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Experts Warn Of 46 Ill Effects Of Social Media Addiction; Includes Dumb Jokes And Suicide

Low job performance, low academic performance, increased appetite for taking financial risks and incitement to suicide are few of the 46 listed ill-effects.

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Image: Shutterstock, PTI, Representative


The entire world is now familiar with the ill effects that social media users can be a target of, owing to the numerous researches conducted with social media as a subject. But for those who still can't take their eyes off digital screens, a new study has listed 46 side-effects that social media users are vulnerable to.

Compiled by experts from Australia's University of Technology Sydney, the list shows that the impacts on users are more than just a dent on mental health. Currently, there are over three billion users of Facebook and Instagram who might be the potential target of these effects. 

The list includes risks from dumb jokes to incitement to suicide

Among the 46 listed risks by the experts, dumb jokes, information overload, low job performance, low academic performance, increased appetite for taking financial risks and incitement to suicide emerged as the weirdest risks that were lesser-known. On the other hand, risks such as panic, irritation, stress, depression, guilt, jealously, loneliness, flaming behaviours and anxiety are something that experts have been warning about for a long time. 

Published in the Journal of Global Information Management, the study consisted of data from over 50 research articles spanning from 2003 and 2018, a report by Daily Mail suggested. Although social media was still at a budding stage in 2003 and Facebook didn't even exist, the data focussed on early social media platforms like MySpace. Moreover, the experts categorised all the ill effects into six categories-  'privacy concerns', 'security threats', 'cyberbullying' 'low performance', 'cost of social exchange' and 'annoying content'. 

Layla Boroon, the lead author of the study, was reported saying that the harm caused by all these 46 listed effects not only harms mentally but also takes a psychological toll. The person starts feeling more jealous and even guilty along with opting to harm others by cyberstalking, impersonation, and stealing personal data.   

The study authors said that their research is built on the limited existing work on the dark side of social media, as so far other studies have only explored the potential and benefits of social media. They also believe that this study will help in generating awareness about the potential dangers that are out there on online platforms and will encourage software engineers, educators and policymakers to work towards minimising the risks. 

Image: Shutterstock, PTI, Representative

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