Balance, Control and Management of Social Networking
More than 70% of teens in the world have a Facebook account, and most of them misuse it. Teens around the world are spending mindboggling amounts of time online, and don’t think of the consequences social networking can have on their lives. To elevate matters, they often post inappropriate pictures, statuses, or comments—forgetting that once it’s on the Internet, it’s there forever… you can’t take it off! As most parents would say, to which most teens will reply, “Technology is cool.”
Nobody can negate that statement, but Facebook, Twitter, and the likes can also be teenagers’ worst enemy. The information shared and the time spent on these fun venues could cost them more than they bargained for.
“I think social networking can effect your education if you go on it too much,” said sophomore, Connor Rowland. “So ask yourself this: ‘are you abusing the blessing of social networking? Or are you using it wisely?’”
Mrs. Ceri Usmar, Web Content Editor for CCA Communications, the department which produces and maintains Calvary Christian Academy’s new website, endorses the positive benefits of social networking. “From a business perspective, social media provide a valuable platform for feedback and interaction,” explains Mrs. Usmar. “However, from a personal perspective it is not a substitute for authentic relationships.”
When we say Social Networking, we mean interacting electronically through sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, you might live under a rock, because social media is all the buzz with companies and individuals alike.
The preoccupation with social networking is driving people to question whether too much of a good thing is good for us. Especially for teens, who seem to be having a hard time controlling the amount of time they spend on these sites. On average, a teenager spends about 11 hours a week on Facebook alone, that’s not including YouTube, and other Internet games that they play with friends.
Parents are alarmed that their teens are not talking to them, but spending too much time in their bedrooms, chatting online. “Online media provide opportunities as well as temptations,” said Mrs. Usmar. “Either way, excessive use can be detrimental to family relationships, so it should be managed and balanced.”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Today’s teens and “tweens” are connected to one another, and to the world, via digital technology more than any previous generation. Recent data suggests that social media (SM) venues like Facebook and MySpace have surpassed e-mail as the preferred method of communication in all age groups.
While today’s tweens and teens may be more digitally savvy than their parents, their lack of maturity and life experience can quickly get them into trouble with these new social venues.
For this reason, it is imperative that parents talk with their children of all ages about social media and monitor their online SM use to help them navigate this new online social world. How parents talk with their kids and teens will vary slightly by age depending on the topic being discussed. These tips will help you start that journey with your family.”
For this reason, it is important for teenagers not only to balance the amount of time spent online, but more importantly, consider what information they are sharing in cyberspace. We all know that social networking is now a major force in teen’s daily social life. But, remember, the Internet is not your friend’s living groom, where secrets can be securely kept.
This is the wide world web. Visit wisely.