The Dangers of Facebook, Twitter, and Instgram

The Dangers of Facebook, Twitter, and Instgram

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Cyber socializing is very popular among society today. It is one of the most popular ways of communicating with, says long distance relatives, but is cyber socializing really safe. These sites are used by all ages and around the world, and not always used for the right reasons. Some of the most popular websites are Facebook, twitter, and instgram. People put their lives on these sites. From pictures to every emotion or feeling they have. Not being aware of the danger the may put themselves in.
There have been many cases of bullying among cyber socializing sites. The biggest site it is found in is with Face book. “Face book now has over 400 million users worldwide” (ProQuest Staff). A big question that is asked is where their parents are when this bullying is going on. So many young children are using these sites without any parental guidance. A lot of parents have no clue what their kids are talking about or talking to on social networks. There have also been cases of suicides because of bullying on these websites. There was a girl in Florida that reportedly killed herself after facing constant taunting from a group of girls. “The police found her at an abandoned cement plant at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday” (Pearce). Imagine what her parents felt, and even the parents of the ones who were bullying the girl. She was only 12 years old and lost her life because of something that was happening online.
Another question that comes up is should there be an age limit. I personally believe there should be. I do not think young children are mature enough. A lot of them are naïve to the fact they can be a potentially victim to various crimes, “They warn that young people on these sites are more likely to be the victim of cyber bullying and that they are vulnerable to predators who mask their identities” (ProQuest Staff). People tend to put so much information on these sites which makes them easily traceable. Younger kids do not take into account the potential effect of putting too much information on the site. They do not think twice about what they do, and most of the time is not being monitored by their parents. "Parents have to get a handle on what their kids are doing online and offline, especially tweens and teens," because they have a limited ability for self-regulation and time management, she says”(Hellmich).

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From twitter to face book no site will fully protect you. Now they have things on smart phones where when you post a status or picture it tells exactly where you are. All social networking sites can be harmful to young children. They usually follow what they see and most of the time it is not a positive influence. They can be easily manipulated by the predators and not even know what is going on. The bad thing is the majority of the time most parents are not even aware of what is going on. “Investigators uncovered a disturbing trend: Child predators are increasingly using the internet to entice children using to share sexually explicit material online, Ice said. In some cases, they were also sexually extorting or ‘sextoriting’, the minors into producing increasingly graphic images and videos by threatening to expose previously obtained material, Ice said”(Sampson). Children are the easiest prey for they will believe almost anything. At times children feel that no harm can be done to them until it actually happens. “The center received more than 400,000 reports last year, the vast majority related to the possession, manufacture and distribution of child pornography, Shehan said”(Sampson).
All kinds of movies try to show awareness of the potential danger in cyber socializing sites. One specific movie is actually called “Cyber Bullying”. There is a girl who makes friends with the wrong people and they began to torture her. She gets so overwhelmed by the constant taunting she tries to kill herself by overdosing on pills. Her mom finds her and she survives but in reality there might not be anybody there to save you. This may just be a movie but things like that happen all the time, all around the world. Movies and books try to show the danger of the sites. Not necessarily that we should not use them, but just to be very cautious and if you have young children on these sites then monitor what they do.
I do not understand why people would want to share their every thought to a bunch of strangers. Everybody is not your friend and most of the time is trying to bring you down in order for them to get higher in the world. That is exactly what people do on these sites. It is almost like a venting place when there is nobody else to talk to. A lot of the times things are posted for attention, and a lot of people get on these sites just to be noisy. In the long run one thing you say can have a not so good outcome. People would rather talk on the social networking sites instead of having actually conversations with people. “Others say the time spent on social network is wasted time that could be better spent building face-to-face relationships” (ProQuest Staff). Now a day’s all the talking is done over the internet. Picking up a phone and calling would even be a solution. Some people feel the total opposite. “People who think positively about social networking sites claim that they allow people to easily develop new relationships, stay connected to friends and family, and bring people with common interest together”(ProQuest Staff). The only problem with “developing new relationships and “bringing people with common interest together” is you never know who this person really is. They are hiding behind a computer screen the whole time, so you never know who you are really making these “new relationships” with. There is a show on MTV called Catfish. In this show people have internet relationships that may go on for years. These individuals have never met before and most of the time never even heard each other’s voices. The go on this show to meet the person they have be so called “dating” for so long. Majority of the time the person is not who at all who they say they are. So they just waited all this time on a person that thought they knew.
Now a lot of employers look at these sites when choosing their applicants. One wrong thing can cost you a job. It is a constant battle about the protection of people’s first amendment. They feel that they should be able to say what they want to say and it should not have an effect of anything. “Still, legal experts say a state-sponsored social media site may be considered a ‘public forum’, which could give citizens the right to say almost anything they wanted under the first amendment right of citizens and state employees”(Maynard).
There are people that think cyber socializing can be helpful. “The report says these sites and other technology can be useful to kids for staying in touch, socializing, entertainment and even doing homework. They can enhance kids' creativity and help them develop technical skills” (Hellmich). This may be true, but too much time spent on these sites will turn doing homework into doing other things.
People need to take precaution on what they are sharing to the world, because everybody does not want to see you shine. Stories can be turned into something totally different. “In some cases, however, Twitter and other social media sites can be sources of bad reporting and inaccurate ‘scoops’ delivered without vetting, adding to confusion of already complicated and murky news stories”(Nakamura). People twist words, and one thing that is said can be misinterpreted and turn into a whole other situation.
Cyber socializing can be very dangerous not just with children but anybody using the site. Way too much time and energy are put into social networking cites. “According to one recent poll, 22% of teens log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day; and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day, the report says. About 75% of teens now own cell phones” (Hellmich). There are other ways to communicate it does not all have to be done over the internet. Not every living moment you have needs to be shared to the world. People need to be careful about what they put on these sites, and the best result would be just to stay off of them.

Works Cited
Hellmich, Nanci. "Social Media Websites Can Be Useful for Kids, But..." USA TODAY. 28 Mar 2011: B.8. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 02 Dec 2013.
Maynard, Melissa. "Why States Need Social Media Policies." 31 Oct 2013: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 22 Nov 2013.
Nakamura, David. "National Security Hard to Balance with Social Media." Washington Post. 02 Nov 2013: A.1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 22 Nov 2013.
Pearce, Matt. "Officials Cite Cyberbullying in Girl's Death." Los Angeles Times. 13 Sep 2013: A.10. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 20 Nov 2013.
ProQuest Staff. "At Issue: Cybersocializing/Online Social Networks." ProQuest LLC. 2013: n.pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 Nov 2013.
Sampson, Peter J. "Prosecutors Welcome App to Track Down Child Predators." The Record. 27 Oct 2013: L.1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 20 Nov 2013.

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