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Social media dangers: 10 dangerous risks and disadvantages of using social networks

Social media dangers - 10 worrisome disadvantages and risks of using social media.

Do you want to find out about possible social media dangers? Then you've come to the right place! Social networks have so many advantages! They help us to stay in touch and up to date with other people, to connect quickly, to set up groups and organize projects, to live out our own creativity, to educate and inspire people. But Facebook, TikTok, Instagram & Co also have their disadvantages, which can be extremely dangerous for our psyche and, not least, our lives.

Maybe you are a parent and want to protect your child - or maybe you just feel that spending time on social media is not good for you. Either way, I would like to list and explain all the risks and dangers of social media in this article. Let's go!

You can find a brief overview here in advance:

  1. Addictive
  2. Suffering ability to concentrate and attention span
  3. Social isolation
  4. Bullying with a wide reach
  5. Constant comparison with others
  6. Misuse of personal data
  7. Users:inside with criminal intentions
  8. Once on the net, forever on the net
  9. Dissemination of disinformation
  10. Freedoms forfeited

1. addictiveness

Social media contributes to the fact that you are actually always available and the next stimulus could reach you via push message in just a few seconds. Using Facebook, Instagram and other networks releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which triggers a kind of reward effect. As a result, we develop the need to receive these positive emotional experiences more often.₁

This creates an addiction within a very short space of time - similar to gambling, drugs and alcohol. We just don't become addicted to the next opportunity, heroin or a gin, but to new, entertaining content and affirming likes.

2. suffering from poor concentration and attention span

Such a social media addiction or simply the regular use of networks means that we can no longer really switch off and relax. We quickly get bored because the need for the next Insta-Reel or TikTok video "kicks in".

We therefore reach for our smartphones every free minute. In the end, the addiction goes so far that some people are no longer even able to watch a 10-minute video or movie without playing on their phone to catch up on the latest social news.

Our ability to concentrate suffers greatly from social media consumption, as our brain becomes accustomed to our attention constantly wandering from one thing to the next. As a result, we can no longer resist distractions so well or even crave them. Ultimately, this form of multitasking doesn't make us better at multitasking, but worse.₂

Tip: Be honest with yourself if you recognize yourself here. What you can basically do against a smartphone addiction you can find out in the linked article!

3. social isolation

Social isolation as a typical social media danger

Social networks naturally help us to stay in touch with other people - whether in video chats, via photos or text messages. But apart from this direct, virtual interaction, social media actually increase the feeling of loneliness and exclusion.

People who spend two hours or more on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and the like every day are twice as likely to feel isolated than those who only spend half an hour of their daily time on the networks. This was found by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh at an extensive study out.

Why is that? First of all, because it feels like having lots of friends and constant social interaction. But in reality, you only follow the lives of others while completely forgetting your own. This pre-programmed loneliness then has further consequences for your own life - and can, for example, have an extreme impact on children and young people's school performance.

4. bullying with a wide reach

Not everyone is rewarded with feelings of happiness as soon as they log into their social media accounts. One of the biggest social media dangers is cyberbullying. This includes, for example Threats of physical violence, harassment, defamation, sending a hate message, defamation of character, publication of personal images or also Stalkingthe ongoing persecution and harassment of the victims.

Many people feel particularly safe online under the guise of anonymity. However, bullying activities and their spread are difficult to stop. The pressure on the victim of bullying becomes correspondingly more intense, so that the social isolation ultimately increased even further will.

To make bullying more difficult, it is advisable to use the privacy settings in the respective social media account. Set them up so that As little information as possible publicly visible are. You should also refrain from sharing dates or locations so that potential perpetrators have no chance of interfering in your real life - as a potential victim - as well as your virtual life.

Notice: Anyone who has been on the World Wide Web for a while knows that many people also send hateful messages, which can leave deep scars on the recipient. But nobody has to accept this without doing anything! What each of us can do against hate on the netyou can find out in a separate article on the blog.

