The importance of social networking has always been a part of high school. Recent generations have turned to the internet and sites like Facebook and MySpace to accomplish this task. One of the many problems associated with online social networking for teenagers is that of public exclusion. Thanks to these types of sites, it is easier then ever to share the everyday tasks of one’s life; teenagers will post pictures from outings regardless of the impact those posts may have on friends not included in the event.
While sharing events and memories online is a useful way to share with the world, it can also be a tool on how to understand the world. A teenager who sees that their best friend went out to dinner with a mutual group of friends without extending an invitation to them may figure out that those are not really friends. Many events such as this are occurring all over the internet everyday. The common response is to comment on the picture or event status. This automatic reaction could cause miscommunication and hurt feelings for all involved. Keep the communication about personal issues in a private setting in order to keep the integrity of a friendship alive.
A teenager who uses online social networking for their own advantage is learning important coping skills for society. If you don’t obtain a positive outcome after talking to a friend in person about hurt feelings caused by something you saw on a social networking website, then find a new friend. Changing one’s own behavior towards a situation can often change the outcome from negative to positive. Approaching a friend kindly without accusation will most likely bring about a kind response. This is best done in person, regardless how the information being presented was found. Allow those you graciously confront to show their true feelings without judging them. Learning these important social networking skills in person will facilitate maturity on and offline.