Facebook is one of the most exciting and most dangerous new technologies to come into our lives. On one hand it’s a great way to stay in touch with one’s family and friends but on the other it’s gives us yet another opportunity to put things up on the Internet as a reckless teenager, that we may regret later on in life.
I remember when I first got my Facebook. I was in a hotel room somewhere during a tennis tournament and on a whim decided to get one out of boredom. For me, it was a big deal because I was the first person in my family to get one.
Being only 13 at the time, I didn’t fully understand the risk that I was subjecting my self to by presenting myself with the opportunity to document every thought that crossed my mind and every picture I was in.
But before I even got one, both of my parents warned me many times of the negative effects social media can have on your future by telling me stories of people not getting jobs or into the college of their choice, or even being fired because of their social media page. But I don’t think I realized how right they were until later.
If you didn’t know me and began stalking my Facebook, you would learn that I play tennis, spend a lot of time hanging out with my friends, usually at a bonfire somewhere, and was really into posting every single thought I had in middle school. Then if you looked through my pictures you would realize that I don’t upload many, in fact, my friends posted the majority of the photos on my page.
One important thing about my Facebook, that I’m proud of, is that there is nothing that could potentially harm me when applying somewhere for school or for a job later in life. No pictures, no posts. There also is no inappropriate language. This is because one of my personal rules is that if I don’t want my grandmother to know about it or if I don’t want to talk about it in person to people, then I shouldn’t post it.
Another good rule that I’ve followed is to never post when I’m in an extreme emotion, like really happy, upset, angry, or sad, because whatever it is I want to post, I usually regret it later on.
One of the most important things to me is that I don’t want someone to see my Facebook and find out too much about me, just the basics like the different sports I play, that I sang throughout school, actually attend to school, that kind of stuff.
These rules that I’ve set for my self have worked really well thus far. When I look back, there is nothing that I really regret and there’s nothing that could cause me trouble in the future. Throughout my years on Facebook a number of my friends have felt negative effects from it. For example, one of my friends had a full ride to play tennis for University of Tennessee, until one night she posted pictures of her drinking on Facebook. The next day coach called her to revoke her scholarship because of it. Another one of my friends had a friend who hacked his Facebook and posted something inappropriate as a joke without telling him. When he was looking for a job, his potential employer saw it and denied him the job because of it. These are just two horror stories resulting from someone’s Facebook use, but these are real scenarios that could happen to you if you don’t set guidelines for your self.
In general, I recommend having a Facebook and I think it’s okay for teens if they use it correctly. If you’re 13 and reading this, thinking about getting a Facebook, or even if you already have one, I hope that the ideas above help in giving you an idea of what kind of rules you should set for your Facebook, because life is already hard enough so don’t end up making it harder because of something stupid you posted on Facebook when you were 13.