Friday, January 14, 2011
Facebook and other social media
If you would have asked me ten years ago if I would have anything to do with a web site that promotes you to put your personal information on the internet, I would have laughed at you. Some where within those ten years social media web sites gained popularity and society has been doped into thinking this is a good thing. Encouraging people to sign on and hook up with long lost friends or to find new friends. It is such a catching concept that I fell for this and allowed my young teens to even get a facebook page and a myspace page. Adding friends that you never call or write to the old fashion way with a pen and paper or the use of a telephone. Sharing personal information that you would never mention if you were speaking with them on the phone. Creating drama with the keyboard and misunderstandings because you can not tell if the person is joking or being serious. There is no inflection of the voice for you to understand their meaning. You can not tell if they are screaming at you or forgot that the cap lock was on and were too lazy to rewrite their comment.
As of this past week, the last member of my family closed their facebook account and I can not tell you how relieved I am. One by one each person realized the deception of such a site. Even with media attention of the lack of privacy this site provides with the sharing of your personal information without your consent. People still blindly offer more information to be exposed. One of the things I have noticed is that it can be a habit to "check" your facebook account to see what your friends posted or what pictures they put on their facebook. I found myself going there more then to post information about me. So the question begs to be answered, are people whom you know or don't know doing the same thing. Spending hours on facebook, looking at other peoples pictures and comments. Making these social media sites a play ground for pedophiles, stalkers and other demented minded people.
Which brings me to another point, should children or teens be allowed to have a social media account? Most of these kids see their friends on a daily basis at school. Is there really a need for a social media page? Allowing other people you probably would not want having access to your child's life are reading every random thought your child post and viewing the pictures they chose to place up on their page. Developing a friendships with people they have never met face to face. There was a time when a parent would not consider allowing their child to hang out with "friends" that the parent had not met. Did we teach our children to NOT talk to strangers? At what point did we as parents become so lax in our parenting that we see these social media web sites as innocent? Once you have cracked the door to allow the freedom to have these types of web sites, you have tied your hands when you child ask you for another type in the future. Who knows what the future holds on what type of social media web sites will be available and we sheeple will be encouraged to join up or be uncool.
The main thing I want to relay with this post is that I regret not discouraging my children when they were younger to not have a social media web page. As they got older and it was out of my control to say if they could have one or not, they continued to have their web pages. Thankfully, they came to realize the unnecessary need for these web pages. Let's hope we do not become doped with the next wave of high tech communication.