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Facebook can be described as a social networking site where people connect with the people in their lives and make online friends. When Facebook was founded, its main objective was to help people to connect with the people who are in their lives easily. However, users of Facebook have oftentimes misused it, and thus the networking site poses several risks to its users (Freouf 1). Among the users who face the biggest risk when using Facebook are teenagers, who may be blackmailed and manipulated through Facebook. It is, therefore, the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are not addicted to Facebook. This paper is an in-depth analysis of the risks that Facebook poses to children and the steps that parents should take to ensure that their children do not become victims of Facebook use.
Children, mostly teenagers are increasingly becoming addicted to Facebook. This poses a threat to their welfare. For instance, some teenagers become addicted to Facebook to the extent that they are unable to concentrate on their studies. Teenagers may spend so much time on Facebook that they may be unable to complete their homework. They may also be unable to study books due to their Facebook activities. Others even go to the extent of using their mobile phones to access Facebook, which makes it easy to access the site while in class. The result of this is that the grades of these children will drastically drop, courtesy of Facebook (Ferree 1). In addition to this, sex pests and criminals have been using Facebook as a platform for reaching their victims. Cases of children being sexually molested after meeting their molesters on Facebook are common. Most of these pedophiles pose as fellow teens and post appealing photos to win the trust of their victims. In 2010, three teenagers were murdered in Colombia after their names were posted on Facebook in a list of people to be killed (Schroeder 1). It is indubitable that Facebook played a great role as a platform facilitating the murder of these teens.
On the other hand, Facebook is a great platform if used for good reasons. Teenagers can use Facebook to communicate with their peers about social activities. This will make the children engage in healthy activities like games, socializing, etc., which will affect their grades positively. Additionally, Facebook makes children become technology/computer savvy quickly, and thus, if it is used well, it will be beneficial in the lives of the children (Fenichel 1). Facebook can also be used by Family members to contact each other in cases where its absence could lead to a desperate situation. Take the example of a lost teenager who does not have a way of calling home. All he/she will need to do is to contact his/her family members through Facebook, and the family will be able to trace him/her.
It is common knowledge that Facebook is meant to be productive. The fact that a few people are misusing it does not mean that people should stop using it. This, therefore, calls for responsibility on the part of Facebook users. It is wise for Facebook users to avoid adding strangers as friends on Facebook. Users should also ensure that their accounts are satisfactorily secured to avoid unauthorized access to their personal information. This also calls for proper guidance of teenagers by their parents. The parents should also make sure that they are vigilant enough to ensure that their children do not get addicted to Facebook.
From this argument, the solution does not lie in refraining children from using Facebook, but it lies in regulating their Facebook activities and reigning in the kind of people the children befriend on Facebook. Parents should ensure that their children do not become addicted to Facebook by regulating the amount of time that the children spend on Facebook. This will ensure that the academic welfare of the children is not affected by Facebook. They should also forbid their children from any kind of friendships and communication with strangers because this can jeopardize the security of the children (“The Way Out” 1). Parents should also talk to their children about the security threats that Facebook poses to them. The children should be aware of the activities and tricks of pedophiles and criminals so that they can be able to identify and report them when they encounter them on Facebook.
From this discussion, it is apparent that Facebook is just like any other good thing in life. People like misusing useful things in life to satisfy their desires. The bright side of this issue is that if Facebook users take care while using the platform, the sex pests, and criminals will never get them. Responsible use of Facebook will also ensure that people, especially children, do not get addicted to Facebook. It is thus of the essence for parents to guide their children on the use of Facebook, and be watchful to ensure that their children do not become victims of the irresponsible use of Facebook.
Fenichel, Michael. “Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD)”. 2011.
Ferree, Eliza. “Does Your Teen Have a Facebook Addiction?” 2010. Web.
Freouf, Bobbie. “Facebook Addiction”. 2011. Web.
Schroeder, Stan. “Three Teens Murdered After Appearing on Facebook Kill List”. 2010.
The Way Out. “Advice to Parents about Facebook”. 2011. Web.