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Status Update Essay

1495 words - 6 pages

Status Update
“Tom Mullaney was a lively 15-year old boy with no history of being bullied, but all it took to shred his world apart was one night with 12 threatening Facebook messages from 6 of his classmates. His father found him in the shed at the back of the garden, hanged” (Doucet 1). Situations like this occur more and more as social networking grows in popularity, especially among adolescents. Though many individuals own accounts on social sites, privacy settings may not exist or are not enforced, leaving millions of users vulnerable to attack. By strengthening the privacy protocols of social networks, users will be capable of operating them securely without discomfort.
Communication and socializing with friends and family was the original idea of social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, however implementing privacy settings may hinder the opportunity for users to conversate. By adding profiles or following accounts, users can connect and form relationships with acquaintances. These sites also aid in “the transition from high school to college life”, giving students the advantage of knowing some individuals before the big move (Johnson 1). Enforcing the privacy settings will prevent students from introducing themselves to their future classmates; social networks give them the opportunity to avoid face-to-face confrontations. It gives a more comfortable approach to making friends. “These days, students increasingly come to freshman orientation knowing 30 or 40 people rather than being just vaguely acquainted with their roommate from the awkward phone call in which they decide who is bringing the microwave, Roche said” (qtd. in Johnson 1). Social networking websites serve as tools for people, young and old, to become sociable; however, placing limitations on a user’s profile may reduce the possibility of mingling with friends and family.
The news and reports are spread through media, especially online through social websites; privacy policies can hinder the distribution of these reports. By logging onto their accounts, users discover what happens in their lives. Randi Zuckerberg, a businesswoman and the sister of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, gives her personal anecdote of how her news feed saying “my Facebook friends have broadened my horizons and introduced me to new things I never would have discovered before” (1). If a course of action was to take place for privacy, many participants would not be connected to the world around them. Social networks are tools; they spread news between, what seems to be, two unconnected places. Janic Tremblay, a Canadian journalist, conducted an experiment with four other French-speaking reporters. They isolated themselves, only communicating through Twitter, to see how news travels through the social networks. “Twitter can be like radar: On our first night in France, I went online and came across tweets from a man who had been arrested during a demonstration in Moscow earlier that day”...

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