about you, trying to get dirt on your name, especially blog sites, these stories can be profitable and honestly, who does not love a good gossip once in a while? We all do, but we never take a step back to ask ourselves “How is the person being talked about feeling?” not everyone can handle bad gossip in a healthy way. Some can turn to drugs, alcohol, excessive eating, etc.
There are more negatives of social media, but those stated above are more visible and observable in today’s society. I believe more things need to be done both individually, and society as a whole. There are steps that need to be taken, such as examine the root cause of it, each individual need to look more at the dark side of social media, we need to be educated more on how to tell the difference between what is real and what is fake, we need to be able to focus more on ourselves and avoid following what others are doing and lastly, as for cyberbullying, we need to identify and examine studies for youths, who have been involved with cyberbullying (bully, victim or bully & victim), examine the impact it had on the victim, and provide effective solutions using clinical methods and Empathy.