I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Facebook is the living dead

on May 23, 2013

happy face with laptopI seem to be obsessed with writing about social media these days.    A couple of months ago, I came across a site called Media Smarts ( which is Canada‘s on-line centre for digital and media literacy.  Every day, I get headlines sent to me that keep me updated on what is happening the media and Facebook is often one of the topics discussed.

Today one of the articles is named,  “Teenagers Hate Facebook, but They’re Not Logging Off”.  It talks about how teens are complaining about too many adults using Facebook, too much pressure and too many negative social interactions.  Yet, it states that 94% of American teenagers still maintain their profile.

The article further states, “Facebook is the living dead: the most popular, least relevant social network where teenagers and adults alike gather out of fear of missing out on things that don’t even make them happy”.  Isn’t this crazy?  Why are teens obsessed with being part of something that they don’t really like?

There are several reasons:

  • they want people to like them
  • find out what friends are doing, make plans, post pictures
  • want to be up-to-date with what is going on, good or bad
  • can maintain more friendships than in person and have a larger group of friends
  • easier to contact people and can communicate messages to several people at a time
  • can tell people about themselves
  • they can hide behind a screen and only reveal what they want to
  • they can be themselves and not worry about what other people think
  • they can connect with their friends even if they aren’t allowed out of the house
  • they can connect with people that they are not allowed to be around
  • they can say what they want without getting an instant reaction

Teens and anyone else who uses social media should be very careful in how they interact with other people.  It’s great to share information and pictures as long as it is not inappropriate or harmful to yourself or anyone else.  You need to protect yourself from people who want to hurt you or destroy your reputation.  It is VERY EASY to put yourself in a dangerous or vulnerable situation but it is NOT EASY to recover from any damage that is done.  One thing to keep in mind is that future, potential employers often use Facebook for  personal reference checks to see what type of person you are.   If they see inappropriate information on your site, whether is it something that you have posted or something that one of your friends has posted, it can make you look bad and you will not be chosen for that job you were interested in.  I know because my daughter’s company always checks out applicants on Facebook and many have not been hired because of their profiles or posts.  Always watch your words and be selective of your photos.

Here are some important guidelines that everyone should follow when using any type of social media (also when emailing or texting):

  • use your privacy settings to protect your personal information from being seen by anyone you don’t know really well, just allow your close friends to view your stuff
  • only accept invitations from people you know personally, not just someone who knows a friend because they may not be your friend
  • NEVER post your address or phone number on your profile or give it out in an email or text, it’s also a good idea just to use your first name and last initial
  • NEVER post specific details of where you are going all the time, this may interest a stalker
  • NEVER tell people that your family is going on a vacation, this may interest anyone who is looking for a place to rob
  • don’t post anything that is inappropriate on your own profile or anyone else’s profile
  • if anyone does post anything inappropriate on your wall, DELETE IT IMMEDIATELY
  • if you are harassed continuously, DO NOT allow anyone to keep hurting you……DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT

Social media can be a good thing when used properly.  Please be cautious and protect yourself!

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