Wednesday, December 8

These are the 46 harmful effects of social networks | Digital Trends Spanish

The leaks of documents on the behavior of companies such as Meta (ex-Facebook Inc) or Google, as well as documentaries and various academic studies, have generated alarming evidence about the harmful effects of social media. But until now there was no such detailed systematization as that suggested by a group of researchers.

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From psychological problems such as loneliness, anxiety or reduced self-esteem to risks such as exposure to malicious software or phishing, are some of the 46 harmful effects that were identified by researchers from the Sydney University of Technology.

But is social media really a troublesome issue? Users seem to think so. In fact, some research suggests that four out of five Americans fear the privacy of their data; o one in three adolescents admit to having been a victim of cyberbullying, which doubles the risk of suicidal behavior.

Other data indicates that half of American teenagers declared “they feel addicted” to their mobile devices as a result of the use of social networks, while telephone users check their phone between 110 (Android) and 80 times (iPhone) per day.

Why map the harmful effects of social media

A teenager is the victim of bullying on social networks. Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the need for more research on information technology addiction and for developing strategies to prevent and treat this problem.

The researchers analyzed more than 50 research articles published between 2003 and 2018. “Some of the most common negative impacts included psychological damage such as jealousy, loneliness, anxiety and reduced self-esteem, as well as aspects such as exposure to software. malicious and risks of phishing”Said academic Layal Boroon.

Having a mapping of this nature opens the way to investigate the factors that influence addiction to social networks and the strategies that people use to regulate their behavior; and for the development of applications and solutions that reduce these negative effects.

Increased awareness of potential dangers can encourage user restraint and help software engineers, educators and policymakers develop ways to minimize negative effects, they say.

  • Raise awareness among users: the data could help educate users and increase their awareness of harmful effects; not to underestimate the risks; or to encourage moderation of use by highly vulnerable people.
  • Development of public policies: promote policies on the use of social networks to prevent and reduce its negative effects.
  • Increased awareness of application developers– Developers can learn about the potential negative effects of using social media, so they can consider mitigation strategies.

What are the negative effects of social networks

Social networks come together to stop gender violence online
Getty Images.

The map of what the researchers call “the dark side of social networks” considers a set of 46 harmful effects, which were grouped into six categories:

Cost of social exchange

They are the negative consequences of the behavior that reduces its frequency. Researchers have included both psychological damage and the negative consequences of a wrong decision in this category. In this way, it considers the cognitive costs / psychological problems (stress, anxiety, depression or jealousy) and the execution costs (loss of time, money and energy).

  • Psychological damages: panic; irritation; stress; depression; feeling of guilt; jealousy; feeling of loneliness; aggressiveness; anxiety; personal dissatisfaction; distraction addiction; deterioration of mood; lower self-esteem and confidence; addiction to the use of social networks; information overload.
  • Execution costs: waste of time; loss of energy; loss of money; work overload; exposure to excessive financial risk.

Annoying content

The annoying content category includes a wide range of content that annoys or irritates, such as sexual or illegal texts, comments, photos and videos. Therefore, it includes inappropriate posts and obscene content.

  • Harmful effects: inappropriate posts; poor content in terms of writing; silly jokes; exposure to sexual images or messages; and offensive content.


The privacy aspects consider all threats related to the storage, reuse, exchange of personal information with third parties or the and exposure of information through social networks.

  • Harmful effects: absence of privacy, violation of privacy; lack of online security; unsolicited communications; disclose private information; or misrepresentation

Security threats

Security threats refer to damage from fraud or deception, such as phishing or social engineering that people who are exposed to social networks can suffer. This topic refers to anything that has the potential to cause serious harm to users and that affects the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and computer systems.

  • Risks: scams, information misuse, impersonation, theft of personal data, cyberbullying, malicious software, social engineering and risks of

Cyber ​​bullying

Cyberbullying includes any abuse by groups or individuals, such as abusive messages, lies, harassment, or spreading rumors. It considers aggressive and intentional acts that are carried out by an individual or a group of attackers to harm their victims.

  • Harmful effects: feeling of abuse, feeling of harassment, conflicts with other users, incitement to suicide, delinquency.

Low performance

Low performance considers the negative impact on work or academic performance, that is, when the use of social networks causes people to neglect their responsibilities.

  • Harmful effects: low academic performance; low work performance.

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