As of today, NetPop Research announced approximately one hundred forty six point five million U. S. consumers to be users of social networking sites. Yet, how many of these 146. 5 million Americans are actually the ones being used? How many are aware of it? These trusted websites have proven to be and are practically breeding grounds for infringements of basic safety and dangers to your person; cyber bullying, sexual harassment, and identity theft being a few to name. In the past, we and our minors have been familiarized with the issue of bullying at schools, workplaces, and other populated settings.
However the calamity has never stopped growing and has spread to an even more adaptable environment, the Internet, specifically social networking sites Surveys by bullyingstatistics. org indicate that over 50% of adolescents have been cyber bullied, 10 to 20% are cyber bullied routinely. Consumer Reports has reported one million minors to have been cyber bullied on a social networking site just last year. It is not merely frequency we should be concerned about but also the severity of the consequences.
The National Crime Prevention Council disclosed that victims of cyber bullying will most often experience a drastic deterioration in academic performance and self-esteem as well as depression and even suicide. Efforts to amend this situation are insufficient and for the most part barren, seeing as only one in ten victims will report being cyber bullied to their parents or guardians, and only roughly 7% of American parents are concerned at all regarding online bullying. Cyber bullying and its vicious nature will continue to be a normality as long as there is social media.
As proven, the breaching of one’s personal safety is nowhere near an improbability, but is not restricted to cyber bullying but also harassment, sexual harassment being the most perpetual within social media. According to the Sex Offender Registry Learning Center, there are seven hundred forty seven thousand, four hundred and eight registered sex offenders within the U. S. as of August 2012. In February 2009, MySpace identified ninety thousand registered sex offenders with profiles on their site.
In the same year, the Criminal Justice Agency reported thirty nine thousand five hundred and twenty five registered sex offenders to be residing in the state of Florida. Incidentally, studies by the FBI Academy and National Center for Missing Children show that the majority of these predators are of decent or high intelligence. With intelligence on their side and vast amounts of personal information at their disposal, social networking sites are sources of easy prey. As a result of social media usage, millions of Americans are exposed and rendered dangerously vulnerable.
On the subject of personal privacy violations, the severity reaches even financial and legal extents. According to PC World Reports, a third of social networkers have at least 3 vital pieces of information that will easily lead to identity theft plainly displayed on their profiles. Identity theft is a highly possible calamity that jeopardizes not only your personal safety but also aspects, including credit score and property. Social media sites are possibly aware of this and have provided so called safety settings in hopes of combating the issue.
However, Consumer Report surveys indicate that over 13 million social networkers aren’t even aware of the privacy settings provided or simply don’t use them. Furthermore, the lacking attempt at protecting the user’s privacy, these settings have proven to be and are fundamentally flawed as well unable be corrected, as concluded by studies from Columbia University. Social media puts crucial aspects like credit cards and property of its users at high risk and is detrimental to the American people and its society and country as a whole.
All in all, social media can provide no benefits of such importance that it rivals the alarming risks that it stands with. As stated, the dangers including cyber bullying, sexual harassment and identity theft are all as serious and damaging as they are customary within social networking sites. The normality of these hazards accompanied with millions of hopelessly vulnerable users are none other than conspicuous results of social media. In the long run, social media has done enough, is doing, and will continue to do harm; and is nowhere near being a positive impact on the United States nor its people.