There are many different social media websites that people of all ages are logging into today. Kids, teens, adults, and even the elderly are logging onto social networking sites. It has become easier than ever to keep up with friends and family without actually having to stay in contact, thanks to Facebook and Twitter. With so many different social media websites that people are using to connect, is it really safe to put all your personal information on them? These sites now have the ability to “check in” and “tag” friends with you wherever you are. You can post a status about what you are doing at any moment, not only from your computer, but from your smart phone as well. This gives people the opportunity to know exactly what you are doing.
Both men and women are connecting on these sites, but most of the women I know have their profiles as private as possible so “creepers” can’t look into where they are, who they are with, or any other personal information. On the other hand, I have noticed most men keep their profiles open to whoever wants to see. These differences relate to the fact that women don’t feel safe allowing personal information open for anyone to read. A study done by Haltabuse in 2010 of 347 people concluded that 73% of women surveyed have been cyberstalked, compared to 27% of men. An interesting thing to notice is the amount of friends most women have versus the amount of friends most men have. Typically, women don’t have as many friends as men, because women usually only accept people they know to view their page. This all relates back to women not feeling safe allowing anyone to look at personal information. From my own experience with social media sites, I regularly have people that I don’t know request to be my friend. I have never had a woman try to add me as a friend that I didn’t know, but the number of men that have done it is outrageous. There’s a tool Facebook provides called Mutual Friends, which allows you to see how many of the same friends you have with anyone on Facebook. Those men that continuously add women they don’t know usually don’t have mutual friends; their choice is solely based on how a woman looks in her profile picture.
Although social media sites can be a great way to catch up with family and friends when life gets hectic, it can also be a very dangerous activity. With the proper safety precautions, the dangerous part of online networking can quickly disappear. People of all ages are connecting online. By keeping personal information private and only allowing people you know to look at your page, you won’t have to fear who is actually looking at your life through a screen.