Social Media, Networking and other High School Hazards

There is a constant battle in my house about whether I should be allowed to be on Facebook or not.

"Everyone in my school is on Facebook except me! I miss out on so much that happens!" I tell my father who smirks in turn and retorts, "well then that is what makes you so unique."

I did not understand why it would hurt so much for me to be on a social network, one that everyone I saw in school was in, anyway. That changed a few days later when my parents showed me a numb er of articles. Those were the articles written by families of victims of social media scams. Sons being kidnapped and murdered, naive daughters being bullied and tortured all because of a social networking site.

I can name over a hundred reasons why social networks are not good for high school students. For starters, recent surveys show that the highest number of cyber-bullying cases are from social networking sites. It is vicious and frightening.

A close friend and I were victims of such bullying when someone created a fake ID and sent us threatening mails. The fraud had created the fake ID using my friend’s name and then sent cruel mails to all of our friends. It was so hard explaining to everybody that it was a fake ID. It put us through a lot of trouble and every time I switch on my computer I remember the unkind words in those messages that I received. It was an unpleasant experience and it took so long for the ID to be deleted manually. We never found out who did it.

Also, why it is so hard to bring the age bar down for social networking sites is because there is so much content which is not suitable for children. Teens, who are anyway exposed to things which are inappropriate will get an opportunity to do that legally.

If you are underage, it would be better not to have too much personal information about yourself on the internet. High school should be about having fun and having a good time not getting into the kind of trouble you could get into by entering a fake date of birth and posting things without the knowledge of your parents.

Since my mother joined Facebook, I often hear joyful cries from her room because she found a friend from college or from school who she hasn’t spoken to for over 20 years. My father and his friends from college organised their reunion after finding each other and reconnecting on various networking sites.

Social media does have its upside, it is made for people to keep in touch or to find friends and it fulfilled that purpose. Networking in person is good for teenagers, as it is nice to meet new people from different places and backgrounds. But, social networking is not good for teenagers especially if they do not have an adult to monitor them.