For today’s teens, Facebook, Whatsapp, Hangout and other social networking sites have become household names. An individual who does not have a Facebook account is likened to a Neanderthal! Going by statistics, social networking is a fad that is here to stay. Before you plunge into the virtual world, BEWARE! Excessive networking can have negative consequences!
- Do you often remember your friend in kindergarten who shared his Tiffin with you and wonder where he is now? Log on to the above-mentioned sites, build your profile and soon you shall unearth long-lost friends.
- Social networking sites permit cross-cultural discussions and exchange of ideas over a multidimensional platform, offering an opportunity to experience news and happenings from a different perspective. Wouldn’t it be far more interesting to hear your American friend’s account of Justin Bieber’s concert rather than reading about the same in the newspapers? When you air your views, remember that the cultural context and language can vary across continents. So choose your words with care.
- You can discuss books, movies, songs, television series and sports, share jokes and pictures and even seek advice from your online friends. However, keep in mind that online relationships are somewhat surreal and transient. They cannot truly match the warmth of a real life interaction. A smiling emoticon cannot replace your friend’s toothy grin, can it?
- Building your profile and writing blogs are a great way to inform the world of your identity. But cyber bullying and emotional distress do exist. So participate but exercise caution. Include only trusted friends in your group. Keep your language clean and friendly. Do not disclose any personal facts or defame anyone. Follow the standard principles of Internet safety.