Students online addiction goes viral

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X

 

When you hear the word addiction, an alcoholic beverage or a particular drug may come to mind. What about when you hear the word Facebook, or Twitter?

Whether you like it or not, you are now living in a world where being connected and staying connected everywhere, all of the time is the norm. Through social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you are able to find out where you’re friends are, what they’re doing, who they’re with and a lot of the time – even what they’re eating for dinner.

Social media does not only alter a students “social” life. It affects all areas of life including physical and mental health, employment opportunities, concentration in school and illegal involvement.

Professor Jim Edwards, head of Fanshawe College’s School of Information Technology, is worried about students disregarding the lack of privacy involved with social media, especially Facebook.

“Social media gets everything we want to be seen out there quickly and as widely as possible. Flying in the face of that direction is the concept of privacy and security, which are constantly changing on Facebook”.

Hackers are aware that many people do not check their updates as frequently as they should, usually giving them the “in” on your information.

“Identify theft is becoming more common and all someone needs is your basic information found on Facebook including your profile picture, your date of birth and where you live”. In many cases, very basic information is all someone needs to successfully steal your identity.

Constable Ken Steeves and other officers from the London Police Force are allowed to use a student’s social media profile to their advantage. In some cases, it’s the reason why the police become guests at your party.

“We do use it as an investigative tool for several reasons. If it’s not something you want to see on the front page of the paper, then don’t post it”.

If something you say or do on social media is classified as a criminal offense, it can be used against you in court.  Social media was utilized in an investigation in 2012 after the St Patty’s day riot on Fleming Drive in London. The police were able to read comments, view discussions and watch videos allowing them to identify several different people responsible and lay various criminal charges.

“Regardless of what your actions are, there are phones everywhere that are able to capture them”.

Being a parent of 2 and a Media, Information and Technoculture Professor at Western University; Professor John Reed understands how social media is affecting the younger generation.

“I find it lonely to be standing in front of the lecture hall and no one is looking at me or giving me feedback because they are scrolling through their cell phones and not paying attention”.

Professor Reed did not realize its mental effects until he deactivated his own Facebook account.

“I started to find that I didn’t know how to be when I was alone. I become a heavy Facebook user whenever I was alone. It didn’t feel good to be alone anymore and that’s just sad”.

Professor John Reed has two daughters, ages 8 and 10, who were basically born with a cell phone in their hands. They does not know life without a device and this is what majority of students are becoming accustomed to.

“They’re going to have very selfish expectations of the world. They’ve grown up with on demand everything. When they want to watch a show for example, they watch it instantly and as much as they want and that’s not the way anyone used to live their life, ever”.

You may be uneasy about the amount you use sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You may be very thankful for what it does or you may be wondering what your in an over connected society is going to be like. Regardless of what you are thinking, one important reminder from Professor James, Constable Steeves and Professor Reed, is that it’s not going anywhere and as long as you stay aware of what you’re doing on social media, you’ll make it out of this world alive.

Hear the documentary here:
Part 1 – https://soundcloud.com/annie-pod/a-students-addiction-goes-viral-my-radio-show-part-1
Part 2 – https://soundcloud.com/annie-pod/a-students-addiction-goes-viral-my-radio-show-part-2

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