Social Networking

March 7, 2011
Facebook is the number one social networking site in the world. It is shared by parents, teens, teachers, and anyone with access to the internet. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and Formspring are a source of information. Anyone has access to these sites, so everyone can be informed and updated on the latest scoop and gossip. Some of these posts or comments can be offensive, hurtful, and mean. Every person has their own personal reason to be involved with a social networking site, for their own benefit or for all the wrong reasons. This accounts for the equality between the benefits and downfalls of social networking.

Teens have become the target for cyber bullying. Alexis Pilkington committed suicide after receiving “nasty, insensitive” messages on Facebook. Any social networking site is eligible for cyber bullying to any degree. Alexis’ friends created another Facebook page to pay tribute to her after her death. Family and friends could post comments or compose messages to her to tell her how much they missed her. People began flooding her tribute page with “mean-spirited messages and graphic images”, which a friend’s father explained to the news. The negative affects of sites like these have proved social networking to have no benefit to people around the world. At any given time a site can be turned into a suicide note with the help of one post, one tweet, or one comment.

If teens are not busy defending themselves on Formspring and Facebook or attacking other teens, then adults could be as well. Online predators are on every social networking site available. They target teen sites that are the most popular with the knowledge that they are on there as much as possible. Another reason that online predators choose social networking sites is because the internet can be a different person than who they really are. This sets up an easy way to depict what their target is specifically interested in. Usually the target is lured in because of their “common interests” and before they know it they began to get harassed by online predators. It takes one negative comment and favor to spark an entire fire of sexual harassment problems and more cases of cyber bullying.
If my friends aren’t at practice or involved in extracurricular activities then they are checking their newest picture comment, tweeting about what they are doing, or defending themselves about a rumor that started at school. I sit next to peers that are always on Facebook in class. This just proves how much time is consumed in social networking. Most conversations are longer and more interesting through texting and tweeting instead of in person. Research from a pro/con website said that people spend more time on the computer or their phone instead of in person. Physical interaction is important for people to get to know how a person really is, and not what their profile says. A social life is always healthy, but with the sites and texting capabilities of technology its much easier to type then talk for most people because of how much time is consumed in technology. We have become attached and adapted to a technologic atmosphere.
Although these sites prove to have numerous points of downfalls for social networking sites, teachers across America are trying to turn it around. In our own school, Damonte Ranch High School, our history teachers are beginning a trend. Facebook has become their source to helping kids improve and stay on track for History class. Ms. Cahill has provided all of her students access to the History Facebook page. Students can become friends with this page and manage their missing assignments, chat with Ms. Cahill for help, contact her, ask other students for help, and get notes and information they missed out on in class. Because students are so involved with social networking and are familiar with Facebook, they are motivated to learn using a source that they enjoy and can interact with. Teachers have become more technologic to help the students be within their comfort zones.
Most of my family and friends live in Hawaii. My mom stays in touch with them through her Facebook and text messages. It is the fastest way to update what they are doing at any given moment of the day, so that family and friends miles away can have the best experience with you without physically being there. Any social networking sites provide contact with people and allow people to stay in touch with anyone around the world. There also many ways to communicate, by IM, messaging, posts, pictures, video chat, texting, comments, and updates. Social networking leaves limitations to a minimum which allows users to customize their profiles to fit their liking and personality to make the site better and more personal.
The communication factor comes in a package with awareness. People are usually sharing information of various categories that can be informal in many ways. When people see a negative post on a site then they become aware of cyber bullying. People post information about the latest gossip, what they saw on the news, or their opinion about a topic. No matter what is typed on a profile, it is informal to someone else even if they aren’t involved in the conversation. This benefits users by allowing them to stay updated. It keeps them coming back to the site to become more familiar with it and want to keep logging on to keep updated at any time of the day.
With the balance of benefits and downfalls that social networking provides anyone in the world with, personal interest and research come in to play. Everyone with an account has their own reason to be on a site like Facebook.. Opinions about benefits and downfalls can only be accounted for through yourself. Everything is just a single click away.

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karstarr13 said...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm
i really enjoyed reading your piece! please read some one mine :) And comment! Thanks so much!
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