The Predominance of Social Networks in our Lives

With the prevalence of social media in our lives, it’s hard to imagine life without it. Along with social media comes the capability of hiding our offline identities and making anonymous accounts. This allows people to escape from the struggles going on in their offline lives.

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However, it also displays a different part of the internet. It has become a way for predators to anonymously lure underage people and take advantage of them. Eventually, that ’ll lead to even worse things like cybersuicide, cyberbullying and cyberchondria, online trolling and catfishing.

Lastly, creating a new identity or persona online is detrimental to society as it simultaneously invites the darker world of the internet and can lead to toxic online disinhibition characteristics, in which one would act differently online than in person.

Anonymity allows people to get caught up in the darker and more explicit part of the internet. They can create anonymous identities and accounts to view and do things online which they wouldn’t want associating with their offline lives. data point#1 (first source)- John Suler claims that people who are anonymous online “…convince themselves that those online behaviors aren’t me at all.” This shows how it may allow people to share their darker views and create a toxic environment. It allows them to unleash the nastiness they have underneath their innocent faces. He also claims “ Whatever they say or do can’t be directly linked to their lives.” This supports how one can simply catfish another person.

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If people create anonymous accounts online, they do things with the mindset that no one will know who it is. They can do as many bad things knowing that it won’t be traced back to them. One of the most horrible and toxic peaks resulting from anonymity happened in 2015, the Blue WhAle Challenge. In this challenge, anonymous game leaders controlled innocent people and made them do terrible things to themselves if they didn’t want to have bad things done to their loved ones. Khaleej Times, a newspaper popular in India, claims that “ The online game demands players to complete tasks given by an anonymous controller over 50 days with the final challenge to commit suicide.”

This proves how dangerous anonymity can be. It allows perpetrators to lure in innocent children by threatening them and making them do terrible things.  Khaleej Times also talks about how different versions of Blue whale have been created “Recently, there have been reports of another similar killer game ‘momo’ surfacing online with police in some states, including West Bengal and Odisha, cautioning schools and parents to ensure that children do not fall prey to it.” When one person anonymously does something and it results in it going their way, it may result in others also doing it and encouraging another game. Eventually, this may cause an outburst of anonymous games that cause us to harm ourselves, and if we aren’t cautious about what we’re doing on the internet it can just give the anonymous identities online what they want.

Although critics may argue that anonymity in creating a new identity or persona is beneficial to society and allows people to express themselves freely in a space where they can’t be judged, they’re also inviting a part of the internet which may not agree with them. Anne Collier suggests how “Young people aren’t using anonymity only for harm.” This view should be rejected because as recent research has shown, 12% of people who get bullied online don’t know who their bully even is. data point #2- Another point of view Collier brings up is that “ They do their social and identity development work on social media.”

By focusing on how people may explore themselves on social media, it is important to consider how people may not agree with what a certain person is doing online. For example, if they’re coming out, people may be opposed to that fact and high under a facade of anonymity to bully them instead of saying it to their face. As well as considering how they may get bullied and taking into consideration those who are cyberbullied are almost 2-9 times more likely to commit suicide. While the position of anonymous accounts online being beneficial to society offers compelling support, it overlooks the deeper problem of anonymous cyberbullying online which can lead to one taking their own life over things some has said to them online.

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The Predominance of Social Networks in our Lives. (2022, Jan 08). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-predominance-of-social-networks-in-our-lives-essay

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