understanding media

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Welcome to the forum for the Oxford Brookes University module U75102 Understanding Media.  The forum is currently closed.

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Author Topic: Is Social Media harmful?  (Read 3129 times)

mouse123

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Is Social Media harmful?
« on: October 27, 2014, 11:07:24 pm »

I wasn't sure if this fit the subject of 'The Media', but wanted peoples opinion on the idea that Social Media could somehow be more harmful than good. With everyones assumption that social media is just a place where you can post pictures or give harmless opinions, Ask.fm has been used as an excuse for countless suicides amongst young people. With 95% of all teenagers ages 12-17 now online and 80% of those online teens are social media users, social media has the ability to be both harmful and beneficial.
The main question i wanted to ask was why children are being abusive and hurtful towards one another online, and what could be causing this? Is it the media?
The main reason's for most of these suicides are over their appearance, and the verbal abuse that they get online over it. What i found confusing is if you were getting abuse, would you not then cancel your account? It is something that is always on been on my mind when I read news stories about things like this.
This further draws on the point of young people's insecurity and obsession with appearance.
I am aware that not all social medias are like this, but why had cyberbullying and trolling become such an issue online, and in the media.
What do you think?
I found this quote from the founder of Ask.fm Mark Terebin in response to the rash of suicides to be really interesting, and something that the public should recognise.
"Mass media is knocking on wrong door. It is necessary to go deeper and to find a root of a problem. Its not about the site, the problem is about education, about moral values that were devaluated lately. Ask.fm is just a tool which helps people to communicate with each other, same as any other social network, same as phone, same as piece of paper and pen. Don’t blame a tool, but try to make changes… start with yourself… be more polite, more kind, more tolerant of others… cultivate these values in families, in schools.
Suicide is not something to encourage via mass media. The more you promote suicide, the more it happen. Do you think mass media cares? They want scandals, they want sensations and finally they want money. Sorry, but we do not want to participate in it.
What happened is a true tragedy and we give our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and relatives."

[originally written 1st October]
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 11:14:44 pm by mouse123 »
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hrkbn0609

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Re: Is Social Media harmful?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 03:48:22 am »

I think considering the question ‘mouse123’ casts is very important. Why and how can the media cause of such a serious issue as cyberbullying and trolling?

I think because people are discarnate online, children come to feel they can do anything they want freely online. That is why they tend to be abusive and hurtful. They can say bad things to others though they cannot say face to face. As we learnt last week, McLuhan (1978) states that discarnate man ‘has a very weak awareness of private identity … and has been relieved of all commitments to law and morals’. It can be said that because of those discarnate effects, cyberbullying and trolling have increased. To solve this problem, teaching children to regard online media not as a special place but as an almost same place as reality. We have to let them know that people cannot be relieved of all commitment of their acts which casn influence others even they are online. Discarnate effects let us enjoy the different life from reality as the second life but we may have to take their riskiness into consideration.

What do you think? How should people deal with the social media to reduce problems related to it? The online media is now a part of our daily life. Should we continue regarding it as special place or just as the extension of real life?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 02:29:22 pm by hrkbn0609 »
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asdfghjkl

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Re: Is Social Media harmful?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 12:05:00 pm »

I agree with 'Mouse123' in that people are definitely becoming victims to trolling and abusive behaviour which could lead to self harm, psychological issues or even suicide. However, I do believe that the internet is just like real life in that it will always carry threats and negative behaviour no matter what you do. Some people may become extremely involved within the media and the products it has to offer in which could lead to a higher risk of these dangers. For example, people on social networking websites or blogs are at a higher risk to internet trolls due to the amount of personal information in which they are offering to an unknown audience.

This leads to the debate in relation to the lack of censorship which is online thus not restricting the access of internet users. It is difficult to block out negative comments or threatening language due to the democracy which has been formed on the internet platform, this is what allows internet trolls to feel they can be abusive and aggressive without any immediate consequences. For example, on the blog site "Tumblr" you are able to post direct messages to a user through an anonymous name, this form of communication allows people to post unacceptable messages to people thus increasing the risk of victims becoming very unhappy and personally effected by the comments. This highlights 'hrkbn0609's point in that the discarnate effects on people are causing them to have a very weak understanding of their identity causing this behaviour to feel acceptable.

A example of this is a blogger, named Tallulah, who was signed up to the blogging website 'Tumblr' and, in time, decided to take her life due to the exposure and negative influences in which she witnessed on the website. Just at the age of 15 she decided to take her own life after her mother told her to deleted the website in which she had become so obsessed over. This highlights the negative effects of the social media platform and the addiction in which it can carry. This also emphasises that people nowadays are able to use the internet as a second world, one in which they are able to live out an alternate lifestyle. This behaviour can cause addictive and reliant characteristics meaning people find it difficult to function without this media network available to them, just like in Tallulah's case.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/01/23/tallulah-wilson-suicide-inquest-tumblr_n_4649440.html
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taurus123

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Re: Is Social Media harmful?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 12:50:02 pm »

Social media does have the potential to be harmful as there are negatives such as cyberbullying, the dangers of online predators, Catfishing and something thats not mentioned too often is identity theft.
Heres a trailer for a movie on cyberbullying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk_YSO0py7s It also shows  the effects of catfishing someone.
Cyberbullying is one of the leading factors in teen suicide. Partly due to people being able to post anonymously. Having anonymity online can be seen as either negative or positive. In terms of online trolling allowing people to write nasty things about others and tearing people down it is wrong. I feel having that anonymity creates a shell that protects a persons online persona, you can be anyone from someone who is nothing like themselves or perhaps a version which you believe will make you seem ‘cool’.

Not only does Social Media have dangers but it can also have a major impact on your daily life and an impact on your school life. You become immersed in this virtual world that it can be distracting to you and you can forget about the importance of your work and deadlines.
Is having a social media presence really that important if its affecting other aspects of your life?
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