Social networks are a fun way to communicate, interact with friends, and enjoy online schooling, but are also harmful due to the harassment of cyber bullies and predators. Social networks/medias show their good side when we are all having fun on them, communicating with our friends. It is a fun and interactive way to converse, and meet new people; it gives people opportunities to learn characteristics that they have in common with each other, and make stronger relationships. Some people use Facebook, Twitter, and even Myspace to communicate with their friends; usually it is to make them aware of what you’re doing, going to do, or already have done, and meet new people, all through a fun, inventive way.
Cyber Predators find their victims through internet sources, which is often social media, to learn personal information, harass, and stalk their victims; in most cases causing physical, emotional, and/or mental harm to the victim. Cyber School is an effective way to receive an education over the internet and helps to balance a home, school, and work life; getting an education that is flexible to any schedule is a positive development. Social media is a fun and interactive way to converse with friends and meet new people; it gives people opportunities to learn about things that they have in common; and make a stronger relationship.
Cyber Bullies and Predators usually affect the lives of teenagers and children because of their vulnerability; “75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their families in exchange for goods and services;” A Cyber Bully is someone who uses the internet to torment another person using cruel words and hateful sayings to purposefully discourage them; a Cyber Predator is usually an adult internet abuser that exploits children or teenagers because of their lack of wisdom and their large amount of vulnerability.
Others might think that social networking isn’t helpful at all, that there is no use of it, and that it needs to be used less because of the lack of exercise children receive and connection it has to the increasing obesity growth rate or that it has only negative effects on its user’s safety. Social networking has changed how people live, work, and communicate by offering helpful schooling online, fun communication between others, but it also gives bullies and predators another method of victimizing others.
Social media, though it may be a fun way to interact with others, can be harmful when it comes to your safety; many people don’t realize that putting much of their information on the internet can invite unwanted problems to your life.Andrew Ferguson, author of the web article, “R U Tweeting 2 Much?” published by Gale Opposing View Points In Context, in 2011, implies, people spend too much of their time on twitter and they tweet about any and everything based on impulse. Social media can be a powerful tool for social change and an alternative to more traditional methods of communication. “Consequences from over-sharing personal information include vulnerability to sexual or financial predators and lost job opportunities from employers finding embarrassing photos or comments.”
No one would want their boss to see a picture on Facebook of their new employee getting drunk, so why would they put it up for the entire world to see? There is a saying that goes “If you wouldn’t want your pastor at church, your parents, or your boss to know/see, then don’t do it.” Socialnetworking.procon.org, updated in 2012, clarifies that, “43% of online sexual solicitors were identified as being adolescents (under 18), 30% were adults between the ages of 18 and 21, and 9% were adults over the age of 21 (as of Dec. 31, 2008).”
Predators can be any age; so if someone gets a friend request from a random person that they’ve never met before, but is the same age as them, they will probably accept the request; they think that because we are the same age, that the person must want to get to know me. Most people don’t worry about the harm that an unknown Facebook friend, or Twitter follower is capable of; they mostly think “Yay! A new follower/friend! I’m so popular!” Well, yeah, maybe they’re popular in the mind of a predator, but people should still watch out for situations like that because you never know when your life is at risk.
Cyber bullying is a form of harassment via social networks; it causes its victims – mainly teenagers between the ages of fourteen and seventeen – to become emotionally and mentally scarred by its use. The web article “Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society?” updated in September, 2012, urge, social networking sites make cyber bullying – a form of bullying that occurs online – easier and more public than bullying through other online activities such as email and instant messaging. Cyber bullying can be classified as just commenting on someone’s picture on Facebook, saying that their hair is really messed up. But other form’s of cyber bullying can be calling someone out in a status, calling them ugly, or fat, or any hurtful word. It can differ, but all forms of it can be hurtful and send anyone of the edge.
The web article “Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society?” updated in September, 2012, “A 2009 study found that 17.3% of middle school students have been victims of cyber bullying; victims often experience a drop in grades, decreased self-esteem, and other symptoms of depression.” Well, kids would drop their self esteem because their self esteem is built by their surrounding peers; and if their peers are nothing but a bunch of bullies then it causes a decrease. The web article “Cyber Bullying Statistics”, published in early 2012, realizes, around half of teens have been the victims of cyber bullying. Many teenagers and children do not care for people who are outside of their groups of friends, so they feel that if they are different than them in any way, or they do things that they don’t do, then they are weird and they don’t like them, so they bully them for being different.
