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Social Media: A Double-Edged Sword?

Social Media: A Double-Edged Sword?

We are living in a digital age…

Technology, the internet and social media have become vital parts of our lives. So much so, that we live our lives online and in the real world.

But, does having this double-life pose some problems?

Social media is a great tool to engage, keep informed and to keep entertained, but it can also be hell. If it is not used properly, things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp can cause more harm than good, especially if we are not careful when we share certain things online.

In Episode 10, Tsholo learned first-hand how unforgiving social media can be. Sol released a clip of her online after he got her drunk and sexually assaulted her.

This kind of thing has come to be known as revenge porn, and refers to the sharing of sexually explicit images or videos on the Internet, without the consent of the people featured in them. Recently, this has become more and more common, with people, mostly women, being victims of this disgusting behavior.

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Violation

As millennials we consume social media much more than our aboTimer namaO’lady (our Fathers & Mothers) and we spend most of our time on our cellphones using social networks.

Let’s admit it, social media is addictive and is a great platform to express ourselves, our beliefs & anything else we find interesting. But what happens when someone violates or infringes on my social media experience by posting my nudes on the net without my consent?

Currently, South Africa does not have any laws in place for revenge porn specifically, like some other countries do; but in SA you can lay a charge under the Protection Harassment Act should someone leak your nudes without your consent. There are currently debates on how to tackle this problem of revenge porn because we have seen a rise in this sort of behavior.

There is help out there! Speak to your family, friends, teachers, police, or anyone you feel comfortable speaking to. These things are wrong and you should not have to suffer alone.

The Consequence

With everything that we post online, there is always a consequence for it. My friends always say, “The internet never forgets because what you put out will always be out there.” Unfortunately, this is so true because anyone can save whatever image is posted and pass it on to others.

An example of this was the video of the girl from Jules High School who ended up committing suicide because a private video of hers had gone viral, and even after she changed schools, she was still being harassed like ‘Tsholo’ was in the spaza shop (tuck shop). This kind of bullying may exist in the digital world, but the impact it has on people’s lives are very real.

Moving Forward

Social media will always exists for as long as we have smartphones. However it is how we use it that is important. Do YOU use social media to build people up or break them down? What are you getting from it?

These are some of the questions one needs to ask themselves when using these networks. It’s not a secret that social media plays an important role in our lives because we post everything from our meals to moments with friends and family, but we always have to be wary of the consequences of misusing social media.

How do you use your social media?

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