5. constant comparison with others

A stylish selfie in front of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona or a picture of your trained six-pack - most posts on social networks like Instagram represent a perfect world. This perfect world does not exist, but most children and adults quickly forget this. Especially when they constantly (automatically) compare their life and appearance with the staged self-portrayals of other people.

Ultimately, the social media danger described here can result in the fact that one envious, insecure or dissatisfied becomes and with Inferiority complexes or even a Depression even though you are perfectly fine the way you are.

6. misuse of personal data

Whether in Facebook groups, Instagram posts, WhatsApp messages or through a simple Like - with every activity, your digital footprint and the data collection of the operators of the respective social network about you. They know where you live, how old you are, who you like, who your role model is, what music you really enjoy listening to and where you are at the moment.

On the one hand, the data is often resold to third parties for advertising purposes. On the other hand, sensitive information can also be Non-compliance with data protection regulations or also by one or the other Data leak fall into the hands of other people. Again, my urgent advice: use the privacy settings to limit such social media dangers as much as possible.

7. users:inside with criminal intentions

Your social network accounts are excellent targets for hackers. The latter will find your email address there, as well as countless data and information that you may use as a password. Once they have cracked your account, they can spread viruses and malware under your name without hindrance and also attack your friends on the networks.

More and more frequently, even a far more serious Identity theft. For example, if the perpetrators take out paid subscriptions or order goods in your name.

Not to be forgotten is also the danger that potential burglar:inside just waiting to find out your current location to strike when you are not at home.

Tip: How you Prevent identity theft you can find out in the linked blog post.

8. once on the net, forever on the net

Rapid proliferation as a risk of social media

Most uploads can be deleted again, but by this time they have usually already reached hundreds, thousands or even millions of people. You eventually lose control about what happens to the pictures, for example of the last drunken stupor.

But this social media danger doesn't just apply to recently posted and immediately removed content. As you leave a lot of your data uploaded online forever, your "virtual past" even years or decades later. For example, if your new employer finds out about any embarrassments you posted in your youth.

9. dissemination of disinformation

Social media are the ideal breeding ground for the spread of Conspiracy theoriesbecause "fake news" can reach millions of people in a very short space of time. And before they have been clearly refuted, the lies are already firmly anchored in many people's minds.

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

Mark Twain

Those who want to spread disinformation can with the help of personal data from the networks (e.g. place of residence, interests or political views) can even use targeted campaigns to address precisely those people who are potentially particularly susceptible to the lies.

The American writer Mark Twain quoted above lived from 1835 to 1910. If he knew how often a lie can travel around the world these days (thanks to social media) until the truth puts its shoes on, he would probably be turning in his grave.

10. freedoms forfeited

Many people take more of an observational role in social media. They consume content and share their private information only in small circles. But with every piece of information, you make yourself more transparent. In addition, as described above, social media addiction threatens to take control of our own behavior. Constant accessibility creates additional stress.

Other people, on the other hand, create the corresponding, entertaining content. As a so-called content creator, you have to deliver regularly - otherwise you lose relevance and thus reach in the respective network. As a result, publishers are under constant pressure, which causes stress. These are definitely social media risks to your own health.

Tip: Switch off social media for a few weeks! I guarantee you that this Digital Detox new freedoms and leads to the fact that your Switch off your brain again can!

Countless social media dangers lurk in the networks!

Social networks are both a curse and a blessing. We can network, organize ourselves and stay connected - but we can also perish from excessive social media consumption and massively endanger our mental health. That's why it's so important to consume content with the knowledge that it can be addictive and lonely, mislead and hurt you, and cost you your job or even your life.

I hope that this article has made you aware of the risks and disadvantages of social networks. Do you have any questions, tips or your own experiences with the dangers of social media that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay mindful,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: The content on Facebook, Instagram and the like can unsettle people. How you, on the other hand Strengthen self-confidence you can find out in the next article.

₁ B. Clanner-Engelshofen: Dopamine (as of 30.06.2021), available at [21.10.2022].

₂ German University Association: Concentration is suffering (as at: 14.06.2019), available at [21.10.2022].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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