I recently read an article about how troubling Facebook can be for teenagers who are literally growing up on the site. Nowadays, kids are having activating Facebook before their 13th birthdays so they end up having a Facebook for all of their teenage years. The issue with being so young on Facebook, is that teenagers aren’t mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions. According to the article I read, 70% of the students polled at Stanford posted something that they wish they hadn’t. This article goes on to talk about the 3 main issues relating to teenagers and Facebook, it’s called the RAP. The R stands for relationships, the A stands for addiction and ADHD, and the P stands for privacy.
How people are forming and keeping up with relationships these days is completely different from previous generations. Entire friendships are based off of wall posts and uploading pictures together, and it seems as though every moment of a friendship is documented. I notice this the most a boyfriend and girlfriend. It really comes across as a big production of ‘look how perfect and happy we are.’ Boyfriends posting on their girlfriends wall telling them how much they love them, and how amazing they are, while all of the girlfriends’ friends comment on how great he is. Personally, I find it nauseating. But for many couples, their entire relationship is all online for everyone to see. I don’t think that’s how quality relationships built to last are formed or maintained. On top of that, many interactions occur mainly on Facebook. It’s a completely different set of social skills. So while there are new jobs forming aiming to market products or ideas on social media sites, it’s still important to be able to have face-to-face interactions and many teenagers these days are skipping the face-to-face and replacing it with a computer.
The A stands for Addiction and ADHD. My last blog went really into this idea and how with so much technology it’s becoming hard for younger kids to entertain themselves or even stay focused. While I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to Facebook, I would say it has had a negative impact on my grades. It’s habit to do a half hour of work, than go on Facebook for 20 minutes or so. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve though how I wish these sites just never existed, especially late at night when I’m doing last-minute homework! It really does become a slight addiction, to see what other people are doing, what you’re missing out on, and even just out of boredom to check out these sites. The impact really comes when students are having shorter attention spans, we come from a world that is so fast paced and quickly changing that to sit in a classroom for an hour just isn’t doing it for us anymore. Many parents feel their child has ADHD, but how many of those children are just using technology way too much?
As I said earlier, many students have said something on Facebook that they later regretted. This is directly related to privacy, the P in the RAP. One quote I liked from this article was, “So many kids self-reveal before they self-reflect.” When you’re a teenager you very rarely think of the consequences of your actions, especially when fueled with anger, jealousy or similar emotions. It’s really important to think before sharing something on sites like Facebook because not only could it really hurt someone else’s feelings, but a lot of times it will have a negative impact on the person who wrote it.