This post is dedicated to the “pitfalls” of a shortsighted way of using any social media. Though I am much in favour of the use of technology and the Internet and social networking in the educational field, I see that lots of parents nowadays are worried about their children having free access to the Net.  What are your parents’ worries?  What are the “hidden” perils you can encounter when surfing the net or using social media?  What social media do you access?  Why?  What are the advantages of using certain networks rather than others?  Discuss in pairs and be ready to report your considerations back to the class.

I am firmly convinced that we cannot underestimate the possible dangers we may encounter on the Net, yet I think that if we are trained to think critically (and we are!!!) and we know what being a responsible user of any media implies, then we are left with more advantages than disadvantages and we can undoubtedly benefit from being online.

This is what a high school junior wrote on her blog.  How do you interpret the line in bolt type?  Provide some examples.

Today, we have the world at our fingertips. Literally, with the touch of a fingertip or the click of a mouse, we can be connected to someone from another country, stream live footage to family members, or update friends with pictures and statuses. To say the society we live in is technologically advanced would be an understatement. With everything available to us, it seems as if anyone with opposable thumbs can document, broadcast, and stream just about anything — with smartphone in hand of course. The list of innovations society has crafted is a long one, capping off at the most recent apps and tools available to us on a daily basis. Our ability to interact in this way can be a great thing, as long as that power is used for good and not for evil.

I believe that teenagers should start using social media responsibly, so let’s begin this journey and let’s be in charge of our use of social media so that we can stay safe online.

Watch the following video and say in what way it raises awareness as to the dangers of a wrong use of social media.  Write in your copybook the questions that are posed and be prepared to answer them.

Most people believe that they can have a private life online as long as they configure their privacy settings.  Is that enough? Who can affect your online life? Watch the video and take notes of the things the adult makes the adolescent think of:  he is sure he is safe online, but what is he not aware of?

What are the Dos and Don’ts when using social networks? What do the following images make you think of?

Now watch the following videos and say which one in your opinion is the most effective in raising awareness as to a correct and safe use of social media.  Substantiate your choice. If you were asked to create your own video, what would you add?  What different features would your video have compared to the ones below?

Young people sometimes are capable of uncouth behaviour.  They can use words aimed at victimizing an easy target, generally someone who has low self-esteem, who is emotionally vulnerable and relies a lot on other people’s opinions.  There are teenagers who jumped to their death after being repeatedly bullied by a group of peers, bullying that took place mostly online. Why should individuals mostly of your age and older, harass you through hateful messages on social media outlets?  Why would a teenager ever prod another teenager to “Go jump off of a building?”  Why should ever some teenagers have fun over bullying a peer?  These are questions that myself as an educator find difficult to find an answer to.  Watch the following video and say what you think?  Would it be useful if our school made an awareness video like this or do you think that cyberbullying is not a problem in our school? Our town? Our region? Our country?

On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media outlet, it requires little effort to harass someone. While many of these sites were created for harmless networking and fun, they have instead turned into some of the greatest tools to harm others with.  Why?  Oftentimes, those responsible for misusing social media are not even aware of what they are doing wrong. This is the reason why we’d better equip ourselves with some knowledge about cyberbullying.  The more you learn about it, the more means you give yourself to help others as well as  yourself.

There are many institutions and also personal individuals who do a lot to fight cyberbullying.  Look at the effective videos two students created.  What aspects do you find impactful and useful?




Become a courageous and relentless spokesperson of an ethical use of social media, become an ambassador of Cyber Ethics.

Some social media, such as Tumblr and allow users to send anonymous messages to anyone else with an account. Would you obscure these social networks?  Why (not)?  Some messages include snide remarks and hateful comments aimed towards innocent people. The animosity of the comments makes it very easy for users to be ridiculed, harassed and shamed. How would you confront a cyberbully?  Think of possible questions you would ask a bully?  Think of possible actions that should be taken for the victim and both for and against the cyberbully.

What do these young adults speak up about? They are against cyberbullying and they warn you against it, yet they claim their right to use the Internet in a responsible way.

Teens should stop hiding behind smartphones and plotting to take down their next innocent victims. Bullying is not a joke, whether it takes place in person or behind a keyboard, and it’s time for teens to begin acknowledging that.  So speak up and let everybody hear where you stand.

