Light Within

making sense of social media mix

I am a teenagers; look what I do on facebook

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Sajini Chandrasekera

Facebook is a social networkig website intended to connect friends, family, and business associates. It is the largest of the networking sites, with the runner up being MySpace . It began as a college networking website and has expanded to include anyone and everyone. Facebook users create a profile page that shows their friends and networks information about themselves. The choice to include a profile in a network means that everyone withing that network can view the profile. The profile typically includes the following: Information, Status, Friends, Friends in Other Networks, Photos, Notes, Groups, and The Wall. Users are able to search for friends and acquaintances by e-mail address, school, university, or just by typing in a name or location for search. When people become friends, they are able to see all of each others' profiles including contact information. E-mail notifications let users know when new friends have chosen to add them to their list or when someone has sent a message to them within the system.Users of Facebook can share news stories, video, and other files with friends. Most news and video websites have buttons that can be clicked to automatically share the story or video on a feed. The person sharing can make comments about the shared item that their friends will see.

There are many potential problems with social networking sites and the teenagers that use them. Social networking online involves using Web sites to share information with others and connect with them by creating a profile that may include a personal Web page and a blog. Social networking sites allow users to add friends, send messages and comment on others' profile pages.MySpace is the most dominant social network among teens, used by most teenagers who use social networks. MySpace allows users almost unlimited flexibility to create and customize their profile pages, and to share their own content or that of others, including music, videos and writing. Many MySpace users register with aliases.The next most popular social networking site among teenagers is Facebook, which is used by quite a large number of teens who use social networks. Facebook, once a closed system limited to school and college communities, has recently become more open. Facebook puts a greater emphasis on actually knowing the people that you connect with. Other social networks used by teenagers include Xanga, Yahoo and Bebo.Facebook can enrich social lives for those separated from family and friends at long distances, bringing them together despite the physical separation. It also can bring people together with varying backgrounds who might never have met and then encourage them to extend experience in to real world.Facebook gives us a global view and access to interact with many persons found in many different countries. Facebook supports interaction in a lot of different ways. You can create and edit your own profile by uploading pictures, writing personal information, updating your status, etc. In addition to this you can use the privacy settings, which means that you can choose who can see what on your profile. You can even decide by whom your profile can be found (by everyone, just friends, just friends of friends, etc.). You can search, find, add, ignore, delete, and block friends whenever you want.

Most teens create at least a basic profile, with their name, age, status, photo and interests, but many go much further. Many teens make regular visits to update their profiles and to visit others' profiles.Communicating with others is a key aspect of using social networks. Teens may post public messages or may use bulletins or private messages to communicate with those on their friends list. Most teens use sites such as MySpace and Facebook to stay in touch with their current friends. However, reports show that most of teenagers also use the sites to make new friends. Teenagers use the sites to make social plans with their friends, and sometimes to flirt. Flirting becomes a serious issue as the teenagers are emotionally taken by the opposite sex. Some times these flirting goes a long way that in the end it create a major catastrophe and some times it brings life time embarrassment or major mental traumas.

Apart from the social benefits, social networking sites can be used to document school research, promote artistic talents and experiment with other forms of content creation. They provide a way to interact with others who share the same interests and to get constructive feedback on ongoing projects.Along with these benefits come some risks. Most social networking sites are open to all, especially MySpace, which means that your teen could be exposed to harassment, bullying or sexual advances. Cyber-bullying and harassment are most often perpetrated by other teens and tend to happen most to older girls and to teens of either gender who have a strong online presence. It may take shape in several forms but the damage it causess will be the same.

Older teens may want a public profile to promote a band or other creative work. In this case, have your child create a second, public profile for the project while still restricting the personal profile to family and close friends. It's best to set up these profiles with a free e-mail from Yahoo or Google using an alias that can't be traced back to find personal information.Encourage your kids to tell you if they're victims of cyber bullying or harassment. Many teens will try to deal with this on their own, which can have disastrous consequences. If your child knows who's behind the harassment, involve the other child's parents or school officials. If it's anonymous, remind your child that it's not personal; some people just think it's fun to say mean things about others. So as parents always we should be responsible for what our children do on line and always keep a close look on their actions on cyber.

Related: Connect and Network - Pakistan’s First International Social Media Summit

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, May 29, 2012,


At 17:34, Anonymous Raheel said...

There are more problems than benifits. I suggest parents should know what kids are upto on facebook. Unfortunatly, parentss either don't have time or don't care. Why else Obama should disallow his daughters to use Facebook?

At 18:56, Anonymous Masha Wickramasinghe said...

Very informative! Completely Agree! I don't think kids/teens needs all the access to social media, or the latest ipod or the i touch or whatever. Parents really need to over see what the teens are up to no matter how much they seem to share with parents. As a parent, you can never bee too careful of the safety of your children.

At 19:10, Blogger S A J Shirazi said...

Thanks for pointing this out Sajini. Much more attention is needed to be paid here and everyone has a part to play.

Sometime ago, I had touched similar subject. Please have a loook here:

I hope this will help all of us to understand the problem and make Internet a safer place.

At 21:33, Anonymous Jamil said...

Very apt title :-)

At 22:02, Anonymous Jamil said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:13, Anonymous sajini said...

@ Raheel.....
Thank you for your comment. Yes i also agree with you that there are more disadvantages in FB for younger generation. FB is a very famous social network and nowadays lot of teens are there by submiting faulse information. Teens are not least experience in life and they become easy victims of the cyber punks where they trust these strangers and get into unwanted trouble. So as parents we should have limits to what they do on the net.

At 10:46, Anonymous sajini said...

@ Masha Wickramasinghe....
Thank you for your thoughts on this topic. Even i think that teen should not be on any social networks until they are in age where they are caperble to handle things maturely. It is their lack of experience that leed them to unwanted trouble on FB or any other social networks. Teens get a wast freedom on FB and they try to experience the friendships they built up with. Parents should talk to teens about the scamps on FB and always keep an eye on the sites which they go and never allow to access the net when they are alone.

At 10:57, Anonymous sajini said...

@ Javed....
Thank you for your comment. Yes, we all have a part to play on this. As parents, as adults and as people who are on these social networks we should always guide the teens and teenagers to handle the social networks with responsibilty and must not allow children under 18 to access these networks. It's parents responsibility to take charge of the situation. Social network is a place teens get attracted to the emerge of strangers as friends and becomes an addiction. So, if we all can get together to protect our children till they become mature enough to know the difference between good and bad maybe we can make a better future.

At 10:59, Anonymous sajini said...

@ Jamil.....
Thank you for leaving your thoughts here. I felt that this is a topic that should be bought to light.

At 18:33, Anonymous Social Network Analysis said...

Social media is the part of the Internet where the content is generated by users of the service rather than conventional publishers. Such content ranges in scope from short comments on blogs, status updates on social networks and 140 character "tweets", to lengthy blog posts sometimes even containing original research. In comparison to conventional academic publishing, the social media landscape is extremely varied. Although the age demographic of social media users is becoming older and more inclusive, the typical social media user is aged 18-30, spends more time online and gaming than watching television, and gains a much higher proportion of their information by searching and social recommendations than through traditional publishing channels. Social media is the backbone of their information infrastructure. This talk will address the following questions:


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