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1. Are social networking Web sites appropriate for teenagers Or should their access to such Web sites be restricted - Essay Example

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The sites have features which allow users to create personal profile and network with friends and other users. Among users, teenagers are considered by parents,…
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Extract of sample "1. Are social networking Web sites appropriate for teenagers Or should their access to such Web sites be restricted"

Social networking web sites should not be restricted. They are appropriate for teenage users. Introduction Social networking sites are online web sites which allow users to create profile, and connect with other users online. The sites have features which allow users to create personal profile and network with friends and other users. Among users, teenagers are considered by parents, school officials and the government, to be most vulnerable (Madden) because they tend to post personal information which can be used against them. This is the reason why it is a debatable issue. However, in the authors view, social networking web sites have more benefits and advantages than its negative impacts. It is even appropriate for teenagers if they use it wisely, and should not be restricted.
Social networking web sites are appropriate for teenagers
One of the major concerns relating to social networking websites is that teenagers without realizing it a public domain, post personal information. Parents especially are concerned about teenagers posting personal information such as sexual behaviors, religious orientation, violent information and substance abuse for the public to read. They become prey to pedophiles and other adults who can direct them towards negative social behaviors and lifestyles. However, according to Dr. Moreno, an assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Wisconsin-Madison (Gordon), such information can be used by parents and others who are concerned about teenagers to communicate with them. They can email teenagers to inform and guide them how to remedy risky behaviors and substance abuse.
Another major concern regarding teenage access to social networking web sites is its impact on the teenagers in the future. Around 90 percent of teenagers in the United States have access to the Internet (Gordon) among which 55 percent have used social networks with online profiles. The majority of the profiles belong to older teenage girls registered with sites like MySpace and Facebook (Madden). Since these teenagers use the web sites to connect with friends, make new friends and flirt around, they generally maintain a casual attitude towards their personal information. Parents are concerned about the impact such information lying in public domain have on their future careers and life. But such concerns are also baseless because Maddens survey indicates that teenagers today are wiser than before. They have restricted access to their profiles and only let those who they are acquainted with to view them.
Conclusions
These aspects lead the author to conclude that social networking web sites are not such a threat to teenagers as adults believe them to be. With a wise approach and understanding towards teenage behaviors and intelligence, adults can guide them to be even better online users. In fact as Dr. Moreno explains, these sites can be used to communicate with teenagers to deflect them from negative social lifestyles and behaviors. Instead, of "balking" at talking to teenagers regarding social networking web sites, adults should be more open about their access and perhaps even learn to use them to better understand why teenagers are more interested in such web sites. This is necessary in modern day and age of technological development.
Works Cited
Madden, Amanda L. Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Online accessed on 1 June 2010 from: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Social_Websites/
Gordon, Serena. Teens Divulge Risky Behavior on Social Networking Sites. The Washington Post, January 6, 2009. Read More
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