Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have exploded in recent years and young surfers in particular have become ardent fans of this dynamic and high-tech way to connect with the wider world around them, communicating with friends and hooking up with like-minded people. But as with everything in the virtual world, parents do need to understand how their children are interacting on social networking sites, and be sure their children know what to do if they have experience a bad or dangerous situation.
The definition of the social networking sites
Social networking is a way of connecting people in the virtual world. Social networking websites have exploded in recent years, …show more content…
The naive posting of personal details on your child's social networking profile leaves them open to online identity theft so it's absolutely vital your child never gives out personal details in any online context, including their address, phone numbers, email, and, if they are older, any bank or credit card information.
In addition to the above it's worth considering how your child may be impacted emotionally by frequent usage of social networking sites. Some experts have warned that sites such as Facebook can have a negative effect on children who are less confident and self-assured, as they can equate their happiness and success as individuals with how many friends they have on Facebook. Even if a child isn't being bullied as such, they can experience self-esteem issues if their online network isn't as big as their friends, or they have been excluded from a certain online group.
There are also concerns that young people are substituting their online relationships for physical ones, by spending more time in front of the computer than they do in the real world. And by not having to work at friendships, ironing out problems together when they arise - as is the case in the real world (on social networking sites you simply delete someone from your list of friends) - there is a worry that young people are losing their empathy and not