Pros and Cons of using Facebook

facebookAfter the recent negative headlines that Facebook received, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the whole issue of social networking: is it good or bad?

Some people love Facebook and some despise it. I am somewhere inbetween, as I recognise the good things and positive potential of Facebook and similar sites, but on the other hand, I think people spend too much time and energy on this type of networking. There are many reasons for hating Facebook, which I’ll attempt to list.

But first, let’s list all the good things about Facebook:

  • Facebook is great for finding long lost friends and high school friends (provided they are Facebook users too).
  • It’s great for keeping in touch with friends and relatives that may live far away.
  • You can follow your favourite celebrities and sportists and read their updates.
  • You can hear important news – for example something you wouldn’t hear on the news or read in the newspapers – something that interests you.
  • It reduces the costs of communication – you don’t have to spend money on long distance phone calls. Just write a short message or comment. The recipient will most certainly see the message within a few hours, if not within minutes.
  • It’s fun – you can read funny posts and news from friends, see what they are up to and play Facebook games.
  • Facebook is also great for sharing photos and videos.

Now to the bad things:

  • Privacy issues – you don’t really know who will see your private details, see your photos and read your comments. Until recently, Facebook’s privacy policy was unclear, too complex and you couldn’t choose what happens with the details that Facebook collects about you. Facebook admitted that many third party receive your private data. Now Facebook is attempting to resolve this problem by letting you choose what happens with your details.
  • Stalkers – We’ve all heard that there is a new type of crime, the cyber stalkers and facebook stalker. This is dangerous especially for younger Facebook users, who may accept invitations from strangers. These strangers are often harmless and just want to meet new people, but occasionally, criminals such as paedophiles and convicted rapists will log on to look for their next victim. It is important to only accept and communicate with people that you know or that are at least referred by someone you know.
  • Virtual crime – Some hackers will attempt to break into your Facebook account to steal your private details for criminal activities. Some examples include: attempt to find information that may lead to stealing credit card details, using your identity for other crimes and planting a virus.
  • Viruses and Spyware – this is also a reason not to use Facebook. Many applications, games or simple html links on Facebook may lead to viruses being installed on your computer or to Web sites that may infect your computer later.
  • Waste of time? – Some people spend waaaay too much time on Facebook and so lose out on other parts of life. Sometimes it’s better to go outside for a walk than to write and read comments on the computer. There are other fun things to do, even if it’s cold and dark outside. Read a book, have a conversation with your wife/husband/parents/children/brother/sister/friend or do something ELSE!

Do you agree?

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