Creato con Padlet

What does it mean to be a responsible digital citizen of the 21st century?

We will try to find it out together.  You all know of the dangers of a careless use of the Internet, of an improper use of technology.  You also pointed out the advantages of technology and the many chances it offers.  Now it is up to you to investigate further and to deal with the following topics.  Our aim is to establish a culture of proper use of the technology.  After listening to your classmates’ presentations, you will certainly earn the badge of “digital citizen of the year” if you pass the online test!

Let’s play this game first.  Get in groups and with your tablet decide which island you want to visit.  Be prepared to report on what you learnt.  Then say what you think of these games devised to teach kids about Internet safety and of a responsible use of technology.  What would your game be like?  Have you ever thought of inventing a game with a didactic aim?

Along with cyberbullying there are other aspects of online safety  that I think we should investigate together. I would love you to work in groups and deal with these possible pitfalls. Find out what they are and how you can protect yourselves from them. What tips would you give to teenagers to keep away from these online dangers?

  • Sextortion
  • Sexting
  • Tagging
  • Identity Theft
  • Online Predators or Cyberstalking
  • Online grooming
  • Online gaming addiction

What do you think they are? Match the images with the online danger.

Now it is your turn to become an ambassador for online safety.  I would like you to choose an online hazard and to think of the best way to raise awareness as to the problem.  What is it about?  How can you spot the problem?  How can you solve it?  How can you sensitize teenagers to it?  Choose a catchy title, an involving image and a thought-provoking video.  You will have 15 minutes in class to inform your classmates as to the risks and the solutions to the online risk you chose.  If you want you can experiment with the application thinglink yourself or spark adobe or any other application we have used so far.

Click on the following interactive image.  There are different videos and links I posted to help you with your investigation.

I would love to conclude with the Commandments of Computer Ethics and I wish this investigation has helped you in your awareness and knowledge of staying safe online:

Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics

  1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.
  2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people’s computer work.
  3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people’s files.
  4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.
  5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.
  6. Thou shalt not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not paid.
  7. Thou shalt not use other people’s computer resources without authorization or proper compensation.
  8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people’s intellectual output.
  9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you write or the system you design.
  10. Thou shalt use a computer in ways that show consideration of and respect for your fellow humans.

Copyright: Computer Ethics Institute Author: Dr. Ramon C. Barquin

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30 Responses to BE WEBWISE

  1. Febe Piccinin says:

    What are your parents’ worries?
    I think my parents’ main worry is that on social media everyone can contact me.
    But I don’t think that they have to be worried about that, because I’m aware of the possible dangers, and if I don’t know a person I don’t answer his messagges.

    What are the “hidden” perils you can encounter when surfing the net or using social media?
    I think that the net and the social media are full of hidden perils.
    One of the most common hidden peril is when people write to you, or require your friendship on social media using fake accounts. This happens very often and usually who is using this fake account is trying to deceive you.

    What social media do you access?  Why?
    I access to Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp.
    For example I access to Instagram to share pictures of me with my friends, and some nice quotations.
    The social that I used the most is certantly whatsapp because it permits me to communicate with my friends during the day.

    What are the advantages of using certain networks rather than others?
    The advantages of using certain networks rather than others depend on the things which interest you.
    For example if you like photography I truly recommend you Instagram, or maybe if you are interested in quotations I will recommend you Tumblr.
    So I think it depends on you, and on the type of person you are.

  2. Letizia Masut says:

    My parents trust in me but they are always worried about what other people could do. We never know who we are dealing with so even if we are careful people we should always worry about the risks we can find in the net. My parents always tell me to never accept requests on social networks by strangers because they could be very bad intentioned. This is only one of the many perils we can encounter on the net, for example today identity theft is very diffused but also sexting and game addiction are becoming a serious problem.
    I use only few social networks. I use WhatsApp to chat with my friends and I think that it is a safe social network if you use it properly and also Snapchat is if you only interact with your friends. I also use Instagram which is more dangerous because you can deal with strangers that could be very bad intentioned so we need to be very careful and don’t publish many personal information because we never know who could use our personal facts and how. Certain networks are a way of spreading information of what is happening nowaday in the world so sometimes it is very convenient to be always connected to news and be self-conscious of what is happening at the moment around us.

