July 1st, 2012
About two weeks ago, I took an enormous leap of faith; I made a Facebook. For years, the idea of revealing a person’s private life to basically the entire world terrified me to the bone. A few years ago, my dad told me about how a fake bank account was made under my identity by a 21-year-old. How could someone steal my identity? I realized that Myspace exposed my information to the world like a naked mannequin in front of Forever21. I became vigilant to the information typed onto a computer screen. Do teenagers really know what they are putting on Facebook or Tumblr? Teenagers do not realize that they have to be cautious in any public setting, especially online. Actions and words online cause vulnerability, especially into teens. Myspace seemed like a community where boredom was unwelcomed, but it was also a defenseless dungeon. Information entered, but could never be free.
From frostbitten fingertips of dripping ice cream to reenactments of flat timber, teenagers now communicate and entertain through meaningless acts thought on the Internet. Once a hilarious image or video pops up on their dashboard, an active social-networking teenager gains amusement and muse. They say, “Hey, that’s pretty dope. I think I want to try that.” Though these trends perpetuate laughter, adolescents do not visualize the consequences of simple stupidity. For example, “cone-ing,” the act of buying an ice cream, but grabbing it by the ice cream instead of the cone, has become a hilarity sensation on Youtube and Tumblr. Yet, the youth do not realize the disrespectfulness “cone-ing” displays against the vendor, whose only job is basically to help the customer. A more serious example of cyber craze gone wrong is from “planking,” a game of lying down in an unusual place. On May 15th of 2011 in Brisbane, Australia, a young man plunged seven stories from “planking” on top of a balcony. What people do for the Internet is not worth a life. How people react to information should be elaborated upon it before actually taking step forward in doing it. Someone cannot take a step forward without seeing the path ahead of him or her.
Not only actions can cause incivility or fatality, but words also break bones. In mid-2010, an 11-year-old named Jessi Slaughter started talking smack on the Internet. Immediately, the blog world “trolled,” or made fun of her for her pretentious attitude. Later, an anonymous person posted all her information online: her address, phone number, full name, and etc. Hate mail and threatening phone calls against Slaughter arose. The police became involved and her family was enraged. The “trolling” got so out of control that her father became involved in the so-called joke; Memes were made of his internet ignorance, such as his phrase, “you dun goof’d.” This unfortunate Internet fame soon caused her family to dissolve; her dad was charged with child abuse and later died, sending Slaughter to foster care. Young Slaughter’s poor choices and the influences from the web community festered her childhood. As her information spread across the cyber plain, as much as she tried, she could not take it back. Teenagers have to watch what they say, or the “consequences will never be the same” (Gene Leonhardt).
Although human nature craves for social acceptance, teens really need to stop and think about how their actions affect themselves and the others around them. The average teenager is emotionally labile. Their mindset is in between maturity and youthfulness; they are stuck between being an adult or a kid. Teens think that they are just fooling around to gain popularity or attention, but a gag can cross the line. Online self-expression is a tremendous way to get what someone believes in out there, but people should not “base [their] decisions on the advice of people who don’t have to live with the consequences” (Coral). Myspace, Facebook, or Tumblr may offer social appreciation and entertainment, but may bring regret if people do not keep track of their information. Every act and word should be considered before being forever embedded in the World Wide Web.
June 28th, 2012
Social networking is a major part of the world today—especially for teenagers. Teenagers use websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr in their everyday lives. Teens succumb to peer pressure to create online profiles to connect with friends. Others want an online account but their parents forbid them to make one. In my experience, I conformed to teenage societal rules and made a MySpace without my parents’ permission. Yes, it’s a way to get connected with your friends, but it is also can cause concerning effects to teens and how they act in society.
When MySpace was still popular, all my friends had them. They would always talk about what someone posted or how they made their own backgrounds on their profile. It was one of the coolest things because kids our age were able to create accounts and feel like teenagers. Even though my brother had one, it was behind my mother’s back. Eventually, my brother was allowed to have one, but I still couldn’t.
Soon enough, I had gotten fed up because I didn’t have a MySpace. I decided to sneak around like my brother and create a MySpace account. In case I would get caught and also because my mother always says put everything on private, I locked my profile so no one would change it. My mom would always say she would know if my brother or I would have a MySpace. Eventually, she let my brother have one, but I still couldn’t.
One day, being on MySpace my brother found out I had one. I deleted it in front of him so I wouldn’t get in trouble. That still didn’t stop him from blackmailing me. I knew he would hold it over me for I awhile, so I knew I would either have to tell my mom myself or let him tell on me. I was already on edge because I didn’t want my mom to find out, now I was on full paranoia because my brother was blackmailing me. Luckily, two weeks later, my sister had gotten in trouble. simultaneously, my mom found out about my account. I didn’t get a punishment because her lie was way worst.
In my case, I was lucky to get off without punishment. But, what if I hadn’t? I had succumbed to peer pressure. This is what teens have done for many years. Teenagers who disobey their parents is an issue, but teens staying on a social networking site for longer hours is another pressing issue. Put a stat in on how long teens on average are online.
Social networking has many hidden dangerous to teenagers. They don’t realize the risk they take when making profiles on the Internet with personal details. Some teenagers even post nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves. A study has been found that many teens have regretted posting pictures like this. What teenagers and even some adults don’t realize is that once something is posted on the Internet, then it you can’t take it back.
Teenagers post things on the internet that they wouldn’t normally post. This causes certain interactions to be impaired. Not only are people hurting relationships in the real world, they are hurting themselves. The way teenagers act in society changes because all they want to do is to be on the internet and interact instead of face to face. If we don’t watch our habits, teenagers can become forevermore impaired. Social networking can ruin someone’s future because what you post can never be erased.
Being on social networking websites too much can cause a teenager to be at a higher risk for depression. Cyber bullying appears frequently with social networking use. Teens eventually become depressed because of cyber bullying. Some instances of becoming depressed such as on Facebook, is referenced as “Facebook depression”. Other risks for frequent social networking according to My Healthy News Daily, includes risks for boys is a chance for being overweight and for girls to have less sleep.
Posting inappropriate or personal pictures or sayings on the internet can harm other aspects of your life. For example, when applying for a job or college, the administrators can look at your internet profile and look at the things you post. This can affect whether you get a job or into a college.
Teenagers should be aware of the consequences of frequent social networking. They need to know that what you post on the internet can’t be erased. Habits for social networking should be altered. To learn more about changing social networking habits, you can go to http://www.necn.com/05/08/12/Changing-unhealthy-social-media-habits/landing.html?blockID=704086&feedID=4213 for more information.