Choosing a Social Network

There are many factors to consider when choosing what social networking site would be best for your child or student.

You may want to talk over these questions with your child or student before you make a decision on a social network:

  • What would you like to use a social networking site for?
  • What features are you looking for (sharing pictures, having a profile page, chatting with friends, etc.)?
  • Who are you looking to network/communicate with?
  • What sites are popular with your group of friends or other students at your school or workplace

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Three Most Popular Social Networking Sites: Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter

This information can help you better understand the pros and cons of each website and what features you believe will be beneficial for your student or child. Click on each logo to be directed to that site.

Facebook

Advantages Disadvantages
j Layout is easy to navigate (Prizefight: Myspace vs. Facebook, Posted: 2008) jEmphasizes communication only within the portal (twitter vs. facebook, 2009)
rProfiles are by default private and user can monitor who can view theirs r Must login to view information
rEasy to create/join groups or organizations rApplications can collect information about the user (Gust, 2009)
r Post comments, photographs and videos to share with friends rUnwanted photos and videos may be made available through the site (Gust, 2009)
rCustomized “Privacy” settings r “Privacy” settings are complicated to navigate
rEasy to create/respond to invitations to posted events
rHuge user base
rCan make complaints if unwanted information is posted about the user

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MySpace

Advantages Disadvantages
Better access to music (than Facebook) because many bands have profiles and upload their music (Gold, 2007) Layout not as easy to navigate as Facebook
Can create/join online groups Profile pages are public by default (but this can be altered through turning on certain security features) (Prizefight: Myspace vs. Facebook, Posted: 2008)
Total control over how the user’s profile looks (Prizefight: Myspace vs. Facebook, Posted: 2008) Total control leads to a lot of complicated and tedious manual personalizing tasks (Prizefight: Myspace vs. Facebook, Posted: 2008)
Post comments, music, photographs and videos to share with friends Unwanted photos and videos may be made available through the site (Gust, 2009)
Can lead to befriending people the user has never met (may be good if the user wishes to branch out) Can lead to befriending people the user has never met (can lead to meeting “distasteful” people”)
Do not have to login to view information Do not have to login to view information (possible for anyone to see the users profile unless certain security settings are in place)
Less security settings than Facebook
Many advertisements
Viruses and scams have been know to appear on the site  (mojo.com, 2008)

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Twitter

Advantages Disadvantages
rCan ask a question and get an instant answer (twitter vs. facebook, 2009) r“Limited functionality; find people, send brief messages, direct replies”(twitter vs. facebook, 2009)
rForum for standing out rRelatively smaller user base than Facebook
rEasy to navigate rEasy to stalk
rCan follow anyone’s postings r Not as interactive as Facebook or MySpace
rCan add videos or pictures through supplemental twitter sites, no application directly on the site

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References:

Logos Courtesy of Google Images

Gold, B. (2007). Facebook Hammers MySpace on Almost All Key Features. Retrieved August 4, 2010, from Mashable/ Social Media: http://mashable.com/2007/06/10/facebook-hammers-myspace-on-almost-all-key-features/

Gust, G. (2009, July 1). The Pros and Cons of Using Facebook. Retrieved August 7, 2010, from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1806074/the_pros_and_cons_of_using_facebook_pg2.html?cat=15

mojo.com. (2008, March 17). MySpace vs. Facebook – CONS. Retrieved August 7, 2010, from YouTube.com: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5aOA62gbkY&feature=related

Prizefight: Myspace vs. Facebook. (Posted: 2008, April 16). Retrieved August 7, 2010, from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZi3MJ5UU58&feature=related

twitter vs. facebook. (2009, January 13). Retrieved August 4, 2010, from twitip: getting more out of twitter: http://www.twitip.com/twitter-versus-facebook/

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