How do you portray yourself on social media? Do you depict who you truly are? Social networking services like Facebook allows users to create profiles, share photos and videos, and send messages to friends, family, and acquaintances. These social networking sites also allow users to make important announcements or state of mind for their friends. Social networking allows users to effortlessly add new people to their friend list that can add up to thousands of friends.
As a result, social networking has devalued the meaning of friendship. In the article, “Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism,” written by Christine Rosen, demonstrates the impacts social networking has had on society. She states that when you share too much personal information you are putting yourself in danger. She also demonstrates how individuals manipulate their photos, distorting their true image to have a certain status online. In the article, “Narcissism as a Predictor of Motivations Behind Facebook Profile Picture Selection,” written by Sanja Kapidzic, she also argues how through social media many can represent themselves through images that may not even look like themselves as many edit them and change them.
In the article, “Social Networking Sites and Privacy Issues Concerning Youths,” written by Saswati Gangopadhyay and Debarati Dhar, they also argue that there are many unknown friends on social networking sites which contributes to a list of strangers on your social network with personal information about you. Although social media, can be useful to reconnect with old friends and family it contains more negative impacts. In Christine Rosen “Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism,” much evidence demonstrates that social networking sites have had a negative influence on an individual’s need for status, having a false sense of friendships, and privacy issues. Along with, social networking changing our society, it is wasting most of our time that could be spent on something more productive. Rosen talks about narcissistic users that seek attention and try to maintain a certain status on social network sites. Social media users are constantly changing their online profile pictures trying to improve their status by managing their online friends. According to Christine Rosen, social network users develop this perfect image of themselves instead of staying true to themselves'”Like painters constantly retouching their work, we alter, update, and tweak our online self-portraits; but as digital objects they are far more ephemeral than oil on canvas”(n.
p). This demonstrates how social network sites lead to the user needs to portray their image the way society looks upon it for the need of admiration or attention. They portray themselves as they would like to be seen not as they truly are.
According to one source, many users tend to fix their profile to seek the admiration they want. “The motivation to emphasize looks and personality in profile pictures might be connected to the striving for positive feedback in the form of admiring comments and ”likes'(Kapidzic 17). This demonstrates how users may use filters or edit their pictures on websites like photoshop to receive likes or comments on their picture. Their desire for admiration is fulfilled with increase friend list and having their status updates and photos liked or commented with positive feedback from their online friends that maintain their status on social networking sites.
Hence, the constant admiration of attention through likes and comments is highly linked to a narcissistic personality which has a negative impact as these individuals don’t express who they truly are to be able to maintain this status. Many users tend to illustrate something their not to receive attention instead of staying true to themselves. As social media encourage users to update status or profile pictures it increases narcissistic users. They are constantly thinking about what others have to say about them. The problem with social networking sites is that what you post on social networking sites it usually relies on what others think about your post as they are the ones who decide to like your post or comment in it. Rosen’s argument of social networks is not limited to the dishonest, self-representation, of online users, but also the effortless friendships social networking sites have created.
Social media has changed the meaning of friendship. According to Christine Rosen, friendships are not as meaningful as they were. ” The impulse to collect as many “friends” as possible on a MySpace page is not an expression of the human need for companionship, but of a different need no less profound and pressing: the need for status”(n.p). This demonstrates how social network users no longer make an effort to develop a real friendship as many users are constantly thinking about the status of having many friends on their friend list. Instead of actually making an effort to spend some time with a friend one just messages them on social media or like their picture. People on social networking sites usually just message, like, or comments on others page to contact their friends which are sabotaging friendship as is doesn’t have the same quality as before.
Before social network existed, people would actually make face-to-face interactions and spend some quality time with one another. In essence, social networking sites are sabotaging real friendships. Although social media is destroying real relationships, Rosen also emphasizes social networks as a place where people should not put too much personal information online because your safety can be at stake.
In addition to dangers like the online presence of predators in your list of ‘friends’ that may be under a fake name and personal information that can be seen by employers. According to Christine Rosen, that posting too much personal information can cost you your job “A survey conducted in 2006 by researchers at the University of Dayton found that “40 percent of employers say they would consider the Facebook profile of a potential employee as part of their hiring decision, and several reported rescinding offers after checking out Facebook”(n.p). This shows how there is no sense of privacy as anyone can look you up and find every detail about you.
Some employers may check people’s Facebook profiles when making job offers, so one needs to now be careful about what you post online. Social networking representation can affect one’s reputation. It is important to not put too much information and maintain good behavior online as social media can be looked upon anyone who just looks you up. By putting personal information like your schedule for class or your address could be dangerous. There are still child predators that stalk social media.
A lot of times there are younger children who use social media, who could not understand the importance of privacy. This could lead to someone getting kidnapped. According to one source, “Making friends with unknown people and increasing the numbers in ‘friend list’ in social networking sites might be considered as happening and trendy but can pose a tangible threat to one’s privacy”(Saswati Gangopadhyay and Debarati Dhar 6). Many social network users may put all their personal information to receive more friends but by getting more friends it could lead to having an online predator on your profile using a fake name to get your personal information. In essence, giving too much personal information on social media isn’t safe as you don’t know the person and because anyone can view your profile whether they are on your friend list or not. My personal opinion is that social networking sites can serve as a great tool to keep in touch with family and friends that are far away. It is a good way to keep in touch with some of my family members that live in another country. My grandma and other family members from Mexico stay in contact with me through Facebook.
Although, social media can also be a dangerous place as their are online predators or users who try to get your personal information. It is important to know the risks of social networking sites and be careful while using them. I tend to look through my social networking sites and waste most of my time instead of doing something more productive. I think that the world would go crazy if social networking sites suddenly ended for good as we are so attached to these social networking sites that it has become a part of our daily routine. I personally think it’s essential to keep a balance between reality and the online world on social networking sites if you’re not careful you can end up investing all your time on social networking sites and not actually interact with the real world. Taking everything to account, in spite of the fact that there are some positive effects of social networking, for example, having the capacity to stay in contact with family, the negative effects of social networking outweighs the few that they are. However, social networking sites are and will continue to have a negative impact on our society until something is done. Social networking sites diminish friendships and build narcissism.
As social networking sites keep on developing, users tend to manipulate themselves to be the person society wants us to be, therefore creating a false image of ourselves. Regardless of whether you stay true to yourself on social networking sites, there are still more negative impacts. Nobody is safe on social networking sites as it includes online predators.
We need to be more cautious while using social media as our privacy no longer exist. The effect of putting too much personal information could also lead to affect you for a job. We should try to make the most our life offline to not be involved with these negative social networks impact on our society. It is evident that Kapidzic, Gangopadhyay and Dhar, and Rosen’s argument shows that social networking sites have a negative impact on our society.