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“She Liked Your Status?” The Effect of Social Media on Relationships

e1cc09ff557df3be2d650d243132eead.jpgFacebook stalking. We’re all guilty whether it be before the relationship, during the relationship, or even post-breakup. It’s a strange mixture of curiosity and, as much as we don’t like to admit it, jealousy. I’ll be the first to admit that I have disliked strangers for nothing else but simply liking a few pictures posted by a previous romantic partner. Studies (specifically one done in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking) have proven that having access to such information can be extremely damaging to relationships themselves.

Researchers surveyed 205 Facebook users about how often they use facebook, if they’ve had Facebook-related conflicts with a current or former partner, and what the consequences of these issues were. It was found that the more a person in a romantic relationship uses social media, the more they will facebook stalk their partner’s online activity! This can inevitably lead to feelings of jealousy. Another interesting thing the researchers note is that people who use social media often are more likely to reach out to past lovers, and thus issues arise on that front.

tenor.gifNow, I know. If the information is that readily available, it is hard to just not snoop. A lot of couples end up deactivating many social media accounts because of increased problems, however, this is not the only solution! Casey Gueren (writer of above linked article) suggests that if you follow a few simple rules, you could decrease the likelihood of social-media related relationship issues.

Much like the “sleep on it” rule in actual life, Casey Gueren suggests you follow the “log off” rule if you are upset. Nothing good will come of being online when upset, especially if you have access to your romantic partner’s pages. If you go searching for trouble, you will most likely find it, and then you are more likely to post something passive-aggressive (or maybe just aggressive?) that you will not be so proud of in the morning. Gueren also suggests that you friend exes with caution. Now, I have never personally done this because I easily see how this can be a one-way street top problems, but again, if you have information readily available, it’s likely you’ll take it. If this is something you’ve considered or that you’ve done, it is suggested that you take caution in the future. Scrolling too far back on an ex’s timeline or searching too far into their old pictures could leave you feeling jealous over things that don’t exist anymore. It’s like waking up angry at someone because they pissed you off in a dream. That them no longer exists! Don’t put yourself in that situation. Gueren also recommends bragging about your relationship. This can show dedication and seriousness, and can also let people know your partner is off-limits (since that needs to be explicitly stated online now, doesn’t it?). He warns, however, that going overboard with the posts can make a relationship seem immature and insincere, so there is a threshold that you should not pass when it comes to romantic posts.

If you’re not so about the romantic-relationships right now, you should know that Social media use is also affecting your relationships with friends, and life in general. Dr. Emma Seppälä suggests that social media users get too lost in the moment. By trying to connect virtually, you disengage and disconnect from reality and the people in it. You’ve thus lost your happiness by trying to reproduce it virtually! This can really put a damper on friendships- friends complaining about how you’re “always on your phone.” Dr. Emma Seppälä even says that the mere presence of a cellphone when two people are talking interferes with feelings of closeness, connection, and communication. Ultimately, if devices constantly run conversations, you lose some of your ability to connect with others.

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Social media is harming the mental health of its users.

Social media connects people from all over the world. The problem is that not everyone knows how to disconnect. With constant streams of tweets, and status updates, social media can create a never-ending negative loop. The active user especially can feel a sense of pressure to stay active online. Many experience a need to be responsive on social media 24/7, feeling compelled to answer texts or direct messages almost immediately. That sense of obligation to be available and the emotional investment are affecting their mental health

A new study has found that users who engage with social media during the night could be damaging their sleep and increasing their risk of anxiety and depression. Social media users spoke about the pressure they felt to make themselves available 24/7, and the resulting anxiety if they did not respond immediately to texts or posts. Active users are so emotionally invested in social media that a great majority of users will wake up at night and log on, just to make sure they don’t miss out.

Perhaps the worst thing about this is that night time social media use could be detrimental to ones health. Research has shown that the nine hours of sleep is best recommended for a healthy rest. But, on average active social media users only get six the most seven hours. A lack of sleep can make teenagers tired, irritable, depressed and more likely to catch colds, flu and gastroenteritis.

In summary, I believed that the research found in these studies strongly affirm that the use of social media is harmful to the body’s health. Recently, I am always tired at school, and I’m not one to stay up until four am chatting with friends, but I am the one to always be on my phone using these social media platforms.  I personally have experienced how harmful social media can be. Change needs to be made, because if not, things will great worse.

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You Have Been Terminated

POP QUIZ: Which of the following can you get fired for?

