The Perils of Social Networking
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The Perils of Social Networking
A very good friend of mine told me a story about his daughter learning to drive. I could tell he was a bit perturbed. He began to tell me that he was excited to teach his daughter to drive and that it would be a good bonding experience. He told me about the times that were funny and the times where he was scared. Then he got a little quiet and told me that they were about four blocks from home, he told his daughter that she had done a good job, and then told her to take them home. It was what she said next that hit him in the side of the head and made him upset, not at her, but at himself. She only asked a simple question: “How do I get there?” It was then that he realized that not monitoring his daughter’s phone use had greatly hindered her ability to take in the things that are around her; the landmarks, buildings, streets, people walking and talking, mountains, parks and everything else there is to see. He knew that when she would get in the car with the family to go somewhere that she would be on her phone, but he never really paid much attention to it. It hit him the hardest when she got excited that she recognized a certain house, but nothing else up until that particular house, not by sight anyways. She mentioned that she knew about the speed bumps, but only because they would cause her to misspell things, or mess up on a game. That house was their neighbor’s house, the same house that they lived next to for the last eight years. As with anything that you want to last and endure the test of time, it has to have a strong foundation. The foundation has to be designed solid enough to hold whatever the engineer decides to build on top of it. If the foundation fails, so does the building. As the creator designs the foundation, parents are also obligated to create a way in which their kids learn essential skills as they are molded into this world. The way in which technology is advancing today is fast and ever changing. Over the past five years, social media sites like Facebook have become a central, virtually unavoidable medium for social interaction (Gosling, 2011). People are able to use social media in so many different ways to help accomplish various amounts of tasks. Unfortunately, I believe that parents use technological devices as a babysitter. They know that it will keep the kids in the house and safe, where they don’t have to have such a watchful eye. Is it really safe though? Do parents put a time restriction on their children’s device usage? Do they look through their phones to see what they have been looking at? Do they have access to their social networking site to monitor the people that they are friends with, the content they are viewing, the statuses they are posting and other activities that they may be doing online? Social media has harmed the individuals of America and been perilous by being physically harmful, tarnishing our outdoor experience, and degrading the quality of our youth’s communication.
As with every generation, there is peer pressure. I was about 18 years old when the social networking craze hit, and I didn’t care much for it. When I was a kid in school, and I was pressured to be a certain way or do certain things, the pressure ended when I was picked up and taken home. The heaviness was no longer around, I could be myself. With today’s generation, when they go home, their peer pressure goes with them. They hop on any given social networking site and there it is. When they can’t live up to standards that are placed on them; depression sets in (Farber, 2012). In more extreme cases, those that are prone to suicide have sites that they can go to that influence the infliction of physical pain. Facebook started in February of 2004 and they now have over one billion users and over half of them log in daily (Kiss, 2012). Yet there is very little research to determine how...
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