Facebook: Weighing Its Pros and Cons

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.

 

 

1 thought on “Facebook: Weighing Its Pros and Cons”

  1. My daughter started asking for a FB account over a year ago. I had fears of internet predators and cyberbullying, so I tried to put her off by saying she needed to “campaign” for one. I challenged her to find 5 responsible adults in her life that thought she was both old enough and responsible enough to have a FB, and that would also “friend” her so that they could monitor her along with me. She was hardpressed to find those 5, even some of my best friends were unwilling to go so far as to friend her. So she recently got her fifth endorsement and everything is good so far. I think in the year it took to find those five people, she matured and we talked about the pros and cons (very similar to your list). Above all, I told her I would be watching her and her friends, that she should have no expecatation of privacy from anything that she posts or that her friends post. Since, she has asked friends to “tone it down” on language and inuendo because “my mom is watching you!” :) All in all, I think it was a good decision to go about it this way, it’s more work for me but that’s ok. All I want it to keep her safe and to help her make good decisions.

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