  3. Annamaria Buffa says:

    As lots other parents also mine are worried about using in the wrong way social media and internet. There are billions of perils in the network but in the majority of the times, we are not very aware about what to do in case of needing. There are many worries that I share with my parents. For example, if we have public social media that everyone can see, strangers could contact us for many reason that could hurt us emotionally, if we receive insults or if we are subject of discrimination, and physically, if these people have the possibility to know our position and our address: this is cyberbullying. But spending too much time surfing the net and staying on the social, could change the balance of our lives. In fact, more and more people are distressed about losing contacts with reality and being isolated from the other real people. It often happens that teenagers and adults pass periods of anxiety due to some negative comments to their post or their opinion, or for other reasons. We stay so many hours on the social that we cannot face the problem of the life besides them. However, there are also positive sides of technology. In effect using media like Instagram, Ask, WhatsApp and Snapchat, you can communicate with friends and relatives who live in other cities/countries, and you can face other culture, traditions, and opinions. There is not a social better than another, it always depends on the way you use them.

  4. Sofia Bolzan says:

    My parent’s worries are mainly that I may get in touch with unknowns and give them some of my private information, but fortunately, I never accept the requests of friendships from people identity I don’t know.
    The social media I use are Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. I use them because I found Instagram helpful to follow my friends and share a pic of some of our best moments, snapchat because it’s cool and funny to take photo of us with strange effects on our faces and Pinterest because I find it useful for searching images.
    All in all I make a responsible use of the media and the net thanks to the education I received from my parents but there are always perils that I may encounter like don’t read the terms of conditions of any website or app that may ask me to read before the registration or accept the request of someone without verifying the true identity.

  5. To be honest I don’t use very much social media, I don’t avoid them, because I know how to use them in safety, it’s only that I don’t need them so much. Of course I’ve got WhatsApp because it’s very userfull, you can chat, do calls, videocalls… and now a lot of people have it and it’s also very convenient. My mum is quite worried about the dangers of the net, like a lot of mums I think…in particular she is worried about fake people, that maybe said to you that are teenager but in real they are older. Some of my friends insist that I should have instagram but I don’t know if I want it…because then I risk to spending too much time using it. I think that Twitter is very userfull and interesting beacause you can read all the comments of famose actors, singers, politics and you can also read the comments of the pope! So it is very userfull if you want to take part of the society using the internet. In America teenager don’t use WhatsApp like in Italy so if you want to comunicate with somebody in America, like I do, you have to use other social media. For that reason social media are very important, but I think that you should always think before write comments or post photos for not offend anyone. Because in the internet photos and comments are never completely deleted, they are trapped in the web.

  6. Silvia Del Rizzo says:

    I don’t think my parents are much worried about my activities online, mainly because they know I am rather sensible. I think, however, they may be worried that I might get in contact with someone insane or dangerous or say something that I will regret later.
    In my opinion, the “hidden” perils you can encounter when surfing the net are mainly meeting someone dangerous and share too many facts about yourself with strangers and, as a consequence, put yourself in danger. Nevertheless, becoming addicted to social media and to the net can be also considered a “peril” in some ways, even if not everyone may think like that.
    I mainly access WhatsApp, which is the application I use the most to exchange text messages, Instagram, which I really like because I can keep me updated with my friends and celebrities’ lives, but also get inspired by others’ works. I then also use Snapchat and Tumblr -that’s where I can find cool lockscreens for my phone or inspiring quotes- daily.
    I think all the social media I use are a way faster way to get in contact with people than other applications and there I can also find a rather good quality content.

  7. Irene Sartor says:

    What are your parents’ worries?
    One of my parents’ worries is that I may know a fake-identity person in the internet and he/she may ask me to meet in real life: it happened to someone of my age and my parents are so worry of it.

    What are the “hidden” perils you can encounter when surfing the net or using social media?
    They may be some fake news: once my sister was surfing on a social media and opened a link, after that she received a message which apprise her that she would have lost €5 a week.

