It’s not uncommon today that family members are “friends” on social media websites. Here’s a look at why I think having family as “friends” on social media is a good thing.
How social media was before family were “friends.”
Going back to early social media websites, such as MySpace and Friendster, family members being “friends” wasn’t commonly seen. As a matter of fact, when I was growing up, most kids my age had “secret” profiles online. This was a time where not everyone had the internet and most importantly it was a time where kids didn’t want any family members knowing about their online persona. I remember going to my one friend’s house at a sleepover back in the mid 2000s and being shown MySpace. I didn’t quite understand what it was or why someone would want to have a “profile.” It later became clear to me that it was a popularity contest where teens could “express” themselves without the interference of parents.
It wasn’t soon long after that parents got wind of these social media websites and the news had a field day with it. Parents didn’t understand it and it was soon reported that practically anyone could make a profile. This meant dangers to kids and teens. Anyone could pose as a person of any age. Unfortunately this meant predators had easy access to innocent children. This alarmed most parents including the parents of my friends. I remember their parents telling my friends “MySpace isn’t safe” and so on. With added security measures, such as making your profile private, my friends continued to have profiles with no safety problems. I myself was nervous to use social media as I never liked the idea of pictures or information about me plastered all over the internet.
It all worked out in the end.
Now that it’s 2014, I can’t say that social media websites are perfect but I can say that they have come a long way. Most importantly there are a lot more security options these days. MySpace is not much used anymore as Facebook is the current social media website of choice. This website is used by not only teens but their family members of all ages as well. Right now on my Facebook I am friends with my parents, aunts, cousins, and siblings. Instead of using social media as a way to “show off” I use it, as do most people, as a way to keep in touch with family. It’s a great tool and let’s everyone know how we are all doing and feel more connected with each other’s lives. I’m still nervous about posting pictures of myself on there but I do enjoy showing family members and friends all of the success that I’ve been having in my life. I especially like that I have control over who sees my posts which makes me feel at ease when I share personal information, such as news about a job or other life events.