How Will the Internet of Things Affect Social Media?

By Sam Butterworth

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The Internet of things (IoT) involves taking common household items that were not originally connected to the internet to then connect these things, such as mobile phones, straight to the internet. IoT promises to revolutionize the way people in society interact with one another through social media but whether that is a good or a bad thing is up for debate. Many people are very concerned about the possibility of corporations and hackers spying on them, while others are more hopeful that IoT has much to offer their lives. In this article, the potential effects that an ever-expanding IoT and social media will have on you are addressed. So here’s a list of 5 of the effects IoT and social media can have in your lifetime:

1) Privacy Issues

It seems to be widely regarded that the IoT is a dystopian Orwellian nightmare. However, whereas Orwell thought the government would force people to bring cameras into their homes to watch their every move it appears that these days people willingly take cameras into their homes and care more about who’s not watching them, rather than who is watching them. From mobile phones to laptops, Ipads and computers most things that are connected to the internet are also connected to a camera and a sound recorder. And many people who work in social media have also hinted that the digital age will bring an end to personal privacy.

2) Hacking Threats

A 2015 Icontrol State of the Smart Home study found that 44% of all Americans were “very concerned” about the possibility of their information getting stolen from their smart home and 27% were “somewhat concerned”. It is easy to understand people’s concern as the more society becomes integrated with internet-capable technology the more risk there is of an anonymous hacker or a conglomerate corporation accessing our personal information and spying on us in our own homes. However, it does seem that for the most part that over 50% of people have little to no concern about the expansion of the  IoT allowing hackers and big businesses to access our social media accounts, eavesdrop on us and/or sell us more products.

3) How Will The Internet of Thing Benefit You?

Humanity has come a long way since the 1990s when only 300,000 desktop computers were connected to the internet. Today there are 2 billion smartphones which all have access to the internet. From wearables such as shoes, glasses and watches to 646 million heart rate monitors, the internet of things is estimated to affect huge aspects of your life. Everything is being connected to the internet and this could mean that social media will be everywhere for you to use as everywhere starts to be connected to the internet. So, in the future social media could only be a commonly available item away from being accessed.

4) Are IoT Businesses Really Ready?

An AT&T’s Insights Report surveyed 5,000 companies who are almost ready to deploy IoT devices around the world. However, in this survey only 10% of IoT companies said that they feel confident that they could secure their devices against hackers. Thus it seems there will be little to no protection provided to the IoT companies from hackers.

5) The Negative Effects of Social Media

According to Psychology Today a recent study in 2017 by a UK disability charity shows that out of 1,500 people 62% of the people surveyed reported that they felt inadequate on social media, and 60% of them reported feelings of jealousy as they compared themselves to others on social media. Social media sites like Facebook are also not helpful to people with depression and if you yourself are feeling down due to social media you might want to consider deactivating Facebook (you can always reactivate it later), unfollowing your (annoyingly) successful friends, and spending more time away from the internet.

So what do you think? Does the internet of things threaten you and your sense of privacy, or does it expose you to more dangers of the internet? Maybe you think that the growing trend of manufacturing more for the IoT is a good thing that provides us with an unhindered access to the internet?

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