What are the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook?

The world’s most popular social network. People use Facebook to connect with high school friends, co-workers, and other people in their network. Teens use Facebook to keep in touch with their friends, share memes and often document every minor aspect of their lives with pictures and statuses.

Is this a good idea?
Are we being swept up in a global Facebook obsession?

Here are the some advantages and disadvantages of Facebook –

Advantages

  • It’s easy – Setting up a profile is a smooth process, and the relatively uncluttered UI of the site is easy to navigate and use. It’s free and all you need is an internet connection and any device that can connect to the internet, mobile phones included.
  • Beyond boundaries – Facebook transcends all physical boundaries, and lets your kids connect with far away friends and distant family. Your kids can easily be informed about what goes in the lives of people who are physically distant. Your child decides who to share with. Your child can choose who they would like to share their status updates, photos or check-ins with.
  • A place to share thoughts, causes and ideas – Your child can interact with kids with similar interests and ideas across the globe. They can join groups and support fan pages, and find out what other kids are interested in.
  • Enhances social skills – Facebook allows kids to keep up with current friends and make new ones. When used in the right way, social media can increase a child’s self-esteem and help them feel less isolated, as if they belong to a group. Facebook also allows those who are shy or have trouble making friends to socialize more easily. And let’s face it – everybody’s on it.
  • It’s educational- A majority of  teens use social networking to discuss school work and share discussions about school assignments.
  • Promoting Your Business – Opening a business can be difficult. However, Facebook has tools that try to make it easier. Facebook allows business owners to create a business Facebook page to gain more customers and grow their business.For a fee, Facebook allows you to customize an advertisement that describes your business, and add a picture for the world to see. Once the advertisement is approved, it will be visible to users who fall into the target audience you select. You can set your target audience by defining the age, location, and marital status of the type of person you would like to attract.

Disadvantages

  • Privacy – Privacy is a major concern for most Facebook users, and it’s really important to understand the site’s privacy settings and set them accordingly. And even though a lot has been done to improve the site’s security, it can still be confusing. As a result, hackers can have access to- and misuse- personal information.
  • Time consuming – Facebook is a real time guzzler – your kid could be playing outdoors, doing homework or doing other more meaningful things.
    “One-in-three parents say they have had concerns or questions about their child’s technology use in the last year”.
  • Freedom of expression – Other kids (or even your own for that matter) on Facebook could misuse that freedom and post offensive or inappropriate content, which your kids will see! And this leads us to the next point.
  • Kids can be mean – cyber bullying can be a real problem. There are even some documented cases of kids who committed suicide after being bullied on social networks!
  • Things aren’t always what they seem – There are many fake Facebook accounts, information that is misrepresented – your child could be exposed to these.
  • It’s addictive – Besides all the social features there are games on Facebook that can be very addictive.
  • Its anti-social – For your kids online interaction could become a replacement for face-to-face meetings. This can hurt social development and isolate your kids.
  • It can hurt their future – kids can post regrettable information or photos that will be discovered by college admissions or potential employers in the future. Once information goes online, it never goes away.

Conclusion

Before you become a user, it is helpful to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook. Facebook is a place where you can broaden your horizons and learn different things. However it can also be a place where all sorts of bullying and vapid self-image obsessions take place. When you become a Facebook user, you have control over your account. Only add the people you wish to be friends with and take care with your privacy settings.

Source – nobullying.com and puresight.com

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