Websites offer too much information

Columnist and Columnist

I almost deleted my Facebook account.

Six days short of permanently losing my account, I decided to reactivate it with a promise to be more wary about my social networking habits.

A lot of us probably have already gotten the lecture about controlling ourselves on social networking websites, but we can’t ignore this advice.

Facebook gave users access to its new Timeline profile presentation on Dec. 15, 2011. Mark Zuckerberg, the website’s founder, had already announced this change in the middle of last year.

Timeline, ironically, is not too different from its predecessor.

However, now that people have easier access to users’ information   from the present to the first moments of use, concern has to be raised.

The very thought of someone (a friend, family member, potential employer, creeper, etc.) having more accessibility to my information on Facebook caused me to almost delete my account.

Many Facebook users have had their moment when they misused the system.

Maybe our inflammatory remark directed at someone or something became a status update. Or maybe we’ve posted a photo that might put our character in question. Perhaps we’ve even given too much information inappropriately.

Yours truly will be the first to admit that in the past he could’ve had cleaner posts.

I’m not perfect, just as anyone else.

Those of us who’ve had an active Facebook account for more than two years understand how tedious it would be to go back and delete each of those types of posts, even with Timeline.

Timeline is optional for now, someone told me. But, I will eventually get rid of Facebook after graduating college for a few reasons.

Most importantly, drama between users on the website is still prevalent. The root of this problem is relational aggression.

Relational aggression is described as individuals purposely manipulating the relationship between two people for their own gain, according to psychology. The result is that the victim’s relationship with the other person (or people) is ruined.

Facebook can be a great tool for offenders to achieve this goal.

Offenders can make fake profiles, send messages with hurtful words and post things about people that may not be true or shouldn’t be revealed.

Two or more offenders can even use features as simple as the “Like” button, for example, to get on the victim’s nerves.

Often times, the only excuse offenders give for their misbehavior is that they do it “for the laughs.”

I know this problem is going on because I was once a victim.

Other drama on Facebook can start from people who don’t know how to behave appropriately online. Go to a typical high school, ask the kids about Facebook stories circling ‘round about students and you’ll find your evidence. Sadly, some of this drama carries over to college.

Also, Facebook can be distracting to college students.

A student who may be victim to relational aggression back at home may lose focus on their goals and class work at college.

Also, how many of us check the News Feed like it’s literally the morning paper?

I remember I blew a lot of opportunities to hang out with my floormates my freshman year because I literally sat in front of my laptop browsing Facebook trends hours at a time.

I don’t want to ever again feel that “addicted” as I did then, which is why I vow to limit my posts and take more long breaks from Facebook … from here on out.

If you’re a Facebook user struggling with your online habits, I encourage you to be strong and take steps to improve them.

If all attempts fail, don’t feel ashamed and don’t look back if you set up a permanent deletion.

Just please don’t give up six days short!

Although Facebook will always have notable risks, the website will always provide a way for people to interact and friends to maintain connections.

Maybe this is why I chose to keep my account.

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