TMI: Too Much Information

social networking, online privacy, privacy settings, online profiles, facebookAlex is a 16-year-old girl from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She enjoys playing soccer, writing for her school newspaper and her favorite subject is History.  


Popular websites among teenagers like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Xanga and Tumblr make it easy to build a web of friends and acquaintances, and share with them photos, whereabouts, contact information and interests.

Sharing too much information on social networking sites can not only put personal safety at risk, but it can also reveal information that a future employer or college should not know.  Unfortunately, the Internet can provide a sense of anonymity and a false sense of security because of the lack of physical interaction with the outside world.

Also, teenagers tailor the information they post for only their friends to read, forgetting that others may see it.

According to a survey by Kaplan, an education company, 500 top colleges found that 10% of admissions officers acknowledged looking at social-networking sites to evaluate applicants. Of those colleges making use of the online information, 38% said that what they saw “negatively affected” their views of the applicants.

Many teenagers post detailed photos, videos and status updates on social media websites without thinking who might be on the receiving end of their information.  Advanced technology of the age makes everything on the Internet traceable.  So, teenagers, in order to filter what they post on the Internet, should frequently ask themselves, “Would I want my grandmother seeing that?”


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