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Okunyi a 16-year-old from Seattle, WA. She enjoys to read, write, knit, and play soccer. Her favorite subject is chemistry because she wants to be a pharmacist.

Can you remember a time in your life when things seemed to be simpler? A time when a person would call another to see how they were doing or when they’d go over to their house to visit. That’s how life appeared to be before the dominance of social networking sites. They have in many ways changed the way people communicate. A frequently used site is Facebook, it’s where people can reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Facebook can be very convenient but, in some ways it’s cutting down the amount of time that teens actually spend together. When not handled properly, Facebook can become addicting and it’s hard to go out and hang out with your friends when you are already able to talk to them online.

Before I had a Facebook account, I felt oblivious to a lot of the things that went on at my school. When I was younger I came home, did my chores, and occasionally phoned my friends. But it’s always hard to know everything that’s happening in your peer’s lives. Going to school the next morning and finding out that a major event has occurred without your knowledge can be quite devastating to a kid. I would always wonder how the news spread around so quickly. But when I discovered Facebook I understood how teens were able to disperse information so fast. I also found that people are more likely to share information via Internet. When someone writes on our wall or replies to something that we wrote, it makes us feel good about ourselves.  Facebook has given me, and many other teens, the opportunity to instantly connect with others.

Due to the convenience of Facebook I was once able to complete a project with my lab partner online, since our schedules were so conflicting. We split up roles and each decided how we’d put it together when we arrived at school. At first I thought it wouldn’t work because it seemed like it would be difficult to do but, being able to communicate in another way made it possible. When we arrived at school we put the work we did separately together, reviewed our notes and presented the project. So don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely got its perks; before Facebook I probably wouldn’t have known how to fix that situation. In the days before Facebook, in order to make a friend you’d have to approach a person and talk to them. But now with the friend request button, it’s just a click away. It also used to be difficult for me to keep in touch with my old friends. Now when using Facebook, all you have to do is a “person name search” and your connection has a chance to be renewed. At times I try to think back to how life was before all of this but it can be hard. Facebook is fun but, it’s important to remember to make time to go out and explore life.

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