Facebook is a challenge. This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 29, 2010
By , Coquitlam, Canada
Check most teenagers’ computers, laptops, even cellphones, and you are bound to find Facebook among their top websites visited. What started out as an innocent enough social networking site for young adults quickly bloomed into a plethora of photos, messages and annoyingly frequent status updates, all of which are burgeoning from a new generation of Facebook addicts. It is without doubt that Facebook provides invaluable resources for the current generation’s teenager girls and boys. At this age, who would protest being connected to your friends twenty-four seven? But that concept in itself holds Facebook’s greatest value as well as its central defect. Today Facebook is no longer a mere hotline to connect to friends, but a massive social gathering on the internet all in its own right.
Being simple, easy to use, and rapidly gaining recognition by teenage word-of-mouth, millions of adolescents signed onto this expanding hub of popular social networking. This miraculous site allows you to do things you would never have thought possible in real life: listen in on the conversations of the people you barely know at school, flip through that cute boy or girl’s personal photos, take a virtual tour of someone else’s life. This is the lure of Facebook, to roam the personal lives of friends, peers, or even strangers, while at the same time wondering who may be exploring your own world from the comfort of their home. Privacy is a thing of the past here, because a simple scroll of the mouse can reveal someone’s favorite bands, TV shows, or most commonly, their plans for Friday night. It is all spelled out for the taking, and this blatant exposure of information can seem as daunting as it is thrilling.
While the impact of Facebook on today’s generation is astounding, it must be questioned whether it brings all value and no vice. For one thing, a seemingly confidential incident at school may become the bearer of four, six, eight or more excruciating comments when the aforementioned ‘private’ altercation becomes humiliatingly posted on the site by a friend you thought you could trust. For another, pictures posted on Facebook may become someone else’s property, snatched up by Facebook itself and possibly other clandestine characters who may use them in additional places unbeknownst to the subject. Yes, that even applies even to that embarrassing drunken photo you made sure to personally delete.
So what happens to privacy now? What becomes of being a little mysterious, or not ‘airing out your dirty laundry in public’? This is nothing wrong with connecting with friends online or sprucing up your profile in hopes a certain someone might take notice. But personal lives are just that: personal. A person’s secrets and idiosyncrasies are best discovered by getting to know someone and best revealed to those who deserve it. Posting your life story in a colossal Note just does not hold a candle to sharing intimate relationships with friends, or a boyfriend or girlfriend. So teens of the world, turn off your computers and gadgets today and go do something no-one else is going to find out about unless you tell them. Go on, be a little mysterious.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Strawberry123 said...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 9:19 pm
Yes, however, it's your choice if you put these things. Meaning it's your choice to give out information. I don't think ones favorite band, etc. is really private. I mean, by looking at someone you can almost tell their favorite type of clothes, etc. It's a natural thing.
Mijuu This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 13, 2010 at 11:41 am
That is true, but the point of my article was to highlight how easy and almost persuasive facebook makes it for people to reveal something about themselves they otherwise would not have so publicy. I do agree that what goes up is the owner's choosing though:)
sleeplessdreamer said...
Feb. 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm
I love this. It is so true. I myself am completely opposed to facebook and twitter and all the other "social networking sites". To me it's a way to make friends because you can't make them face to face.
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