Monday, 7 November 2011

Social Networking Sites - What Makes Them So Appealing?

Hi there! Monday again and the start of another new week. I caught the bus into work again this morning and due to the driver's erratic driving skills, we almost crashed. Twice. However I arrived at work in one piece.

I logged into my homepage this morning and I noticed that there had been quite a few signups over the weekend, quite a few have also been verified too. One was even verified through webcam on Skype! We are averaging at around 4 – 5000 page views a day now so the word of must be catching on (I'm just glad it's not “the bird” anymore). Hooray!

I've been looking at some news articles over the last few days and found this one from the Daily Mail which is pretty alarming: .

For anyone that's reading this that thought “I'm not clicking that link, it's a long, boring news article!” It basically says that there are a million under 13s in Britain that uses facebook everyday. That's one in four pre-teens accessing it every single day. One user, lunepremiere from London has commented on the article and said “Notice they said a million use at least daily.. so yes, the real figure is probably higher!”. This statement is more than likely very true as most parents probably don't even realise that their child has signed up to the service.

So what makes sites such as facebook so appealing to these preteens?
Shy people like myself (although I'm not as bad now as I used to be), can bring out their extrovert personalities online e.g. by creating a blog or a page about their interests. They might speak to people from their school online that they would never have the courage to approach in real life for whatever reason. They don't have to be so afraid of being themselves as they can also go in search of other people on the internet for people with the same interests and problems as them.

The problem is, it's who they end up speaking to is the real issue. Just as it's easy for someone to reveal their true personality online, it's just as easy for someone else to hide theirs, and trick a vulnerable person into thinking that they are someone they can talk to.

There is no way of checking people's real identities on facebook, and just to prove a point, my dog even has an account! She has 42 friends and constantly gets new requests from strangers, even children sometimes. Although she has never accepted strangers onto her account, you can get my meaning of how easy it can be to get into contact with the wrong people. If you have a picture of a cute cuddly dog, people will want to speak to you and be your friend. Go figure! 

It is up to everyone to try and promote other alternative websites for pretreens and young teens to visit. Obviously I'd prefer it if they checked out as I know from first hand experience how safe it is, but as long as they are kept safe is the main priority.

Thanks for coming back to read my posts!


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