  1. Hanging political cartoons on your office wall
  2. Having a Trump bumper sticker
  3. Writing a blog about your views on a campaign (oops)
  4. All of the above

The answer is 4! If you’re a non-union private employee, your boss pretty much has the right to control your political actions. For the approximately 85% of the work force that is private employees, the first amendment offers no protection from being fired for something you said/posted. But how does something you post affect your boss, job, or company you work for so much that it constitutes getting kicked to the curb?

In “Yes, You Should Get Fired For That,” Suzanne Lucas explains that bad judgement is not only limited to online behavior! Companies need employees they can trust, so why would they wish to keep employees who, for example, express on Facebook about an incident with their boss. If you do not get along with your boss, and you are bold enough to post it on social media, you should understand that the internet is not private and there is a good chance they will see it. You can’t really blame them for firing someone who posts negatively on social media about them! As for dealing with the irritation of conflicting political views in the workplace, termination on the grounds of this makes sense. A company wants employees that identify with them and have the same goals, so conflicting views does not benefit the company in any way. There are plenty of people who may identify with the company better than you can, and from a business perspective, this is appropriate grounds for termination.

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Lucas also goes on to explain that employers should be able to presume loyalty. By this, she means that employers should be able to trust that employees will not post information online that will harm the company. From the employer’s point of view, if you applied for the job, it should mean you want the job, and if you want the job, why would you post negatively about it? This, again, is grounds for firing. If you are not loyal to the company, there is a good chance someone else would be.
My final thought on this issue is that employers and employees need to be cautious when approaching social media at work. If you are not protected, understand that there are grounds (and great possibility) for termination.

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Cyberbullying Hurts

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Bullying is not something that has just surfaced in recent years. It has been around for ages! Usually, bullying took place at school or neighborhoods. Now, it’s infinitely widespread through different social media platforms. With technology being an easy access to all youths, bullying has been taken to a new form-cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is defined as “[When] someone repeatedly and intentionally harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices.

The internet is one of the most widespread risk that young kids face this day and age; cyberbullying being the most troubling. Cyberbullying has harmful effects to those who are being cyberbullied and to those who are cyberbullying. If you see or hear it happen and don’t report it, it’s just as bad as performing the action.

According to Cyberbullying Facts, cyberbullying is related to health problems such as low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, anger, frustration, and a variety of other emotional and psychological problems.

Statistics

Teens are most vulnerable to cyberbullying than any other age group due to their high usage of social media. According to Do Something, “Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for [cyberbullying].” There have been nearly 43% of kids bullied online. In some cases, cyberbullying doesn’t stop after the first incident. 1 in 4 kids have had it happen more than once.

In that 43% of teens who are bullied online, a small number (1 out of 10) will inform a trusted adult. Most victims are ashamed, scared, and full of emotions to inform their parents about the cyber attacks. For this reason, guardians should be more attentive in their child’s life, and should be checking their social media accounts and cellphone for any suspicious activity.

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Suicide remains among the leading causes of death of children under 14. In most cases, the young people die from hanging.

 

As we all know, cyberbullying is highly connected with suicide– whether it is attempting or committing. A new study shows that 13 countries found signs of connection between bullying, being bullied, and suicide (Yale School of Medicine).

 

Repercussions for cyberbullying

Although there are no federal laws on cyberbullying, schools and universities are required to take action when there is persistent harassment. Some youths don’t think cyberbullying is an issue, but it can have some serious repercussions for the victim and bully.

Consequences of being a victim can include, but is not limited to:

  • Abusing alcohol and drugs
  • Missing and/or doing poorly in school
  • Suffering from low self-esteem
  • Developing physical and emotional health issues
  • Committing suicide

handcConsequences of being the offender can include, but is not limited to:

  • Fines
  • Juvenile facilities/Jail time
  • Suspension/expulsion from school
  • Violent/Criminal behavior later on in life
  • Socially incompetent

How to reduce cyberbullying (Cyberbullying Statistics)

                                          Keep your kids safe and out of harm!

  • Talk to teens about cyberbullying, explaining that it is wrong and can have serious consequences.
  • Encourage teens to tell an adult if cyberbullying is occurring. Tell them if they are the victims they will not be punished, and reassure them that being bullied is not their fault.
  • Keep the computer in a shared space like the family room, and do not allow teens to have Internet access in their own rooms.

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For more information on cyberbullying, and how to reduce cyberbullying, please visit the links below.

https://nobullying.com/social-media-bullying-has-become-a-serious-problem/ 

http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html

https://www.stopbullying.gov/index.html

http://www.nveee.org/statistics/

If you or anyone you know is feeling hopeless, helpless, or thinking of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or at 1-800-273 TALK (8255).

*The toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in our national network. These centers provide 24-hour crisis counseling and mental health referrals.

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Blog by: Katherine A.