    What social media do you access? Why?
    I access to lots of social media, but Whatsapp, Instagram and Snapchat are those I use the most the most. I use Whatsapp because it’s really fast and you can sand unlimited text messages, photos of videos, spending less than €1 a year. I really like Instagram: you can follow your friends and watch images you like (e.g. drawings,..). Snapchat is my favourite social media: you can sand to your friends photos and edit them.

    What are the advantages of using certain networks rather than others?
    I think Whatsapp is the best texting-app: it’s very popular and almost free.
    Facebook, for example, is very useful and, even if there are others social networks like it, it’s the most popular and you have the sureness that you’re probably going to find the person you are searching for in the net. A vantage of the popular social networks is that you can communicate with anyone you want.

  8. Giulia Gambron says:

    I think that we are perfectly able to control the way we use our “online abilities”, so we choose whether to use them for the good or for the bad. But we can only decide what to show to those who follow us, we cannot decide what they are going to do with it next. They may just look at it and put a like on it, but they could also send it to others, or make fun of us for uploading it. Even if we post something with the best intentions, we do not know how others will react to it. Also others can affect your online life, because usually we post certain things to be liked by people, so many of us struggle to find the perfect photo or the best quote to upload. We are constantly looking for other’s approval, it seems to be really important for us. But what we don’t realize is that we don’t need other’s approval to be someone. Everybody is its own self, with or without other people’s judgements. We should post what we like, not what we think everybody else would like to see. We should be free of saying our opinion without being judged. Also, being social network smart means knowing what are the limits of using social networks, like not posting too many personal informations or befriending people you don’t even know. Being aware of your social life is the best thing you can do if you want to be safe online.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      You point out something important to most adolescents: being approved, being liked, and this is the reason why some many young people become easy preys and are thus easily hurt by people with no scruples, no sympathy, no empathy, people incapable of feeling, people twisted in their minds and hearts, people who gloat over other people’s mortification just because they do not really have a life of their own.

  9. My parents are worried about the waste of time resulting from spending a too long time in front of a screen and they consider that I should rather read or do more constructive or even relaxing activities.I do actually agree with them:in fact I’m trying to reduce drastically my time spent online.
    I personally have only a whatsapp account to communicate with my classmates,friends and even relatives,who live in another country.I prefer it rather than a normal social media especially for two reasons:firstly,it allows you to get in touch with somebody if and only if you have his or her phone number and secondly,you don’t have the possibility to post photos and videos.Anyway,I’m not so affected so much by social medias and I’ve never been jealous or disappointed because of someone else’s posts.As a matter of fact,I’ve really benefitted from my choice of not having any social network profile (except the wathsapp one) since I’ve never been subjected to psycological pressure and people cannot find much information about me.
    Most adults think that most teenagers are absent-minded,immature and especially unaware or the risks of the internet and this is partially true,but many young people are responsible and know they could be heavily affected while many grown-ups are irresponsible and ignore rules.Everyone should check his/her posts and comments and be aware that his/her account is only a virtual,empty and unreal space,as well as the fulfillment that comes from it.
    Among the three videos the third one is the most effective.It is more precise and explains accurately each risk,trying to sensitize people.Then its quality is remarkable:its images were carefully chosen as well as the way to present them,but I would have personally added more meaningful and rougher messages.
    Social networks hide many risks as getting in touch with pedophiles and many other criminals,but not everyone seems also concious that their posted photos could compromise their future,if those are too intimate or someway innapropriate,,or social medias can make us extremely dependent.Even if they,and more in general new tecnologies,have these considerable perils,saying that we musn’t use them would be a terrible blunder:their danger is determined by the way we use it.Very often people criticize technological progress while human nature is the problem:we are the problem,since we use the internet and we become obssesed and ruined by it.Let’s rather try to see things from a different and realistic perspective.
    Technologies are indefinably precious:they instantly transcend space and time and connect people around the world indipendently from sex,religion and cultural background,making possible things that a few years ago were thought impossible.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      Dear Benedetta,
      Thanks for your insightful comment. I think myself that technology is great if used responsibly and for the benefit of human beings and the environment. When technology is used against human dignity, when it is used for the detriment of people, then the faul lies in the user, not in the means.

