Time to stop tweeting? Scientists warn there are almost FIFTY harmful effects linked to the use of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 

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  • Academics review 50 social media studies published since 2003
  • Anxiety, guilt and abetment to suicide among 46 harmful effects of social media
  • Most of the research has focused on the benefits of social networks, claim experts
  • But that means the negative effects of sites like Facebook and Twitter are overlooked.

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There are about 50 harmful effects associated with social media use, a new study shows – and they aren’t just related to mental health.

Academics from the University of Technology Sydney report 46 harmful effects associated with the use of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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They are more prone to anxiety, depression, being bullied, abetment to suicide, cyber stalking, guilt, jealousy, information overload and lack of online security, they reveal in a new paper.

Overall, social media issues range from physical and mental health problems to negative impacts on job and academic performance, as well as security and privacy issues, according to academics.

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Anxiety, depression, bullying, abetment to suicide, cyber stalking and information overload were found to be among the 46 harmful effects of social media.

Are You Suffering From The ‘Dark Side’ Of Social Media? These are the 46 harmful effects of social media

– Nervousness

– irritated

– the stress

– Depression

– guilty feeling

– jealously

– Loneliness

– fiery behavior

– Worry

– self-satisfaction

– add distraction

– bad mood

– low self-esteem

– Addiction to social media use

– too much information

– Wasting time

– wasting energy

– wasting money

– work overload

– Increased appetite to take financial risks

– inappropriate post

– bad content

– dumb jokes

– Exposure to sexual images/messages

– offensive content

– Lack of privacy

– Privacy Violation

– Lack of online security

– unwanted communication

– making personal information public

– misrepresentation

– deception

– misuse of information

– impersonation

– Personal data theft

– Cyberstalking Behaviors

– malicious software

– social engineering

– Phishing risk

– a feeling of abuse

– being harassed

– conflict with others

– abetment to suicide

– Crime

– low academic performance

– low job performance

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He says that until now, research on social networks has ‘focused excessively on their benefits and potential’, but that means their negative effects have been overlooked.

‘This study builds on limited existing work on the so-called “dark side” of using OSNs [online social networks],’ the study authors say in their paper.

‘The immense popularity of OSNs highlights the importance of understanding both the positive and negative effects of their use.’

For the study, the team reviewed more than 50 research articles published between 2003 and 2018.

In 2003, social media was still in its infancy and Facebook would not be founded for another year. One of the early social networks, MySpace, was founded in 2003.

In addition, breaches of privacy, deception, panic, conflict with others and an increased appetite to take financial risks were also found among 46 harmful effects of social media.

For the study, the team reviewed more than 50 research articles published between 2003, when social media was still in its infancy, and 2018.  This graph from the research paper shows that 11 of the articles viewed were published around 2016.

For the study, the team reviewed more than 50 research articles published between 2003, when social media was still in its infancy, and 2018. This graph from the research paper shows that 11 of the articles viewed were published around 2016.

Another was Fleming, also known as ‘roasting’, which is the act of posting or sending offensive messages on the Internet to elicit some sort of response.

But the effects weren’t just related to mental health, as study author Laila Borun at the University of Technology Sydney explains.

“Some of the most common negative effects include things like psychological harm such as jealousy, loneliness, anxiety and low self-esteem, as well as malicious software and phishing risks,” she said.

Overall, the researchers grouped the negative effects into six themes – ‘cost of social interactions’, ‘annoying content’, ‘privacy concerns’, ‘security threats’, ‘cyberbullying’ and ‘low performance’.

The cost of social exchange includes psychological harm, such as depression, anxiety or jealousy, and other costs, such as wasted time, energy, and money.

Meanwhile, annoying content includes a wide range of content that offends, harass or harass users, whether it is violent, sexual or obscene.

Facebook was founded in 2004 and has since become one of the most powerful tech companies in the world (stock image)

Facebook was founded in 2004 and has since become one of the most powerful tech companies in the world (stock image)

Currently, social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram are used by more than 3.6 billion people worldwide.

According to the research team, greater awareness of their potential threats could encourage user moderation, and help software engineers, educators and policymakers develop ways to reduce their negative impacts.

Borun is currently investigating the factors that influence social media addiction and the strategies people use to control their behavior.

The next step will be to develop and test applications, design features, and other solutions that can mitigate these negative impacts.

The new study is published in Global Information Management Journal.

The harmful effects of sites like Twitter and Facebook can be grouped into six themes:

Overall, researchers from the University of Technology Sydney grouped the negative effects of social media into six topics:

social exchange costs: includes both psychological harm, such as depression, anxiety or jealousy, and other costs such as wasted time, energy, and money

annoying stuffIncludes a wide range of content that is disturbing, harassing or harassing, such as harassing or violent material or sexual or pornographic material

Privacy concernsIncludes any threat to personal privacy related to storing, reusing or sharing personal information with third parties

security threats: Refers to loss caused by fraud or deception such as…

.

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