Friday, 28 February 2014

The Dangers of Social Networking

We all love a bit of social networking, whether its Facebook ( i live on Facebook), Twitter, Pinterest. But at least once it has got us all into trouble. I for one am always putting drunk statuses on, when i am out for the night - then removing them in the soberness of daytime.

I have a friend who got sacked once for writing about her job and slagging the boss off. Although the boss wasnt friends with this friend, she still got sacked for it, because all though we think our account is safe, it can still be viewed by others. Even those who are not on your circle lists (ie: Friends lists in Facebook, followers on Twitter, etc.) can still listen in to your conversations via wall posts and general tweets, responses to other tweets, etc. Think of it this way; if you are in a restaurant with your partner having a conversation over dinner it is reasonable to assume that if you are not a little more careful those at tables around you, even though not specifically involved in your conversation, can still hear what you are saying. Same thing with social media, except it is not so much your volume as it is the 'where' & 'what' your posting that matters more.

Many potential employers will look at your Facebook profile to check you out before they even think about employing you. So if your job hunting - think about what your writing.

How many times have we posted our holiday details on a social network?? we would never tell a stranger about our holiday details, but we will post it on-line for millions to see? It doesn't take much to find out where you live these days and before you know it, you have been burgled whilst your away.

There have been times when i have in the past met a bloke on an internet dating site, added them to my social networking site, looked at their photo's and got to know them more on their social network and then you go on a date with them - that's when you realise that thy are nothing like their photos, as they are 5 years out of date. Their personality is completely different, you can see they have hidden behind their social network and morphed themselves into a completely different imaginary person. You never really know who your talking to, until you meet them in real life. 

Social Networking is such a risk for children. My daughter was 13 when she joined Bebo, she hadn't been a member for long when a man 'friended' her and started to send suggestive messages, he said he was 25 and liked young girls like her. She was sensible enough to come to me and we went to the police and notified the school as she was using the school computer. But because the man declared himself to be 25 and wasn't claiming to be another child there was nothing they could do as he wasn't actually grooming her. 

You get the Facebook stalkers too, we have all had a Facebook 'friend' that looks at your profile all the time, then comment on everything, like everything and pm you all the time as if your best friend. 

Cyberbullying, its even worse than bullying in real life. someone sees something that they dont like, they latch on to it and the next thing they are being nasty and bullying you, we would never put up with it in real life but for some reason we put up with it in Social Networking. Its worse on the computer as others see your being bullied on your wall, they then join in as lets face it, everyone has an opinion!

There are of course some great reasons to have Social Networking, you meet new friends, who become very close to you. I met some amazing ladies when i was suffering from PND, they became lifelong friends and we trust each other with our lives. We can use it to keep in touch with our families and long distance friends. We use it as a diary, to keep photos of our loved ones and show our proud mummy moments.
So even with all the dangers of social networking, we still find the few positives and live life behind a computer loving everything we see!

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