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Exploring the dangers of Facebook

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Elizabeth Hjelvik

 

What is the point of Facebook? Since its launch in 2004, the social network has become increasingly popular. 

On his blog, founder Mark  Zuckerberg said, “I founded Facebook on the idea that people want to share and connect with people in their lives.” 

So why is it that there seems to be a large population of users that utilize Facebook as an online diary? 

I use Facebook for the purpose that  Zuckerberg had in mind, but I have seen countless posts in which the writer has shared too much information of what is occurring in their life or how they are feeling about a certain topic. In those moments I can’t help but think “No one cares, shut up, get off Facebook.” 

 Zuckerberg said that the people on Facebook are in control of what they write and share, but some people don’t know any better. 

There are two ways to let someone know they are sharing too much on Facebook:  when they are defriended or blocked by some or all of their friends or when they are reported to Facebook for sharing “inappropriate content.”

I do not understand how  Zuckerberg expects people to “control” what they say or write. Putting up a terms and service agreement is really not going to do that much, either. 

I feel as if I am speaking for a lot of people when I say no one reads the agreement, unless they are very bored. 

I appreciate Facebook and what  Zuckerberg is trying to do. I can play games with my friend in Utah that whom I rarely see. 

I can listen to music with that same friend. I can share photos that have some meaning to me with my family or instant message my friends, which is a lot easier than texting or emailing at times. 

There is a lot that Facebook has to offer but it is overshadowed by so many flaws, some of which can lead to very dangerous situations.

For example, Facebook has enabled people to take on false or anonymous identities, because they do not regulate whether a listed identity actually exists. 

This ultimately results in people being able to say whatever they want, whenever they want to, without any consequences.

Recently, a girl named Amanda Todd committed suicide because she was constantly cyber bullied on Facebook by someone who had a false profile. 

There have been multiple other news reports in which the same situation occurred and the fact that Facebook has absolutely no control in this situation, other than getting rid of the profile when it is reported, is simply ridiculous. 

Since Facebook is on the Internet, taking down a profile or deleting harmful posts isn’t good enough because once you put something on the Internet, it is always going to be there. Even if it was “taken down,” who knows how many people saw the post? 

People do not understand the repercussions of their actions on Facebook. 

A waitress in another state lost her job for posting a very negative status about a customer. 

It has also been reported that potential employers look at profiles of potential job candidates. So a picture of you having a good time with your friends may lead to you not being employed. 

Unless Facebook can somehow regulate what people say on
Facebook, I do not think it is a good idea for high school students or even college students to have a profile. I know of many teenagers that have their profiles regulated by their parents so they are forced to think about what they are going to post. 

Even though it’s strict, it’s a really good idea because Facebook will not regulate what is posted and majority of teenagers don’t know any better.