  10. Angelica Zuliani says:

    Personally, I think that my parents aren’t so much worried about social network, because they know that I’m a reasonable person and enough mature. In fact, my mum who has more concerns than my father does, worries about what and whom I can find in the social networks; somebody could be dangerous or insane to me. She also thinks that, in this way, adolescents tend to hide themselves behind the mobile phone and the socials, and they tend to stop talking face to face to the other people; that is a terrible thing for our society. Another thing that my mum criticizes is that social networks are a waste of time, which is very precious; if every day I took a look at all the pictures that my friends post on Instagram, I would lose more than two hours. It’s better read a book, listen to music, study or go outside for a walk.
    In my point of view, when we surf the net or we use social networks we should pay attention in anything we do, where we do it and with whom. Especially adolescents tend to accept all the friendship requests in the social networks that is not secure for our life; we should accept only the requests of somebody that we trust or that we know for sure to be our friend. In that way, we endanger ourselves since we could be attacked by phenomena like cyberbullying, which is one of the most dangerous threats of the net for us; we can call it “the dark side of the net”.
    All the social network, to me, are safe and have the preventative measures for our life but our security depends on our behaviors and how we approach the social networks. We don’t have to blame the social networks for all the bad things that happen every day, e.g. some teenagers had committed suicide for cyberbullying, but who are actually the cyberbullies?: human people, mostly teenagers; do we realize that?
    Bottom line, social networks are very useful, for example WhatsApp is one of the most famous socials and with it we can chat with our friends in every moment, we only need an internet connection.
    All the social networks are useful, some of them are more useful than others but this is not important. What’s important is that we have no obligation to use them, we have the liberty to do what we want, to take the right decisions, and we should think before take any decisions or any action because anything we do can have consequences that could be very important, sometimes unfortunately lethal, for our own life.

  11. Michele Brusadin says:

    I think my parents aren’t worried about my social network life. They had told me several times what are the perils of using social networks like the danger of strangers or been in contact with information I should ignore.I had to learn on my own that there is another risk: the danger of depending on likes and trivialize my life with the will of being every time approved by someone I even don’t know. That has really scared me so for a while I haven’t used social networks at all. Later I started using them again because I understood that I was wasting an opportunity but also that I should be more consciousness about the way of using socials and be determined to not fall in their trap. You shouldn’t renounce at social networks because they give you a lot of useful information, for instance about what happens in your city, events, exhibitions and concerts but you should be aware of the reasons you use it. So, I think it might be a good habit to write a list of the reasons why you choose a social network before you sign up so you can keep in mind that you didn’t want to waste your time using it, doing something that you didn’t want to do before you had signed up.

  12. Marco Salvador says:

    The wrong use of social medias concerns my parents, because they think I can waste my time and be more alone using them. This happens when I am watching worthless contents on the net or I am searching for virtual friendships that are not as strong as the real ones.
    Fortunately I’m not so connected as many other friends of mine, but for what little time I am online I could be lured by dangerous people, because of their “online traps”.
    Approximately four months ago, I was accepting all the online friendship requests on Instagram until a guy with a fake profile started writing to me. Initially he typed to me “Hello” and I greet him back, but then he started writing me phrases as “How are you doing?” and “Where do you live?”. I didn’t reply back his questions and I removed him from my friends’ list.
    From that time I have never accepted other online requests from strangers, because if I gave them my online friendship they could take a picture from my profile and use it for negative purposes. I also learnt from that day that I must be a “dark horse” when I use social medias, in fact I do not have personal information about me online, except my name and surname and a standard profile picture, in which there is my face only.
    Apart from this event, I think social medias have changed our lives and so we cannot do without them.
    Even if only slightly, I use most socials like “Whatsapp”, to chat to my classmates and friends, and “Instagram”, to see pictures especially about distant friends. I use a little also Snapchat and Skype, the last one mainly for video-calling my classmates to do school projects.
    Social networks have a lot of positive aspects, but we must be careful and pay attention to them, because there are even people who see them as a way to become popular and to feel powerful and so they start catching or bulling others.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      You did the right thing not to reply to the questions posed by someone you do not know. You are “a smarty” 😉

