Evangeline is a homeschooler from Malaysia. She enjoys reading, writing, book blogging, editing Wikipedia, listening to music and surfing the internet.
I was 14 years old when I created a Facebook account. I had heard about Facebook from an internet friend and of course, I just had to create an account. I had a vague idea of what Facebook was and I did not know about what a powerful weapon this social networking tool could be.
More than three years have since passed. I still have my Facebook account, and I am more than ever active there.
Here is a list of pros and cons of Facebook. I am a little bias since I’m an active user in Facebook, but here’s the list anyway.
Pros of Facebook –
- I can virtually connect with online friends in Facebook. I have never met some of my Facebook friends and most of them live on the other side of the world. But, thanks to Facebook, I have a glimpse of what’s going on in their lives and even know some of their personal information. Some Facebook users have no qualms when it comes to divulging personal information!
- Facebook is a very useful tool when it comes to spreading news and information. Just imagine, the average user on Facebook has 130 friends. One day, this average user posts a message on his Facebook wall about a certain piece of “interesting” news. He asks his friends to re-post on their Facebook walls. If 10 of his friends does that and if each of these 10 friends has 130 friends each, over a thousand people would have read that “interesting” piece of news on that day. And we’re just talking about the average user. We’re not even talking about the active users. According to the Facebook Statistics page, the site has 500 million active users and 50% of these active users log on to Facebook on a daily basis.
Cons of Facebook –
- Facebook is not a safe place. Many times, crime offenders met their victims over Facebook. No one can know for sure who is behind that computer screen managing that Facebook account.
- As I mentioned earlier, some Facebook users divulge personal information. I have viewed Facebook profiles where addresses and phone numbers are displayed prominently. I don’t know why Facebook has these information fields, but they should never be in this site.
- Abuse profiles and pages exist in Facebook even with many reports made against them. A few months back, I reported a Facebook page that was abusing kids in a US school. I wasn’t the only one reporting that page. Unfortunately, Facebook did not shut down that page despite the obvious disparaging remarks that were being made in it. It is very easy to find abuse pages and profiles against public figures, especially politicians and celebrities, in Facebook.
- Facebook can be used as a weapon. Many times, false rumors are posted in Facebook and no one checks whether the rumor is true or not. People can and have been slandered in. It is very easy to abuse the usage of a network of friends and use it to spread false rumors.
All that being said, I am not going to say whether a person should have a Facebook account or not. At the end of the day, a Facebook user is responsible for his security, privacy and what he does or does not post in Facebook.
Someone once said that Facebook is a necessary evil. I disagreed. Facebook is good, although it can be bad when usage of it is abused. My advice? Use it wisely. Play smart.