Dhaka     Friday   23 October 2020

‘Trends: Threaten our privacy on social media’

Billal Hossen || risingbd.com

Published: 14:25, 26 September 2020   Update: 15:16, 26 September 2020
‘Trends: Threaten our privacy on social media’

Md Billal Hossen

Bandwagon Effect and Social Psychology perspective

Recently, there is an emerging issue comes to the light that people on the social media follow different types of trends such as changing the profile picture with uncommon frame and in the form of several types of Emoji.

They also use several slang words to be unanimous with the other people on social media. Nowadays, it has been rising very alarmingly! In the last couple of months, different trends introduced in social media like Facebook such as using photolab to change the pattern and style of the picture.

Avator is a Facebook feature to make an Emoji of an individual. This trend has flooded Facebook in the last couple of days. Following trends has gained immense popularity in different social media platform nowadays. Have you ever think about this issue? Why is this happening frequently? Are we being controlled by other people’s behavior and choices? Is it good or bad for us? I think most of the answers will be ‘I DON’T NO’. So it is time to rethink about this.

There are different types of theory found which explain why we follow the trends. But the most relevant and reliable theory to explain this phenomenon is called the ‘Bandwagon Effect’. Moreover, there is a branch of social science known as ‘Social Psychology’ which also explains why we follow social media trends.

The effect means that the more people believe a certain concept or engage in a certain behavior, the more likely other people are to follow in their footsteps and do the same. The bandwagon effect can therefore become a large-scale social phenomenon, and affect the way in which crowds shape their behaviors and beliefs.

Therefore, when someone does some activities such as following trends on social media, others also trying to do so and then it spreads very rapidly among the other people who are on social media. Then, it acts like a bandwagon effect and goes viral within a moment.

It indicates that our behavior, choices, and other lifestyle pattern are controlled by others. The people surrounding us have a great influence on our lifestyle. While we follow the trend, we don’t think about whether it is good or bad for us. We just neglect our privacy. Following social media trends especially in Bangladesh is increasing very rapidly. If it continues in the same manner, it will be a threat to our society as well as it will also threaten our privacy on social media.

On the other hand, Social Psychology is ‘the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.’ This means when a group follows the trends, other groups are also encouraged to follow the same, this is known as group polarization. Through the process of group polarization, we follow social media trends.

There are different news published in the newspapers about the safety and security issues related to these trends. Sometime, it may happen to you that a third party can steal your personal information and fall you in a trap. So how can we avoid being unanimous with this deleterious activities? There are some ways to avoid it:

Slow down your critical reasoning process

While making the decision to follow trends take time to rethink about the pros and cons of those trends. That means you should slow down your critical reasoning process and then make a final decision. It is the best option to avoid the Bandwagon Effect.

Set up standard criteria for decision making

Follow some standard criteria to make the decision while using the social media platform. Think first, act thereafter.

Choose alternative option

If you see some trends are going on, try to choose alternative options which will help you to abstain from using the trends.

Verify the security and safety issue

While using trends verify the security and safety issues to protect yourself from the harmful effect of social media trends.

It is high time to think about this important issue. It might be disastrous for the people of Bangladesh. Building awareness among the social platform users can be the best tool to thwart this problem.

Let’s follow the trends of being ‘conscious people’.


Writer: Student, Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Technology, Islamic University.


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