Socialnetworks.procon.org, suggests, “Social networking sites make cyber bullying, a type of bullying that occurs online, easier and more public than bullying through other online activities such as email and instant messaging”. It’s easy for a child or a teenager to bully their peers, because kids just don’t care how they make each other feel; they don’t care about anyone but themselves in many situations. It’s also easy for a kid to call someone a mean name, but even easier to call them a mean name through a computer monitor; probably so they don’t have to deal with a conflict between the victims in person.
Cyber predators find their victims through internet sources; which is often social media to learn personal information, harass, and stalk their victims in most cases causing physical, emotional and/or mental harm to them. Michelle Dean, author of the web article “Amanda Todd: Cyber Bullied,” published in October 2012, comments, “The systematic way the harasser allegedly followed Todd to new schools, repeatedly posting the images and threatening to do it again, makes it textbook harassment regardless of the medium.” Some Cyber predators will stop at nothing to get what they want from their victim, no matter how far off the edge it will make the victim go; of course predators only think of themselves when it comes to their own wants.
The web article “Killer Created Facebook Profile to Lure Girl to Bushland,” published by Gale Opposing View Points in Context, in 2012, explains, A man [that stalks] a girl on Facebook, learns all about her life and interests to plot how he would murder her. A man kills a woman by making a fake Facebook profile and telling her that he is a part of an animal association, drawing her into his lies by knowing all of her interests because of shared online information. Cyber predators use the internet as their source to figure out any and everything that is in association with their victim’s life. They are a regular predator, searching the internet for, usually young, victims. Victims are younger because they are the ones that don’t really pay any attention to who they do and don’t talk to through the internet, and are the most open to making a conversation with a random person.
Communication between others over the internet can be fun and entertaining, but also it can be taken as a way of decline in our communication skills. Jonathan Cummings, author of the article “___________________”, published by _________ in ____, insists, Communicating through the internet is not as meaningful or reliable as face to face relationships. Although communicating through a computer monitor can be quite engaging, it isn’t as meaningful as chatting with someone in person; you can’t get the fullness of the conversation because you can’t see their emotions and actions. It just isn’t as much fun as a regular, in person conversation.
Jonathan Cummings, author of _______, published by ______, in ____, states, “Using the internet to build social relationships results in social interaction that is wanting, at least when it is explicitly compared to the standards of face-to-face and telephone communication, to social relationships that are primarily conducted offline, and to traditional small groups…the Internet is less effective than other means of forming and sustaining strong social relationships.” For instance, the internet can give you another form of communicating but it isn’t as insightful as having a conversation with someone in person. Many people are starting to enter the huge world that the internet holds, it may be very fun, but you can’t grasp the meaning of a good conversation when you are lacking one of the senses that most people include in their conversations; usually people’s actions or tone is what triggers a good, or meaningful conversation.
Social networking has changed how people live, work, and communicate in a positive light by offering helpful schooling online, interesting social communication between others, and negatively by giving bullies and predators another method to victimize others. To help prevent these situations, people could not add others on social media websites that you do not know and are actually friends with.
“Social networking sites have no way to verify that people are who they claim to be, leaving people vulnerable to solicitations from online predators who are able to mask their true identities.” Although it makes anyone seem like they’re super popular on Facebook when they have around 2,000 friends, they DON’T know them all. Maybe they know about 300 of them personally, but the rest are all people that they don’t even know. It’s not about having a lot of friends, it’s about having a safe life online. “Social media can be a powerful tool for social change and an alternative to more traditional methods of communication.”
Carter, Denise. “Living in Virtual Communities: Making Friends Online”. Taking Sides: Science, Technology, and Society. Eighth Edition. Thomas Easton. New York, NY. McGraw-Hill. 2008. Print. 15 Sep. 2012. Dean, Michelle. “Amanda Todd: Cyber Bullied.” The New Yorker. Web. 15 Sep. 2012
Ferguson, Andrew. “R U Tweeting 2 Much?” Commentary 131.1 (2011): 72+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 12 Sep. 2012.
“Killer created fake Facebook profile to lure girl to bushland.” Sydney Morning Herald [Sydney, Australia] 1 Sept. 2012: 5. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 12 Sep. 2012
“Social Networking.” SocialNetworking.ProCon.org. ProCon. 12 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Sep. 2012.
Tsukayama, Hayley. “Dreams of Ray Bradbury: Predictions That Came True.” Washington Post 6 June 2012. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 12 Sep. 2012.