What Are Some Disadvantages of Social Networking?

The disadvantages of social media include loss of privacy, identity theft, distraction and online bullying. Deception is also a problem, as many people establish online relationships with others they haven't met in real life, only to learn later that those people lied about themselves. Additionally, social media damages real-life relationships as people discover more about their friends' and acquaintances' personal, political and social views.

Anyone who doesn't pay attention to their privacy settings on social networking sites opens the door to identity theft or scams of various sorts. In addition, failure to monitor privacy can make it possible for employers, schools, potential employers or family members to gain access to information that the person doing the social networking might wish to remain private. Social networking also has a tendency to become a huge waste of time for many people. Just one brief visit to Facebook, Instagram or another social networking site often ends up as hours of unproductive time. Cyberbullying is an increasing problem, especially for young people, who are quite vulnerable online. People are often more cruel or thoughtless in their online communications than they are in real life, and cyberbullies take advantage of this tendency by pushing cruelty to the limit, even at times provoking their victims to suicide.