Carly - Portland, Maine
Entered on March 6, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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Like many teenagers, I go on the computer a lot. I go on to talk to friends, use e-mail, play games, and do homework. Social networks such as Facebook and Myspace are a huge part of life these days. Constant communication is essential for teenage life. Almost everyone I know has a Facebook or Myspace, and texting, commenting, IMing, e-mailing, happen nonstop. I believe that constant communication is essential to being a teenager in the twenty-first century.

There are many positive aspects of social networks, but there are just as many negitive. On Facbook, you are able to connect with people from not only all over the country, but from all over the world. I am friends with people from Vermont, Massachusetts, Florida, Connecticut, New York, and California. I have been able to catch up with old friends who I hadn’t talked to in years. One of my very best friends from summer camp when I was eight moved and I hadn’t talked to her in six years until she requested me as a friend on Facebook. We have spent this time reconecting and learning what the other has been doing. Connecting with other people from other parts of the world makes people and places feel a lot closer, which is very comforting.

Friends are able to comment on your pictures, status, and almost everything else. Having your friends know what your doing can be a great thing a lot of the time but not all the time. When a “friend”, who is not really your friend, is able to know what you are doing at all time it can give you and uneasy feeling and their ability to comment on your life can be worse. A lot of fights start on the internet. People are more likely to say something mean on the internet than to someone’s face. This is all part of teenage life, stupid fights.

Internet bullying is a problem with my generation. Kids will be mean for no real reason. Leaving comments where almost everyone can see is just ignorant. Last year, right after I joined Facebook, people were leaving mean comments on one of my friend’s pictures and I got dragged into it while trying to stand up for her. There is not limitation on what words can be used, so a lot of cuss words were said. These were kids I didn’t even know who loathe me for no reason. There is no reason to be rude to other people on the internet.

Let me just say, Facebook is addicting. Computers and phones are infested with this program. It seems that there is rampant use of this site. Even my Mom’s on Facebook for goodness sakes! Once you join you can’t quit. When my mom told me that she was cutting down on how much she went on Facebook, I laughed. She told me she was only going to go on one in the morning and once at night. I have yet to see her only go on only twice a day. A lot of kids are on the computer or the phones relentlessly.

My conviction is that teenage life requires constant communication. Life without Facebook or texting would be dull. I wouldn’t be able to know what my friends are doing or be updated on their lives. I wouldn’t have been able to reconnect with people from my past or meet people who will impact my future. Even though social networks have there downsides, I don’t think I would be the person I am today without them.