This Article is About
teenagers
journal of adolescent health
social networking sites
social networking site
sex crimes
facebook
privacy settings
online predators
false sense
monitoring software
anonymity
Is Facebook Dangerous For Teenagers?
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Is Facebook Dangerous for Teenagers?

Facebook is a social networking site with more than 845 million active users. When Facebook was first launched you had to have a valid college email address if you wanted to become a member. This has changed. Now anyone 13 and over with an email address can sign up for Facebook. Facebook is a very popular social media site amongst teenagers.

Why is Facebook so popular? Facebook allows teens to personalize their page and craft their identity. They can join groups and “like” their favorite musicians, TV shows, authors and organizations. Facebook is an easy way for teens to post and view pictures. These pictures help show others who they are and how much fun they are having. Teenagers can also “check in” at public places. Facebook is great for letting their friends know who they are and where they are but what about strangers?

Facebook can give teenagers a false sense of privacy and a feeling of anonymity that can put them in danger. Online predators can use your teenagers “likes” in order to strike up conversation. They can also use your child’s profile to find out where the teen is located. They often post too much personal information on their page. They will also accept “friends” who are total strangers or friends of friends. This is very dangerous. In 26% of online sex crimes against minors, offenders disseminated information and/or pictures of the victim through the victim's personal social networking site. (Journal of Adolescent Health 47, 2010)

Teens are not always honest about what they are doing online. As parents we need to be aware of their Facebook activity. We should check their privacy settings, review their friend list, and ask questions. Some teens will allow their parents to “friend” them on Facebook, and will then create another page that is hidden from their family. I would also suggest an affordable monitoring software. Most monitoring software will allow you to record your teens activity in chat rooms, social networking sites, instant messaging and email..

Please speak with your teens about online predators. Explain to them why it is important not to post personal information on Facebook and other social media sites. Monitor their activity and watch for warning signs. It is very important for parents to be aware of their teens online activity and do what they can to keep them safe. And make sure you report any inappropriate activity to the website or a law enforcement agency immediately.


Street Talk

Good information but it is hard to read your kids facebook pages. I feel it is important to trust your kids but still watch over them. The Monitoring Software can be a good idea. Like all things that watch over your kids they have to be aware of it. Just like watching over their texting and e-mail. Sit down and talk to your kids about this and also let them know we want you safe and we trust you but not what can happen to you without you knowing that it is happening to you. Trust but do be blind to what can happen.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for info. Excellent article.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Joan S  

Makes me nervous too. Kids put everything out there without thinking about who's reading it. Not sure I would want my kids on Facebook. Sometimes kids brag to each other about how cool they are, and make up stories that will come back to haunt them when they enter the job market. Not to mention perverts. I think it's dangerous.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Another good article full of real useful advice.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Stacy, It's scary! Thanks for bringing up an important topic -- and covering it well. From a marketing perspective? Requiring a valid college email is a brilliant strategy for starting social stuff online. Interesting idea they had to slip into a culture that would help them go mainstream fast when they were ready. Thanks for pointing that out too!! blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I like the picture you've used with this Stacy. I remember watching the YouTube clip a while ago and found it a bit disturbing.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for a great article Stacy. Vigilance is the only way to keep the kids safe.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thank you John.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Good article Stacy, yes trust in your kids today must have a total differing field to when mine where that age. Their friends called at the house to visit, we could see them, today it must be so much more difficult vetting their friends when they only visit on FB.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Very true.. thank you for reading my article Rob :)

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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