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The World of Teenage Facebook
Facebook is a teenager’s heaven. I can see where they get that from… I mean, chatting to friends and learning all the new rumors without actually having to deal with people is pretty sweet. Take it from me, a thirteen-year-old Facebook-er.
Facebook is a really big deal for, not only teenagers, but adults and kids, too. But for teens, Facebook is usually a privilege – even though tons of kids have it, many have parents who either think the whole concept is stupid/dangerous, or they think their child is too irresponsible to handle it. Either way, Facebook is one of the top sites on the Internet, and it’s no doubt that teenagers helped it become that way – after all, Mark Zuckerman, the founder of Facebook, was only 22 when he first launched the website in his Harvard dorm room. It was meant for adolescents.
Facebook is an easy way to describe yourself – or, what you want people to think you’re like – in only a few simple steps. Your profile can be changed easily, and can tell anyone whose your ‘friend’ your name, gender, birthday, hometown, email, or high-school (even though tons of Facebook-ers aren’t even in high school yet – but who cares?). It also contains relationship status (one quick click from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’ can start rumors running), and Facebook also asks for political views, but that isn’t usually a concern for many teenagers. They tend to leave that space blank.
In the ‘relationship status’, Facebook offers a number of choices, including the regular like ‘single’, ‘in a relationship’, ‘married’, and even weird ones like ‘in an open relationship’ and ‘it’s complicated’. If your in a relationship with someone, your profile links to theirs.
Each profile is topped by an image. Anyone can see it, especially if you don’t have your profile set as ‘private’, and many people obsess over it. A profile picture can mean so much – you need to look flawless. Many people use what I like to call ‘The 10’.
‘The 10’ is a list of ways teenagers take Facebook pictures. The first one is the ‘Oops-I’m-So-Awesome’, which is when the Facebook-er gets a friend (or themselves) to take a picture of them looking hot, but not in a really deliberate way. This one usually includes lip-pouting, playing video games (if you’re a guy), and tons of makeup (for girls)
The next one is ‘The Backs’. Boys love this one. It is just usually a series of people walking together and you can only see their backs. Or, if you’re a girl, it’s usually up close and the girl is looking coyly over her shoulder.
The third is the ‘Oh-I’m-So-Awesome-I-Don’t-Need-to-Look-at-the-Camera’ pose. I love these pictures, I think I have one on my Facebook page right now. Teens love to do them when they are clearly looking at nothing, they just want a good side profile pic. Usually involves hand motions.
The ‘Let’s-Get-as-Many-People-As-Possible-in-Here’ picture is also a favourite of teens. This is when there is a group of about one thousand friends all squeezed into a single frame – piled onto a couch, linking arms around one another’s shoulder, doing the peace sign, etc.
The next one is the ‘I’m-Just-This-Serious’ position. You know this one! No smile, dead serious, very intense. But because they are trying to look dead serious and intense, it usually ends up just looking funny.
The ‘I-Am-Brooding-in-the-Dark-but-I’m-Still-Attractive’ look is classic. This is a picture of usually hair hanging in front, no smile and modelesque…without, of course, trying to look too modelesque.
The next one is the ‘Perma-Laugh’. Soundtrack to these pictures: “Oh my God you are so funny, no way funnier than me, oh my gosh I have never laughed so hard in my life, LOLOLOLOLOL, my face hurts I am laughing so hard.”
If you’ve ever seen a picture of a best friend or two jumping in a picture, you’ve seen the ‘I’m-Jumping-and-Look-Really-Really-Happy’ pose. Why do teen girls do this so much? No idea.
Probably the stupidest pose is the ‘I-Have-My-Mouth-Open-in-Every-Picture-but-I’m-Still-Cute’. These are for the teens that quite literally cannot close their mouths. It’s like they’re saying ‘hey’ in every single flipping picture.
Anyways, whatever stance you do, everyone will see it, including all of your friends. The average amount of friends for a teenager to have is about one hundred ten. Most are from school or after-school activities; many times, teenagers add people they’re actually never met or talked face-to-face with – a bad idea.
Another things teens always edit are their ‘favorites’. We can discover that someone likes field hockey, procrastinating, the TV show Grey’s Anatomy, roller coasters, Miley Cyrus, Dr. Phil, tanning, Slurpees, Harry Potter, shopping, and the movie Mamma Mia.
The news feed is probably really important for every teenager on Facebook. It’s fun to watch, but it gets annoying. Who cares if Justin added Transformers to his favorites? What you need to know is if Justin starts going out with someone.
Every Facebook profile has a message ‘wall’ where people leave notes – open to view for any Facebook friend. Many wall comments include, ‘im grounded toooo! txt me’ or ‘aww luv u <3’ or ‘hellz yes’.
The best part of someone’s profile is the photo album, where you can post pictures of yourself and tag your friends. You can even put up things called ‘Tag Your Pals’ where you get a cheap image of several people or cartoons with labels under their images, such as ‘The Athletic One’ or ‘The Flirt’, where you are then pressured to tag – and, thereby, stereotype – your friends.
You can also join groups on Facebook. Some are actual communities, like ‘St. Peter’s School 2009-2010!!!!! :)’, but most are just stupid like ‘Don’t complain about having to grade 140 essays, you assigned it’ or ‘IF THIS GROUP GETS 1 MILLION MEMBERS I WILL NAME MY SON Optimus Prime’. Some of them are fan clubs or groups, like ‘I am absolutely in love with Edward Cullen and the Twilight series’, and others are just dumb, like ‘I JOIN TOO MANY GROUPS BECAUSE THEIR NAMES MAKE
me say.. “OMG THAT’S TRUE!”’. My favourite group? ‘Remember back in the day before Facebook when we all had a life’.
I suppose I get what Facebook is really about. It’s about social status and where you sit collectively in your school or community. You can take funny quizzes like ‘Why would you get kicked out of McDonalds’ (with weird answers that imply people to comment stuff like ‘haha’ or ‘omg luv it!!!!’), or you can instant message your BFF and do nothing but LOL at random things people post. Yeah, waiting around and looking at other people’s pictures sounds really fun.
Don’t even get me started on Twitter.