Virtual Friendship: Students' Work - Other Texts
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General information about Facebook
Facebook is a social network for people all over the world. The inventor of Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg; he started it on 4th February 2004. Since 2004 more than 1 billion people have used it.
On Facebook you can share pictures videos or you can post on other people profiles. You can like and comment on some things. If you want you can play games there too.
Bad aspects are that you can’t be sure if your information is safe. You also can’t know who is on the other side or if the persons and their profile are real.
On social networks you always have to be careful; there are many “privacy settings” you should use.
On the starting page you can see what your friends are sharing and posting; you can call it a clear layout. There you can “like” the photos, posts and pages. You can always see all the news.
All persons on Facebook have their own pages. For about 3 months the pages have had a new design, called "timeline". Everyone has a timeline on his/her page. There you can see everything that the person has ever posted.
We asked some people in our class about Facebook. Some classmates don’t use it, they say you don’t need that and you can live without it. But the majority of them are online with their mobile phone 24 hours a day, just to check the starting page.
Mark Zuckerberg (full name Mark Elliot Zuckerberg) was born on 14th May 1984 in New York. He created Facebook when he was still studying computer science.
K. and N., girls, Germany)
Friends on Facebook
I think there is a difference between a „normal“ and a „facebook friend”, because a normal friend is a person who knows your problems and other important things about you and a facebook friend is a person who knows only how you present yourself on facebook. I would say, you can’t be real friends on facebook, because you don’t know much about the other person and in real life he or she can be different from his/her presentation on facebook.
This can be dangerous. So it’s not a good way of getting to know people before you actually meet them, because you don’t know who is the person behind the Facebook profile. It can be the right person, but also the wrong person, for example an old man is presented like a young nice girl on Facebook.
I have never met any girl or boy that I know by Facebook. I only meet my real friends.
If you want to meet the person who you chatted with in a social network, you should never go alone to the meeting!!!
I have 434 friends on facebook and I know most only by sight at school. I also have friends from other countries, for example from France, because the guys from my student exchange have facebook, too.
I would never accept any guy on facebook, because I don’t know all the people who added me. I only take people who I know. A number of max. 650 friends is okay, everything more than 650 friends on facebook is ridiculous, because the people don’t know all persons.
I have repeatedly deleted friends on Facebook because these people have posted only nonsense on Facebook or I don’t know the persons in real life and I deleted them on facebook when I had disputes with them or they did bad things.
(author: N., Germany)
Pros and cons of Facebook
Social networks are different web pages on the Internet where you can chat with your friends and do a lot of activities, but they can be very dangerous because you cannot control what kind of people are watching your information or your pictures.
There are different types of social networks. There are some for chatting, others for finding a relationship. But in general, all of them offer you the possibility of uploading pictures, playing games, watching videos etc.
However, there are negative aspects of using them, such as bullying or abuse of people you do not know.
I think social networks can be dangerous if you do not know how to use them carefully, so I have some tips to the people who use them: Do not write a lot of information about you, control what people can see in your profile, do not comment on where you are every moment, because if you put something on the Internet, it cannot be erased, and bad people can make you feel bad or bully you.
In my opinion, social networks are an amazing way to be in contact with your friends, listening to new songs, etc, but it can be very dangerous if you do not use them carefully.
(author: M., boy, Spain)
Social Networks are the easiest way to be connected with the rest of the world any time. There you can read your friends’ news, share photos with them, leave them a comment … So they are very useful. They are also free and you do not need any condition to be registered.
But there are some negative aspects about social networks too. Some people think that all the information about themselves and the photos that they upload on the web are very safe, but the truth is that they are not. There are people who know how to get that information or these photos and use them against you by trying to know your password or sharing the pictures with everyone. You can find fake profiles too, in which people simulate to be another person and fake their lives.
In my opinion, you do not have to be afraid of the Internet, but you have to be careful with it. Do not let other people upload photos of you that you do not like, and do not accept everyone to be your friend. It is better if you just accept the people you know and share as little information as possible with the world.
(author: A., girl, Spain)
Social networks are a good way to communicate with people from many different countries. Nowadays, social networks are used all over the world, and because of it you can meet people from other countries.
Firstly, I have to say that there are lots of social networks in the world (one hundred more or less), but the social networks that we use all the time are three. The first one is Facebook (it is an international social network where you can chat with friends and where you can share some photographs), the second one is Twitter (it is another international social network) and the last one is Tuenti (it is a Spanish social network).
Secondly, there are a few problems that you can find in social networks. For example, you must be careful with social network friends who you do not know, because they can be dangerous for you. Most people have a lot of unknown friends on Facebook or Twitter.
However, there are lots of positive things in social networks, such as: In social networks you can meet some good people from other countries, you can chat with them and you can know some different cultures. In my opinion, social networks are a good way to learn English, because most people in social networks use English to communicate with people.
(author: L., girl, Spain)
Social networks are web pages where you can share information about you and photos with your friends, and this way, you can see how your friends’ life is going.
I think social networks are very useful to us, because if you have a friend in another city or country, you can chat with him and see his photos. Another reason is that you can share with your friends photos that you have taken, and they can give their opinion about them. And the last reason is that social networks have cultural games, and at the same time you are playing you could be learning History or English.
But of course, there are many negative aspects that some people do not know and it can be dangerous in the future. For example, if you upload your photos, these photos will be on the Internet forever, and everybody can use them to make you feel bad. Another thing is that if you write private information about yourself on your profile, people will know it, and they could go to your house when they know nobody is there and steal your things or they could use your credit card if you write your secret number.
So, in my opinion, social networks are very important to our lives, but you must be very careful. I think you should upload only the photos that are not private, and you should not write private information. This way, everything will be great.
