The Dark Side of Social Media

Social media has changed the world we live in. In Western civilisation, most of us take the internet for granted and would be lost without it. However, for all the good it provides us such as staying in contact with friends and keeping up to date with the news - it’s pushed people to suicide.

Trolling is a form of bullying and has made innocent people do the unthinkable. It’s heart-breaking when you listen to stories on the news about the latest victim who felt so hopeless that their only way to escape their torture was to take their life. Behind their viciousness is a shallow individual who feels empowered behind a keyboard because they don’t have the courage or bottle to say it to your face.

If you ever come across an abusive individual online then don’t engage and lower yourself to their level. Trolls want to provoke a reaction and thrive on your misery. If it’s severe and threatening behaviour then call the authorities. Otherwise, don’t waste time trying to contact the site admins because you will only be put onto a backlog of complaints.

I first started using the internet when I was 11 and spent most of my school evenings on MSN, an online instant messaging service. I guess it was an early form of social media because you could interact with anyone in the world. It was around the same age when I started playing online games too.

I’ve made friends from all over the world and I’m still in contact with a few today. The internet has allowed me to learn about people from different cultures and beliefs. I created a bond and my feelings for them developed over many years of trust but at the same time, they were strangers. I’d begin to miss them if we hadn’t spoken for a couple of weeks too.

Social media at its foundation is a great invention but it can also be dangerous especially for young people. Don’t take everything at face value and manage your time wisely. I try to limit my time on social media to no more than a couple of hours a day. For all the positives being in a digital world, remember that we also have a beautiful one away from the screen too.