Social Networking Sites and Their Negative Impacts on Young Users
Recent years have witnessed the exponential increase of web-based social networks, also known as social networking sites (SNSs). By the end of 2011, there were approximately 2.3 billion people (around one third of the global population) using the Internet, and 1.03 billion (about 45%) of which have reported using a social networking site at least once a day (International Telecommunications Union, 2011:1). According to Papacharissi (2009:199), the increasing popularity and the growth of the leading SNSs such as Facebook, My Space, Twitter and LinkedIn are due to the fact that they offer …show more content…
Teenage SNS users are generally considered facing various risks and two of which are online harassment and cyber-bullying that are widely accepted as the most common threats seen in their online life (O'Keeffe et al, 2011: 801). Defined as offensive behaviour or threats posted to youth through Internet, online harassment is becoming worse with the widespread of SNS among its young users (Wolak et al, 2006:17). According to the survey monitored by Ybarra and Mitchell (2008:350), 524 (around 33%) among 1588 youth between the age 10 to 15 reported having experienced online harassment and what even worse, 238 (about 15%) of which having received sexual solicitation up to one year period. As a more common form of online harassment, cyber-bullying refers to “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the medium of electronic text” (Patchin and Hinduja, 2006:148), and is also perceived as online version of offline bullying (Smith et al, 2006:376). It has been estimated by a number of researchers that the incidence of teenagers being cyber-bullied vary and range from 23 to 72% (Patchin and Hinduja, 2006:150; Dehue et al, 2008:217).
On the other hand, there is also evidence that it is not having accessed to SNS but posting personal photographs, disclosing school information, online