  13. Luca Troìa says:

    Well…talking about cyberbullying is not as easy as it seems. It is a topic discussed every day but I think that its application in the real life is different according to the context.
    In my own experience I see cyberbullying as a byte-made monster that feed on our insecurities. What I am trying to say is that, in my opinion, the majority of the problems related to the use of the net are founded on our constant sensation of unsuitableness. Everyone know that it’s easier to strike a sad person than an happy one.
    Consequently my parents’ worry is that I talk more with my mobile than with them because they cannot understand what I am thinking about or if I feel sad, cheerful and so on. Maybe they are right but surely typing some keys on a screen is easier than talk face to face.
    Another problem of the net is that teenagers (and also adults) think and claim to know all the pros and cons of internet but there are some hidden perils we have to be careful about.
    For example nowadays is common the identity theft that make you think of chatting with a thirteen-year-old boy while you are talking with an unscrupulous man that just want to abuse you.
    Do not misunderstand me. I am not a pharisaic person…obviously there are positive things about social media, and clearly some socials are better than others.
    There are certain networks that allow you to find a job sitting on your chair looking at a computer, that allow you to communicate with your Argentinian friend while you are nowhere near.
    This is the reason why of the lighting quick spread of technology. It is a treasure that has to be used wittingly and in the right way.
    Read cautiously these word, it is a TREASURE not a WEAPON, because remember that it’s easy to get angry with the weak but what if tomorrow you’ll be that weak?

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      A bully is not a courageous person at all. I do not like using the word “coward” or “brave” light-heartedly, but in the field of bullying I can firmly say that a bully is a loser, a hopeless being. It is much more demanding to be good and supportive in life. It is easier to abandon yourself to base insticnts, than to work to uplift yourself as a HUMAN and HUMANE BEing.

  14. Alberto Governo says:

    What are your parents’ worries?
    My parents are worried by the people I can meet on the net. That’s because I can’t know them all and maybe they could be identity-thiefs or bad-intentionated people.
    What are the “hidden” perils you can encounter when surfing the net or using social media?
    One of the main hidden perils of the net is that you don’t really know who is behind the screen. It might be a good person, but also an insane person or somebody with bad intentions. You can also end up in dangerous associations or in a bad company.
    What social media do you access? Why?
    Personally, I use Whatsapp to communicate quickly with my friend. I often use Instagram to share beautiful pictures with people I know, to read news, to inform myself about the topics I am interested in and also to keep in toch with people I know, but I din’t see any longer. Sometimes I use Snapchat to share pictures with my friends or to communicate with them.
    What are the advantages of using certain networks rather than others?
    The advantages of using some social networks are that you can share pictures with lots of people in a few seconds (e.g. Instagram), you can communicate with people in a really quickly way and, eventually, you can meet individuals you didn’t know (for instance the guys from the Usa we met this year).

  15. Nicoletta Menegoz says:

    I think that my parent’s worries are chiefly that I spend most of my time with my phone, without communicate with them, and also that I risk to get in touch with a person that I don’t know who may be a spiteful person. And I agree with them. Because I think that one of the common peril of social media is that we could meet people that we don’t know and, naively, we accept their friendship without any scruple.
    I personally access to lots of social media, for example WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram or Ask, but the only one that I find really useful is WhatsApp. I use it for different purposes, for example to communicate with my classmates or with my friends or even to send photos and videos, and these are some advantages of this app. The other are only a sort of pastime and I admit that they are quite useless, even if I think that is interesting to see photos of people you follow on Instagram or on Snapchat.

