NEW LOOK: Social media giant Facebook has updated its Like and Share buttons.
NEW LOOK: Social media giant Facebook has updated its Like and Share buttons. Alexander Kirch

Facebook has good points and bad. here's what we found

HALF of our group of six work experience students aren't on Facebook.

Social networking is a big issue and around the room there are differing opinions on whether teenagers should be allowed on these types of sites.

One of the main issues we found in speaking to our peers was cyberbullying.

According to the i-SAFE Foundation, more than half the teen population has been affected by this. The same number has also engaged in cyberbullying.

Self-image is also a major issue which affects not only teenagers but also people from different age groups.

"People are too focused on how they look on Facebook, rather than how they do in real life," said one of our classmates.

A teenage girl will not post a photo of herself just as she woke up. Instead, she will post the photo of the night before: a photo of herself out with friends, showcasing perfect hair and makeup as she pulls off the perfect peace and pout.

How she appears to the Facebook world is completely different to how she appears in the real world.

There are also serious dangers Facebook users are at risk of. Everyone is a target.

"I don't really think about who is going to see it," a local student said.

There are also many positive. Facebook is designed to keep millions of people connected. As anyone with internet connection has the ability to access the site, it is a worldwide phenomenon with more than one billion users.

How to save face and stay safe when online by Chelsea Smith

IF FACEBOOK is a challenge for teens, it's a minefield for parents. I want to share some tips on how we can stay safe online:

Privacy settings are often disregarded as being important yet can make all the difference. Adolescents are particularly at risk from online predators as their personal details are easily accessible. Sharing of details also increase the chance of identity theft occurring. Don't post details or photos that give clues about your whereabouts.

Much debate also surrounds how far parents should go to protect their children on Facebook. Some say parents should have their child's password, enabling them to have full access to what they see and do on the site. Others think this is an invasion of privacy.

There are other options for parents who are less extreme, such as adding their child as a friend. This allows them to monitor their actions in a less invasive way.

Access to Facebook is now even easier, forcing potential users and parents to weigh up the positives and negatives of this new social interaction.

I left Facebook to return to the real world by Kirsten Kemp   I HAD Facebook for nearly four years and I loved chatting to friends, sharing photos and having a good time online.   Although I did like it, there were always people waiting to write negative things about everything I did.   This didn't just happen to me though, it happens to too many people and I do know people who have experienced serious depression from bullies online.   We are told to ignore these comments and block and delete them off Facebook, but for many people that's just not good enough as some hurtful comments can stay in your head and you can't exactly block these people in real life so it can be an awkward and scary situation seeing someone around town who has been bullying you.   I started to realise that I was wasting my time on Facebook and it was consuming my life a bit so I deleted my account.   It was hard at first as Facebook is very addictive but I soon got used to it and stopped checking my phone every minute of the day and was very happy.   I was able to socialise better with people in real life and I stopped worrying what people thought of me because I wasn't writing out all my thoughts to everyone.   I'm not saying Facebook is a bad thing but I do know there is too much bullying on this website and I think that is disgusting.   People are also wasting a lot of their life when you could be spending all that time living your own happy life instead of watching everyone else's go by.   Here are a couple of tips from me:

  • Think before you post
  • Don't share your password with your friends or anyone
  • Only accept friend requests from people you know
  • Learn about privacy settings
  • Don't put anything you wouldn't want your grandparents to see
  • Be aware that everything you post will be permanent

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