Researchers Identify 46 Harmful Social Media Effects

Researchers Identify 46 Harmful Social Media Effects

A lot of studies have come up on the impact of social media. Adding to them is another study that reveals the dark side of the social media usage, identifying 46 harmful effects ranging from mental and health issues to job and academic performance.

The study “The Dark Side of Using Online Social Networks: A Review of Individuals’ Negative Experiences, was published in the Journal of Global Information Management.

Dr Eila Erfani, Deputy Head of the UTS School of Information, Systems and Modelling, PhD candidate Layla Boroon (University of Technology, Sydney,)  and Associate Professor of Macquarie University Babak Abedin conducted the review.

Noting that Socialmedia harms have mostly been studied from a psychopathological perspective, Dr Eila Erfani  said these received less attention from information systems researchers. Information systems looks at the impact of technology on people and organisations in order to better meet their needs. Identifying and understanding how to reduce adverse outcomes from social media use is part of that challenge, the researcher noted.

  • Cost of social exchange: includes both psychological harms, such as depression, anxiety or jealousy, and other costs such as wasted time, energy and money
  • Annoying content: includes a wide range of content that annoys, upsets or irritates, such as disturbing or violent content or sexual or obscene content
  • Privacy concerns: includes any threats to personal privacy related to storing, repurposing or sharing personal information with third parties
  • Security threats: refers to harms from fraud or deception such as phishing or social engineering
  • Cyberbullying: includes any abuse or harassment by groups or individuals such as abusive messages, lying, stalking or spreading rumours
  • Low performance: refers to negative impact on job or academic performance.



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