By: Jordy Najera
Times have changed; today's teens don't talk, they chat, they don't compliment they give it a like. Social media sites such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook have taken complete control of a teenagers daily life, but how sure are you that your “friends” are real?
Facebook has been one of the most popular social media sites since it first launched on February 4, 2004. From that day till now, Facebook has 1.18 billion active users monthly. Even though Facebook isn't as popular in todays teens, many of them still use it. According to Joan Goodchild, senior editor of CSO Online; Facebook is unsafe. In the show “The Early Show of Saturday Morning” she shared information that she had found by doing deep research into Facebook. Things like information being shared with third parties, privacy settings becoming even more unsafe after each redesign, ads that appear on Facebook may contain malware (software that are created to damage computers), and it makes it easier for scammers to create fake profiles.
To stay safe, it is recommended for young adults to only add people who they know. “I only add people I know.” Facebook user Belerofonte Mar said.
In the other hand, Snapchat became trending topic since it came out in September 2011. It is the most efficient way for teens to communicate today.
Snapchat seems to be one of the safest apps for students at Samueli Academy. “I think snapchat is safe; you have to give people your username and they are usually unique”. Said Mayleen Batres. “I think snapchat is easier to control.” a Samueli Academy student, Brenda Montes, agreed.
That's not the problem. According to Connect Safety; snapchat is considered “the sexting app”. The worst part is that this is happening with people they know. According to Fox News; these pictures don't disappear. There's ways to save snaps by a screenshot or using other apps such as Snapchat Safe.
The real danger started October 6, 2010, when Instagram was released. Instagram has billions of users monthly and approximately 60% are from outside the United States. According to Chicago Now; Instagram reveals user's locations. “When I created an account, one of the first things it showed me was other users near me, many of them my daughter's classmates, and showed me where they lived. Scary.” Shannan Younger stated in her article “Keeping kids safe on Instagram: What parents need to know”.
The numbers were surprising when a survey at Samueli Academy showed that 81 students out of 100 surveyed said they didn't know exactly who they followed or who followed them. Many of them letting themselves get guided by looks, and others because they are simply not informed. “I'm not quite informed of the dangers” said Leslie Mateo. This is an alerting sign.
Parents are responsible for their kids safety. Many parents aren't aware of these social sites; it is important that as a parent you're informed of what your child is doing. “I monitor everything that my daughter watches; putting a 30 minute limitation has been key.” Mrs. Diaz said.
After looking at the data, and being informed of what's going on with students and social media staff showed their concern. “I worry for kids whose parents aren't savvy with social media.” Mrs. Rosemary said. Many parents work a night shift making it hard for them to monitor what their kids do. “Students share information with strangers,” Miss Bilderback said, “they know exactly what they are doing.” Miss Bilderback said.
The social media population is growing. It is time that we have our eyes open for predators. Let's inform our teens and keep them safe. Let's keep ourselves safe.
Editor Board, 2017-2018
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