After quite a bit of thinking I have come to the realization that social networking sites have actually changed the mind-set of the youth.Have you ever noticed that when young people hangout they are more interested in the taking photos, and updating the virtual world rather than enjoy the event that they attend? I believe that the mind sets are one in which they update the sites to seek approval from friends. They look forward to the likes and comments on their photos. These sites in my opinion gives a sense of ‘being somebody’.
Another aspect of how their mind-set has changed is by their lack for privacy. Young people often use social sites to update their status, and whereabouts. With their updates they often tell people what they are thinking or what their next move will be. Is this really a good thing?
I would like to say that I am not “bashing” the sites or the youth but I would just like to say that these social sites can be used in a more productive way than they are being used right now. For example we can use the sites to promote our career, share our views, and waste less time. Let’s use the social networking sites more productively, to our benefit.
So it’s been a while since I have discussed the issue of social networks and the youth. What I decided to do this week was to just observe my surroundings particularly in class. I tried to pay special attention to people who were using the schools computers and their laptops. Not that I was prying into their business.
It was exactly what I expected. Almost 95% of the screens were facebook pages. You would think that the intensity at which they were staring at the screens would be to try to figure out some difficult assignment, but on the contrary of course it was only facebook.
I sat in the back of the classroom during a lecture, and three people sitting in the front row were busy typing on facebook and twitter. I wonder if the lecturer actually thought the students were listening and taking notes.
It is amazing how much we have become so hooked on the social networks. Some students say they go on social sites during class to stay awake because the lecturers seldom engage the students. Some students say social sites are a form of relaxation.
Is it relaxing or distracting? Do the social sites affect how much we participate in class? Do they affect how we perform at school? Another question I have is: Should students and teachers be friends on facebook?
Should Language be censored? Do we believe that personal information should not be accessed by others? Social networking sites are frequently used as a medium for freedom of expression. Very often people use and abuse social networks to express their views. They sometimes go over the limit.
People malign others through social networks and are comfortable because they could falsify their identity. Young people frequent the social networks and as a result should be protected from abuse by censoring these networks.
Social networks can be accessed by many. As a result false rumors can spread quickly and have serious repercussions. For example; there were recently tweets about gunmen attacking schools in Mexico which led to at least 26 car crashes. Countries such as India are now undergoing their social renaissance. After a court ruling, Google and Facebook were forced to remove information that was offensive to Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
The young people in our society should be protected from fear, panic, pornography, obscenity, and emotional stress. As a result social networking sites should be censored in order to prevent harm. Social networks should be proactive rather than reactive.
Social networks continually evolve, and attract more young people around the globe. As these social networks evolve people continue to use them because they now have more to explore. These social networks become somewhat more addictive. The young people in particular begin to explore and experiment.
What used to be done by young people in the privacy of their rooms is now being done on social networks. For example; instead of posting pictures of their favorite actors or actress on the walls in their bedrooms they are now posting them on their facebook walls.
Many different identities can be created through the social networks. This can increase the likelihood of bullying, and also can cause one to engage in harmful contact.
There can also be advantages such as building a wide circle of friendship. For example I have a friend who met his wife through facebook. Social networks also give the youth a greater avenue to express their views on current issues.
Social networks are now being viewed as the new “hangout spots”. The youth now hang out with each other through social network sites rather than chilling together at the mall. This can cause them to become more impersonal. However, are social networks totally taking over the lives of our young people?
It is so funny that Facebook and other social networks are called “social” networks because I think they cause young people to be less social. Young people in particular, become so engrossed when they visit the sites that they barley have time to look up for one second. How ironic; it’s called social network and the kids hardly have anytime to socialize or interact face to face with each other. Young people now have a hard time letting go of their phones.”Blackberry Messenger” and “Whatsapp” have now become the latest addiction.
Professors are frustrated because of the distraction that cell phones cause in the classroom. Some professors have banned the use of laptops in classrooms because the students pay more attention to “facebook” than their professors. Someone introduced me to this link and I think you should take a look at it to see the extent of addition to social media http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/08/students-tech-use-stats_n_846568.html. Some young people even claim that “they can’t live without it”. How do we solve this problem? Or should I say, “Can this problem be solved?” Is it the responsibility of parents or the responsibility of the people who introduced the social networks to control how the youth use these social networks?
Stay tuned for information next week on “Social Networks and the Affects on Youth in Society”……