A letter to the editor

11



Dear Editor,

 

I am writing to express my view on  the use of social networking platforms. I believe that the harm social networking platforms bring us absolutely outweighs the benefits.

Firstly, social networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are extremely addictive and indirectly make people more materialistic. If you look at today’s world, it is very hard to see a person without a social account. More and more people are falling into a harmful blackhole which is disguised as social networking platforms. People become more and more addicted to it, trying their best to get more followers, and with some even posting every ten minutes. Life nowadays is reduced to the mere act of taking photos and posting them online. For some people, photo-taking is already part of their lives, and it is impossible for them not to take a photo when even something trivial happens. One might even spill a cup of water and rant about it online instead of tidying up the mess. When something truly amazing happens, instead of enjoying the moment to its fullest, people take out their phones and take countless pictures. One might ask, well then how does social networking platforms make people materialistic? As I mentioned above, most people try very hard to attract new followers. To do this, they need more public attention. So, in order to achieve this, they flaunt their assets, such as luxury flats or expensive cars, in an attempt to make people look at them and gape. Under this influence, the general public starts to follow their footsteps, believing that an ideal life is one with luxury flats and expensive cars. I am strongly against this mindset, as it warps people’s minds and stops them from ‘living in the moment’. What’s the point of living when everyone is only taking pictures?

Moreover, social networking platforms increase the chance of cyberbullying. If one thinks carefully about it, one will discover that social networking platforms are basically the ‘father’ of cyberbullying. Where does cyberbully happen? The internet. And what is the most convenient way to communicate with someone else on the Internet? Social networking platforms. These platforms give bullies a chance to reach the victim at home whether near or far. When the victim posts something in their social media account, the bullies will immediately be able to post nasty comments, and the victim has no way of unseeing those comments. Before the age of social media, Internet forums were the only way to communicate with somebody online. With Internet forum, one could just block or report the users or just simply go to another Internet forum and change one’s username. But nowadays, even if one changes one’s social media account, bullies can still track the victim down owing to the advanced technology and their determination to mock the victim. Bullies are everywhere, and with the help of social media, they are even capable of terrorizing your name.

Thirdly, social networking platforms increase the chance of leakage of privacy and eases the way for hackers and thieves. Even if the government spends thousands and thousands of dollars on the promotion of the importance of privacy and the danger of the Internet, people still choose to be naïve and ignorant of the status quo. Private information such as credit card numbers, ID card numbers and even phone numbers are carelessly posted in social media posts, just because one wants to show off or announce something. This leakage of private information paves the way for hackers to reach people, and thieves to reach one’s bank account, making it ‘oh-so-easy’ for one to get hacked and robbed. Social media gives people the chance to leak their private information, and people make the best out of this chance even with the government’s warnings.

One might say that social media helps people to reconnect with long lost friends. However, this chance is really, really narrow, and it is only relevant to specific people. Furthermore, if one really treasures a friend, one would not have lost contact with him or her in the first place. One might also say that social networking platforms make people closer, and helps with social relations, but that is not the case. Social media just reduces the chance of face-to-face communication, and leads to an unhealthy obsession of phones. With these two in the way, it really is impossible to just properly talk to one’s friends.

Social media is a pair of coloured glasses to the general public, tools for bullies to harass people, and road pavers for hackers and thieves. So, does social media not bring us harm? I think not.

 

Yours faithfully,

Celina Deng