Facebook has become one of the leading social networking sites on the Internet today. It is used by millions of people around the world; there are high school students, college students, family members and friends using this tool to simply keep in touch with one another, while other people have come to use Facebook for business purposes. It is simply a multi billion-dollar organization that has affected the way people communicate today. It is apparent that Facebook has such an eminent control over its users; nevertheless it is the user who must determine whether this is a good or bad control.
The history of Facebook may or may not play a role in one’s opinion of social networking, however we feel that being educated on the subject will allow for an informed final decision. Several Harvard students and their roommates established Facebook, these students included Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. Originally it began as a social network within Harvard that eventually continued to connect other students throughout other Boston colleges and universities. i]
By the end of 2005, Facebook had allowed colleges from around the world to join the network and within a few months high schools were being incorporated into the social network as well. Finally, by September of that year, anyone with an email could join. Facebook was the new worldwide fad. At the beginning of 2007 Facebook announced that it would be allowing free advertising and on October 24th Microsoft purchased 1. 6% of the company for $240 million. [ii] Microsoft is an American based international computer technology company that has an annual revenue of $51. 2 U. S. billion. [iii] Spending only $240 million for 1. 6% of Facebook is essentially their first step before they, or another international technology company buys them out.
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Google is another example of an American public corporation that was co-founded by Stanford University students and was ultimately bought out. Major corporations do not buy out programs such as these unless there is undoubtedly a future for them, or the advertisements that are posted will have a huge return rate.
In many ways this program could be considered technologically advanced compared to fellow competitors such as Myspace. The applications that are permitted within Facebook continue to improve as well as add up. Facebook is simply a way for those to connect to others. This search can be as limited as the user permits, however it enables you to remain close to friends you saw last week or those you have not been given the opportunity to speak with for several years. One must remember that Facebook is a very personal piece of technology.
You can display a picture of yourself for your profile, you can describe your likes, dislikes and many interests, you can report to your friends whether or not you are listed as single, you can share your birthday and your age, you can let others tag photos of you and you can even post a video of you and or your friends online. It can be used to track down old childhood chums, it can also be used to list your top friends or share your mood. Right now I’m feeling content! There are many fantastic opportunities with the wonderful world of Facebook.
But with these many opportunities you must be prepared for the negative aspects, especially for parents with young children using this program. Depending on how the user has arranged their personal settings it is possible for people to whom you have no knowledge of, to view the photos, videos and comments that you or your friends have posted. Another example of how Facebook can effect your life would be that current or potential employers could use this as a background or character check.
Any as many of us are aware, who we are with our friends is not always who we are when put into a professional environment and this information could have employers misguided. Also, Facebook could ultimately lead to Internet stalking. There is a block or high privacy option available, but hackers and stalkers have ways of getting around these controls. If this piece of technology is used incorrectly or carelessly, the damages could be fatal. For example during May of 2007, there was an alleged rumor of a suicide pact, claiming that every two weeks one student from St.
Joan of Arc Catholic School were to commit suicide. Two students unfortunately took their own lives and while the dates were exactly two weeks apart this was merely a coincidence. Nevertheless there were approximately 17 names of students who declared that they would take their own lives as well. [iv] Another example is one from a friend of mine; we will call her Amanda. Amanda discovered a picture of her that was posted without her permission, she had asked her friend to remove the picture, however the friend did no such thing.
With Facebook you are given the opportunity to “report a photo” which Amanda did, the only problem is that Facebook has thousands of users that the people who manage the program have not yet followed through with her complaint and the picture has remained posted to date. While Facebook may not be around in five years, or just may no longer be the fad, it has affected the majority of us. From hearing about it, to actually experiencing all of the applications, it has given the public yet another way to spend hours upon hours a day on the computer. Social networking will forever expand and improve, we just need to persevere and remain informed.
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