What are the Drawbacks of Social Media?

Are you addicted? Overwhelmed? Guilty? Distrustful?

Do you find yourself thinking about what to post, upload, share or tweet? Do you find yourself too busy capturing moments to enjoy experiencing them? Social media certainly has its upsides, but people often ignore the social consequences of an “open-source” lifestyle. What are some of the drawbacks of social media that you’ve experienced?

  • There are quite a few consequences to being an online social addict.  For example, not having complete control over how others perceive you. But I’d rather join a social network and have an ‘open-source’ lifestyle than seclude myself from the public and only be a small version of myself.  -Elissa
  • Mass messaging on FB or Twitter is a great way to communicate with groups and saves time – although you do lose the personalized warmth that you get from a phone call.  I also find that, being social can become about protecting and growing your “brand” as a person. There is a lot of value to having a large social network when spreading ideas or news. Unfortunately, there is always a desire to keep it growing and not become get stale which can get tiresome.  -Larissa
  • I’ve noticed that for many people social is about vanity, about feeling important, or sparking arguments to make people angry in open forums. I don’t see myself in that situation since I have done a good job to separate my day to day life with my “open internet social” life.  -Omar
  • I find that some of the drawbacks of social media are excessive vanity and paranoia.  For example, my mother-in-law is completely convinced that someone can come to my doorstep and abduct me because I posted a picture on Flickr (according to her, “cameras have a way of giving people your home address”).   On the vanity side of things, I feel that lots of people go out of their way to project this “perfect” image of themselves, which I find tiresome and boring. We are already subjected to false advertising every single day, creating an unattainable image that we are supposed to aspire to reach. Why are we feeding this monster by censoring ourselves as well? -Melanie
  • Social media users sometimes forget how public posts and tweets really can be. Computers and mobile devices are such personal items that it doesn’t feel like you’re in a public forum. -Betsy
  • Sometimes I feel obligated to post on Facebook, for example,  just because so many of my friends do. Still I often hear my friends complain that I don’t “Facebook” enough to let them know what I am up to. I am not that into social media and I think that at times I miss stuff because I am not out there. I am, however, ADDICTED to music blogs. -Pierre
  • I am not addicted to posting everything about my life.  That said, I find myself strangely addicted to “lurking” amongst the lives of my connections. I am drawn to what they are doing all the time and responding to their updates. Digital has provided the ultimate “living vicariously” situation. Imaginations and thoughts can run rampant when reading someone’s profile. -Garett
  • I find myself too busy enjoying an experience to capture the moment and post it. I may be ignoring the social consequences of the “open-source” lifestyle. Some of the drawbacks of not being as “plugged-in”, is missing out on events that my friends have scheduled and not reconnecting with friends and acquaintances of the past. -Clinton
  • I am not addicted, but fascinated. I rarely post and don’t follow anyone, but as I very slowly begin to use social tools to engage friends and co-workers, I find myself thinking about sharing more than I have historically. -Marc
  • Guilty as charged. I love my Facebook. Still, there are drawbacks. Being tagged in unflattering pictures, T.M.I. from the socially emo, friends harassing me to “post those pictures already!”, and experiencing withdrawal when on vacation with no internet service. -Lindsay