Future of social networking sites- by Miruna Cotet, 16 years old, National College Greceanu, Slatina
A constant stream of kitschy images, mind-blowing commercials and witty messages are flooding us in the streets, posted in every corner, peering from every store, gazing at us with the dull-eyed look of a society build on consumerism that teaches the naïve youth the ever-changing values of the 21st century.
No doubt, mass media has brought the world a click away from us, yet it imposes its standards on us compelling us to become dependent on it, shoving in our face an altered beautified reality. Working as a disguised form of social control, mass media has recently crept into today’s youth habits through the use of social networking.
It thrives on the need of teenagers for acceptance, their strive to unearth their identity and yearn for a sense of worth providing them with the means to design an image of how they want to see themselves and others to perceive them.
It unconsciously, gradually but surely moulds their vulnerable personality shaping them into self-centered individuals, concerned with their image and status, eager to achieve popularity, encouraging superficial first impressions, frivolous discussions lacking a deeper search for individuality. Vulnerable to criticism and afraid of being judged, teenagers become fearful about being themselves and to allow others to see their weaknesses.
The way in which these sites are designed makes it difficult to avoid labeling and although teenagers resent it, some get a sense of security and a feeling of belonging when they involuntarily accept a stereotype which makes it easier to identify with others.
It is undoubtedly a growing trend and is slowly replacing interpersonal communication with one of advanced technological possibilities, but of a poorer quality. Although, we can reach people from across the globe, we will not be able to relate to our next-door-neighbor.
A skinny teenager crunched over his laptop staring mesmerizes at the bright screen updating his profile for his thousands of online friends can hardly replace a warm smile or a pat on the shoulder.
Social networking sites may be a way of learning of our deep desires, but we must not allow our images to replace us however perfect and convenient they might be and instead struggle to discover our true selves and try first to understand and appreciate the people we live near to and not add and delete friendships at whim.
Acest eseu este castigatorului unui PREMIU special in cadrul 2010 Shakespeare School Essay Competition, grupa de varsta 15-19 ani, avand ca tema “Discuss the role and future of social networking sites hi5 and Facebook“. Premiul a constat intr-un discount de 25% la orice curs intensiv de vara de limba engleza la Shakespeare School, precum si in carti si alte cadouri de la Diverta si Fischer International. Dorim sa o felicitam pe Miruna pentru faptul ca s-a evidentiat din peste 3100 de eseuri trimise la concursul national de creatie in limba engleza organizat de Shakespeare School si ii uram mult succes in continuare!