Social Media: Cyberbullying and Impact on Social Skills Essay

Submitted By gerrigrady
Words: 1134
Pages: 5

Social Media Is Taking Over the World

Are you impatient, insecure and impossibly distracted? Well, as your phone is probably at hand's reach right now I shall take that as a yes. Me, myself would be considered a 'techno geek'. This second as I'm writing this, I feel as if my phone is calling my name even though I checked it a sentence ago. Over the past ten years, social media has become one of the biggest ways of interacting between the public and organisations worldwide. Facebook has an estimated number of a whopping 800 million users, with half this number logged in each and every day. Social media sites are used for socialising with friends, meeting new people and now even by huge businesses to promote themselves. We all know the positives of social media but are we fully aware as well of its negative impact on us? Does social media’s negative effects outweigh the positives? And at what cost?

One major down side of social media is 'Cyberbullying'. Cyberbullying defined shortly, ''When a minor uses technology as a weapon to intentionally target and hurt another minor''. Youths call each other names, belittle, and threaten each other to, in some serious cases, the point of suicide. Statistics show over 50% of teens have been bullied online and about the same have been engaged in cyberbullying, only one in ten of these youths actually tell their parents. It has been proved victims of cyberbullying that are 14/15 years old are more likely to commit suicide. Studies also show that a huge eight out of ten people that have been involved in cyberbullying cases have considered taking their own lives. I've witnessed myself, a girl getting pressurised into sending half naked images, them getting put up on public websites where the majority of the school can see it. This lead to some horrendous comments such as 'kill yourself, dirty waste'. Imagine how this would make you feel? I certainly wouldn't be able to take cruel comments like this. Did the person posting this comment think about how much that could seriously affect the victim’s life? Probably not. I've been in scenarios before when my name has been brought into public conversations that the world could see if they wanted, very minor cases but still managed to make me feel timid, tiny and talked about. Personally I think most people do it for the audience, to impress all those people behind screens and to get the attention that makes them feel good about themselves and big for doing it. These people are cowards in reality, people who would never act big in real life, 'keyboard gangsters'.

The amount social media is taking over our social skills is just one more worrying thing. ''Did you see that tweet last night?'' Oh how interesting, the most common conversation starter and the question I am asked at school every morning. BORING! What happened to the good old 'Hi, how you doing?' Teenagers are growing up developing all their social life/skills online. Do people ever really meet their 'friends' anymore? Have they EVER actually met their 'friends'? We are becoming addicted to speaking to people virtually and, lacking the person to person communication skills that used to be essential no longer get learnt at the age they should. We are going out in the big bad world as we leave secondary school as very timid citizens, scared of real interaction. What good is this when it comes to job interviews etc.? When young adults have to write their CV's but can't seem to construct a proper sentence and most definitely not a paragraph without containing shortened, lazy and just all together pathetic speech like 'LOL' or 'KWAM'. Surely there are many more decent conversations we could have about what we've done together, the recent parties we had been at, instead of sitting on our back sides on a Saturday night looking at a screen. Sometimes I realise how lazy I'm being by not even going down the stairs to find out what's for tea but messaging my dad via social networking, I don't