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Social networking versus security

Teen Talk

Junior, CCHS
Social networking sites have become both a blessing and a curse in our modern society. Anyone in possession of a computer and an Internet connection has the ability to create online personal profiles, share photographs and “message” total strangers. The form of communication has certainly altered in the past 10 years.

Due to the progression of touch screens, application downloads and Internet connections on cellular devices, social networking sites have gradually become a daily focus of the average American adolescent.

Because they have grown accustomed to websites such as Facebook, teenagers post inappropriate photographs and personal information, unaware of the dire consequences. While pictures and messages can be deleted, they remain on the Internet eternally.

People also fail to realize that employers and colleges view Facebook accounts frequently. Graphic comments and photos posted by workers and students often result in job losses, suspension and, in some cases, expulsion.

Teenagers may ignore the fact that their posted photos are used by marketing companies, and are viewed by countless predators. Facebook profiles are exposed to anyone with a social networking account. Not only is a person able to contact friends, but one is able to communicate with a complete stranger. Perhaps that unknown person is a sexual predator or a computer hacker.

Between the constant worries of sharing too much personal information and becoming victim to cyber-bullying, identity theft and virus attacks, social networking sites are far from safe and secure.

Avid users of Facebook argue that social networking sites provide easier contact to family and friends, and help develop necessary computer skills. While this may be true, any student can learn how to use a computer in an IT Fundamentals class; and with a simple text, one can communicate with a friend or relative.

With approximately one billion users of all ages on Facebook worldwide, how many individuals of your group of “friends” have you actually met in person?

The numerous “cons” of social networking sites outweigh the few “pros.” Think twice before clicking that “Like” button.

E-mail Jillian Wright at: dtjwright@netzero.net
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