(author: S., girl, Spain)
Nowadays, everybody has a computer at home. This machine has a lot of different uses, but the most common is to surf on the Internet. Many people use it without thinking what are they doing, and there are a few people who know how to take those people's information and use it to get money and disturb.
On the one hand, it is true that the Internet is really useful. You can get your music and films, or information about interesting projects, read the newspaper, chat with your friendo ... Chatting on the Internet is good because it gives you the opportunity to speak with people far away from you, although it can be dangerous to use social networks too much.
In contrast, it is so easy to waste your time in the Internet doing worthless things as playing silly online-games which can be played outdoors with friends. And there are social networks. Some people are always connected so they forget about their “real” friends. It is possible to see two or three people sitting together, each one with his or her mobile phone, talking to other people and not to the ones by their side. And it is very dangerous to put your information and photos in a social network, because anybody can see, download, and use them against you.
In conclusion, the Internet is a good thing. You can have fun, read the newspaper, investigate... but it is not good to use it all day, and it is not necessary to put all your information in social networks. If you do not do it, you will no have problems with it.
(author: E., girl, Spain)
Facebook is a social network, where people can communicate with each other and where you can get information about your facebook friends.
I started using the social network facebook because all my friends are there on facebook and I am happy that I can write with my friends and can get information about them. My opinion is that it is very interesting on facebook. Also, I can get important information about my favourite hobbies. I think that facebook hasn´t changed my life, because I have enough good friends in real life. But I think my free time has become a little bit more interesting because of facebook. The advantage is that I can keep in touch with old school friends and write with them.
Facebook cannot replace a good friend in real life. I wouldn´t write about my private problems to any facebook friend. I use Facebook only for information about my friends and to communicate with old friends. I don´t use another social network apart from facebook because facebook gives me a lot more options for information from institutions, companies and organizations.
(author: F., Germany)
Facebook is a social network, set up by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 for Ivy League students (students from the most famous universities in the USA). In 2005 the website opened up to other universities and only in 2008 did it become possible to become a member without being a student.
Today there are more than 1 billion members and the website grows every day. What started out as a simple website where each member had a profile page where information and pictures of the person are shown and friends could leave messages, has developed into a complex network with apps and a chat function. In the day and age where technology plays an ever bigger role in young peoples' lives, what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a member of such a website?
Firstly there is the question of security. Lots of people upload pictures and write personal messages on Facebook. If the person does not set their security settings it could be possible for other people to see them. Also, once something is on the website, that information is in cyberspace forever, even if it is deleted from Facebook.
Secondly, you don’t often see your friends personally because you chat with them.
The advantage is that it is a good way of communication with friends.
(author: R., girl, Germany)
Facebook is a social network where you can chat with friends, play games with them and post things about your life. When you get to know friends on Facebook you often don`t see them personally, because mostly their homes are far away, or they are not the person in real life. It is a good way of having conversations with friends.
You are not allowed to bully people. The owner of Facebook can see your messages and photos forever and your data are not safe. It is possible that you see your friends in person or text with your mobile. But when you have Facebook you have more possibilities to chat with your friends.
I`m not addicted to Facebook because I live in a real world. I meet my friends personally and on Facebook I like it better to talk with my friends and see them than to chat with them on Facebook. But on a rainy, windy day it sometimes might be better to see my friends on Facebook. Sometimes I log onto Facebook on my mobile phone or my Ipod but it takes more time to write a message on the mobile than on the PC. That´s the disadvantage.
Only my friends can see my profile on Facebook. The data protection is very important for me because I don´t want everybody to see it.
Over 1,000,000,000 people have a Facebook profile today and every day more people join Facebook. Facebook has more members than any other social network.
There are people who can´t live without Facebook, with all the news or contacts to friends they get there. They are more isolated from the real world because of Facebook.
(author: N, boy, Germany)
Net Scouts: media education at school
We are two of thirty people who take part in the project “Net - Scouts”. This is a project at our school where we teach the children how they have to deal with the internet.
At the beginning we got a one-day training, nine school lessons, and learned how we can give a presentation on this topic in the best way. After that we were divided into teams of two people.
On free days two teams come to school and every team teaches one class of younger pupils. This takes more than four school lessons. We speak with them about the dangers of the internet and show them videos. They make posters for the class and we speak with them about their own experiences.
The classes are very interested in it and ask a lot. Sometimes they are shocked or are scared that they did something wrong and ask us if it was fine to do things which they now think were critical. We give them advice and try to help them.
We talk about two topics: social networks and cyberbullying. The children are between 11 and 12 years old and nearly everyone has an account on Facebook or SchülerVZ (This was a popular German social network for students; it closed down in April 2013 because it had lost too many customers to Facebook). Normally you can start an account on Facebook at the age of 14 years, on SchülerVZ at the age of 12 years, but it`s easy to get in there for younger children.
The problem about the social networks is that everything is set free at the beginning . That means that everyone all over the world can see the pictures they upload and comments they write. This can be very dangerous and because of that we show them how they can change the settings, so that nothing will happen.
At Facebook you can change about thirty settings. Most children don´t know it and so they are much endangered.
The problem of cyberbullying is that most people think it is just a joke and that nothing can happen. But a lot can happen. In the worst case a victim could commit suicide and the children who bullied them would never be happy again. Because of that we show them videos that they can understand how the victim feels. Also, we do a role-play where one child is ignored by the other students. If it is too much for the “victim” we stop it and explain that it was just a game. We speak about the feelings of the “victim” and so we want to make the children understand that a real victim can´t stop it in real life.
We are “Net Scouts” because we like to present things and enjoy working with younger people. Also, we think it is an important theme and that the students can understand it very well in this way.
(authors: C. and P., Germany)