Adolescent Girls in a Facebook World
My younger sister Alexis is twelve years old. If asked what she did in her free time she would respond with one word: Facebook. Although my parents and I do not agree that the social networking site is consuming every second of her life, maybe I am exaggerating, there is little we can do or say to stop her. I guess when I look back to when I was her age I used AOL Instant Messaging to communicate with my friends, but it was far less public and advanced (with photos, videos, etc.) than the new networking site Facebook.
Although there are privacy settings on the site that allow the user to pick and choose who they want to view it, my sister’s profile is open to all of her friends, and today in the world of Facebook, most friends are only acquaintances. One of the concerns people had in one of the Frontline videos we watched in class was that adolescent girls and boys could be targeted and located by sexual predators online through social networking sites. This isn’t so much of a concern as it is for me than it is for my parents. One of the reasons I am not worried about my sister being located through her Facebook account is through the way she set it up and created her profile.
While my sister’s profile is open to friends and even friends of friends, her profile is made up. She doesn’t even have her real last name. Instead of Alexis Dorfman, her birth name, she made up a profile named Alexis Baker. On top of that, she does not put out any personal or contact information besides her email. This way if even if a sexual predator did want to look her up and find her they would not be able to locate her. Overall, when it comes to my sister being protected on the Internet through Facebook I think she is doing quite a good job.