People who want to keep in touch with friends and family commonly use Social Networking sites. The most popular of these sites include, Classmates, MySpace, Friendster, Live Journal, Twitter and the most common, Facebook. Facebook allows users to connect to others by sharing pictures, blogs, videos, interests and more and has taken over American teens and even adults. There have been sites long before Facebook was created but this fairly new site has become the most popular today by far. Since 2004 this site has gained over 175 million active users and is still growing.
It is tough to say when the issue over Facebook arose but within the past year debates have been coming up more frequently. The controversy over Facebook ignites debates among many because there are both good and bad to the site. Many people believe that Facebook is dangerous for users because of the amount of information that can be added on to one’s account. Also those who oppose the use of the site feel that time should not be spent online because it takes time away from family and puts more emphasis on virtual rather than physical relationships. Others feel that this site allows for socialization and is just a way to have fun and keep in touch with others. Supporters also believe it allows adolescents to be exposed to socialization, education, and is a way for youth to express creativity. Since there are many different subtopics within the issue it is hard to conclude which side is more accurate.
Researched Argument Part Two
To many people the pros’ of Facebook outweigh the cons’. The whole point to Facebook and other online social networks is that it forms, “Connections that cannot be formed due to geographical and physical restrictions and limitations” (Whittaker). It provides America’s youth an opportunity to learn, socialize, and express their own creativity. Ultimately it is a source of fun and entertainment.
The youth of today is responding most to sites like Facebook. More and more teens each day are logging on to create and customize their accounts to fit their personality. Supporters claim that by allowing adolescents access to sites like Facebook they can express their creativity and explore the new technology of today. More importantly, the online networks, “allow young people to approach each other on socially equal ground” (Whittaker). Safe places like Facebook allow adolescents to practice their social skills and meet people who share the same interests as them. Also, these places allow kids to, “feel comfortable exploring new experiences and exhibiting aspects of their personalities that they feel they have to hide at home or at school” (Whittaker). Along with the social connections Facebook provides, studies have shown that it follows an offline to online trend. In other words the friendships and connections people have made in person are using Facebook to keep those friendships in tact. Scientists believe this process of making friends and keeping in touch with them helps them build social capital. They believe, “the higher social capital causes better social health, better environments, and lower crime rates” (Whittaker). On the other hand, when friendships are made from online to offline the risk of identity theft and predation are greater.
It is apparent that with all the stress that comes with youth life that they need time and space to relieve that stress. Even studies have shown that students need social outlets outside the home and school to maintain their physical and mental well being. A “third space” as it is called allows adolescents to build relationships that are not influenced by the “social hierarchy” that is apparent in schools. This space also calls for an area where they can express themselves and socialize not dominated by adults. These places are key to socialization and are essential to young people because they can feel included.
Many people claim that social networking sites are...
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