ByÂ Clement Sinyangwe
Social networking describes the interactions and people, groups, organizations, computers, and other connected information objects. These objects communicate through a channel called social media which is the collective of online communications channels committed to community based interaction and collaboration.
There are a lot of types of social media are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace, Flickr, Instagram to mention a few. Out of the five social media networks I have mentioned, Facebook is the most popular social networking website common used by people of different age groups. Twitter, a microblogging used by people for broadcasting short posts referred to as tweets is another common networking media.
The other most used network is Linkedin, though this is mostly common amongst professionals or the business community. It is designed to provide a network for the professionals by mean of uploading their curriculum vitae, skills, work experiences Etc. this helps the be hooked up by potential employers. Others are Flickr, Instagram and MySpace.
Generally, social networks allows connecting people of similar interests and background with one another people.Â They are built with personal profiles that describes owners and used for locating each other, there are various methods of using these networks to interact with each other.
Social networks also has the ability to setup groups, fun pages for celebrities and other high profiled members of the society, forums etc. these groups are usually used on Facebook .
Let me talk about Facebook which is the biggest used social media network, how it was introduced, the intentions that led to its existence, how it eventually expanded and spread across the globe and became the worldâ€™s 2nd most visited and used website. The first being Google which is a search engine.
Facebook was originally created as Facemash in the year 2003, it was developed by a Harvard student by the name of Mark Zuckerberg. He developed Facemash with the help of three of his colleagues and classmates named Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz during their second year of study on the college.
Interestingly, the website was meant to be used as a â€œhotâ€ or â€œnotâ€ game for Harvard students within the campus. This game was designed to allow website visitors compare the paired pictures and make a choice to which one is hot from the other.
Facemash was later converted into Facebook launched in the year 2004. It slowly started spreading to students around the college and eventually connected students from Yale, Stanford and Columbia. By the year 2005 Facebook connected about 800 college networks and high schools. It became open to all in the year 2006 with the user age limit not less than 13 years old.
Today, Facebook has more than 900, 000, 000 estimated unique monthly visitors. This is according to the statics from Alexa.com website and compiled by ebizmba.com compared to others, Twitter has 310,000,000, LinkedIn 250,000,000, MySpace 40,000,000, Flickr 65,000,000 Instagram 85,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors.
With these huge figures and the age groups above, it gives a lot of concerns over the way Facebook is being used especially on school pupils and students not only at secondary school level but primary school as well who fakes their age limits just to have a page and interact with people of different sex, race and age groups.
Our children level of intelligent technologically cannot be questioned, one doesnâ€™t need to sit behind a desk for 5 years like myself to become a computer expert but God knows how intelligent and innovative they are becoming at a very tender age.
My issue of concern is what are we doing as parents to monitor the childrenâ€™s activities online? What is the justification of a parent purchasing and giving their child a smart phone? Smart phones are mostly used to browse social networks, playing music, games, memes and upload photos to mention just a few otherwise one can do a lot of incredible things using smart phones including it being used as a satellite.
Facebook has been turned into a source of all bad vices such as pornography, dating forums, liking of pages with nude contents etc.
My humble advice to the parents is that if we really want to allow our children to use social media, you should consider having such networks so that you get linked to them and monitor their daily activities. Pupils are subscribing more to dating forum where they are free to interact especially on sex related matters.
In my opinion, Facebook if used correctly and with its huge network across the globe can help pupils improve their educational skill by creating forum on different subjects where they can discuss and advise each other on education related activities otherwise it remains a platform for distraction.
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