Facebook is geared more toward college students until recently it required that

Facebook is geared more toward college students until

This preview shows page 22 - 26 out of 37 pages.

Facebook is geared more toward college students (until recently it required that a person attend a university to join the network)
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and is the number-one site accessed by 18- 24-year-olds. According to research studies cited in the Toronto Star, 90 percent of all undergraduates log on to Facebook and 60 percent log on daily (George-Cosh, 2007). Facebook has also experienced unprecedented growth in its relatively short existence and now ranks as the seventh most visited site on the Internet (“Top Sites”) and has a member base of more than 19 million (Joly). With the use of OSNs increasing among young people, the term “Facebook trance” has emerged to describe a person who loses all track of time and stares at the screen for hours (Copeland, 2004). While “Facebook trance” might describe only an occasional and therefore harmless phenomenon, it gives rise to important questions: What are the possible negative consequences of OSNs? What should youthful users be watchful for and guard against? The purpose of this paper is to identify the possible harms of OSNs. I will suggest that overuse of OSNs can be a contributing factor to a decline in grades as well as to other problems such as a superficial view of relationships, and increase in narcissism, and possible
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future embarrassment. I don’t mean to deny that OSNs have positive consequences for young people. For one thing, they provide a “virtual hangout” that acts as a convenient and cost-effective way to stay in close contact with friends and family. According to the Pew survey, 91 percent of users use OSNs to keep in touch with their distant friends (Lenhart and Madden). OSNs let young people regularly view their friends’ profiles, leave short messages or comments, and share personal information. OSN researcher Danah Boyd also claims that these sites give young people a platform on which to experiment with identities, voice their opinions, and practice how they present themselves through personal data, pictures, and music placed in their profiles (Bowley, 2006). OSNs also assist them in learning more about people they’ve met offline. Used as an investigative tool, OSNs offer quick ways to get additional background information on someone. For example, a student could use an OSN to decide whom to partner with for a class project, to learn more about a new roommate, or to find out more about someone he or she just met at a party, all by browsing classmates’ profiles. Despite these benefits, OSNs have a downside. One potential harm is that OSNs could have a negative effect on grades. One study shows a direct connection between the
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amount of time spent on the networks and declining grades in school. A college newspaper article entitled “Research Links MySpace Use to Drop in Grades” reports a survey of high school students conducted by Fresno State University professor Tamyra Pierce. Pierce found that students with MySpace accounts were significantly more likely than students without MySpace accounts to report a decline in grades since the previous year. According to Pierce, “We can’t know for sure that
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  • Spring '19
  • Tom Pope

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