The Risks Of Social Networks

Nowadays, technology and Social Networks are part of our lives. Almost everyone has, or has had, a Facebook profile and the number of users continues to grow. Mobile phones are the most common gadget we use, to have access to different platforms.

Social Networks have a positive side; families can be in touch no matter how far they are from each other and some shared pieces of work can be completed without travelling to a specific location, but they also have their drawbacks as they can become an addiction. We all have seen someone having a glance at their mobile phone while waiting at the traffic lights, or a group of friends messaging instead of talking. In other words, sense of freedom, easy access to the Internet at any time, shopping at your fingertips, tons of leisure options… everything seems to be alluring, but in fact it is addictive, even triggering psychological problems.

According to recent research carried out by the Addictions Centre at Oxford University, the Internet holds certain features that make it addictive. For example, interacting may convey the feeling of being with other people at all times, so loneliness seems to disappear with ‘fake’ friends. It can also give us a false sense of participation, giving opinions in forums and sites, even if we are shy or insecure. When we talk about addiction to technology, we are dealing with ways over which one loses control and devices become a refuge against the suffering or fear of facing reality and its daily problems, which may lead to social isolation.

Among the alarm signals to watch out for is surfing the Internet more than you need to, just because it makes you feel relaxed, or when you avoid places in which there is no Internet connection, or when it interferes with other vital activities such as sleeping, eating or socializing. Furthermore, if the fact that your Internet connection doesn’t work infuriates you, if you reject other essential activities such as family life, your studies/work, your health, or you check your mobile at all times even while driving, then you are on the brink of disaster.

We can become slaves to technology if we don’t know how to manage and make proper use of devices. Start by planning your day without your mobile phone, keeping it away when performing a task which is significant to you. Use the silent mode switch as an aid so you enjoy the company of your family and friends and take delight in talking to people in person, as reality is full of great moments that can be seen directly with our eyes and not through a screen.

Maravillas Moya Cabrera

Escuela Oficial de Idiomas