The Networking Society
Social networks are seen to be almost exclusive to young people.
And even then with this ‘social networking generation’ it’s seen to be something quite unsociable.
But are either of these statements true?
For the most part I presume you could agree, but there are always exceptions to the rule. The age ranges between the social networks differ.
For instance, if you’re on Bebo, then you’re most likely to be an early teen testing the waters of the Internet.
MySpace can be seen as the late teen to early adult place to be, and Twitter is generally an adult place where people drink wine and discuss their opinions in 140 characters or less. Though, like I say, there are always exceptions to the rule.
Facebook is probably the most renowned for being generally open to all ages, whether you’re trying to organise a meet-up with your friends down the park, find out how your old classmates are doing, or just checking up on your farm on Farmville and making sure your tomatoes haven’t withered.
So there goes that theory that social networks are for young people, and that they are quite unsociable. Therefore, if that is the case and everyone is online then there are some rules that you are going to have to follow if you want to stay safe out there. After all, this is the third largest country on Earth.
1. Never Talk To Strangers – As it is in life so too shall it be on the Internet. Strangers are, by definition, people you don’t know and could be up to something that you are unaware of or unwilling to participate in. Stay away from them; never tell them where you live or any of your contact details, and report them to the social network you’re using – you can do that nowadays
2. Stay Away From Unknown Sites – It could be perfectly harmless, but there is always a chance that a website you don’t know or haven’t heard about is dangerous to you and your computer. For every decent web page on the Internet there are five malicious ones, so stay in comfortable waters and you won’t be eaten by sharks
3. Bullies – If you are being bullied online by someone you know, then tell someone about it, be it your parent, your teacher, your youth worker or your friend. No one should suffer in silence, and if it does get that bad, you can report them like you would a stranger.
Now go, and sail the seven sites of the world wide web and be a bit safer in the understanding of these rules.