  16. Gianluca Facca says:

    My parents don’t worry much about what I do online, but they are still worried that I could meet stragers who could be identity thieves. or even burglars who want to know when it’s the right moment to rob your house. Their greater worry is that I spend a lot of time surfing the net and I can become addicted to it.
    One of the peril you can encounter when using social media is that you may be cyberbullied for the photos you post and for your thoughts and religious/politics ideas, which is better not to post beacuse you can easily be misunderstand.
    Another problem with the net is that, when you are surfing it paying not so much attention, you almost always find a lot of advertisements, wihich are made to be inevitably seen, they also use your information to see the nearest shops or your favourite things. This shows that everything you serach is recorded and it’s to copletely delete them. Advertisements and frauds also take advantage of the fact that people are Always in a hurry. This is also promoted by the social media, which very fast connect you to a lot of things and information, so in real life you do everything fast.
    I access to WhatsApp and Telegram, I use them to chat with friends, they are very convenient beacuse you can Always be in contact with your friends. I don’t have other social media, i found them silly and a waste of time.
    I think people use instant messaging application because they are free, fast and easy to use. People also use Facebook to keep in touch with the life of friends or to advertise something.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      Gialuca, as you point out, your parents’ worries are somehow justified by the complexity of modern life. The more hectic our lives are the less attentive we are of the dangers around us. Being constantly in a hurry does not help. Then, as you state, we tend to trust “the system” and we do not realize that for it we are just “consumers” of “services and goods”. The system does not protect us, it exploits us.

  17. Asia Rosolen says:

    I think my parents’ worry is that on the net everyone can keep my informations, my pictures and my sensitive data, and even if I try to delete them, they will still there forever. My parents think social medias are a waste of time, because I spend a lot of time checking my smatphone. I admit it, because it is stupid to deny the evidence: social networks attract us. I know my parents aways tell me to stop using my telephone, because the love me, and I usually try to do not spend much time on social medias when we are together. Finally, they think that social networks are prisons, where we are not ourseves, but just profiles; we do not interact with the others, but we are just hypocritical human beings behind a smartphone.
    Talking about perils, I think one of the most dangerous perils of surfing the net or using social networks is that everybody can contact you, somehow. I know it can sound really cheesy, because people always say the same things about social medias. But the real problem is that teenagers are not aware of the fact that posting everything on the net can be really dangerous. People from other parts of the wolrd can copy your photos, your name and also your own personality. You can be contacted by someone you do not know, other teenagers, but adults too. Today, teensagers usually post everything on social medias: the picture of their breakfast, the recording of the maths professor teaching at school and many other things (violing the privacy of other people). They also post ridiculous and shameful things, such as the video of their gang of friends getting drunk on a saturday night. But listen, have you ever thought of what will your children do when they will find these videos and these pictures on the net? What will you say, as parents? What will you do to keep your own authority?
    I do not like using social networks.
    I access to Instagram, a social media where you can post pictures and videos on pubblic or private profiles. I used to like it, because I really like taking pictures and I thought it was cool to share this passion with the others. But of course, now I’m aware of the net’s perils and I have a bee on my bonnet about the fact that other people can copy my ideas. So recently, I have not posted on Instagram.
    I also access to Snapchat, a social media where you can post pictures and videos that are deleted after 24h. I do not like to post there, but I admit it, I think i like to use it because i can poke my nose in the others’ businesses. It is not kind to say that, but social networks influence adolescents (and people in general) to show off, and also to watch what the others do during the day and things like that.
    Social medias are really important for our lifes, and they can be helpful if used in the right way. I think there are not advantages of using certain networks rather than others, because every social media has its pros and cons, we only need to learn how to use every social network in the way they should be used, without abusing of the services they offer.

  18. Federica De Piero says:

    The biggest worries of my parents are the strangers that I may meet on social networks and they get angry if the use of social media deprives me too much time to do more important things as my homework, even though they trust me and they know I always try to use the Net responsably. The social media I use habitually to send text messages and to keep up to date with my friends or my idols’ lifestyles and with the latest trends are respectively WhatsApp and Instagram. I think these two are great because using them you can easily get in contact with your friends and you have in the blink of an eye plenty of things that want to be explored. But this also entails some risks connected to how much attention you pay to what you post and to the people who try to put into contact with you, especially if you don’t know them. You never know what kind of person is hidden behind a touch of a fingertip. Out of this fact, I believe the major “hidden perils” we can find when surfing the Net are the untruthfulness, concealed behind fake-identities, fake profiles and fake pages or websies, and the duplicity. For “duplicity” I mean the negative sides that are present in all the things and hidden by some social networks or websites, which show us only the good sides. In my opinion social media are in general good ways to have always at hand many types of contents but I think it’s better not to share too personal information and to make sure of posting something that isn’t risky for yourself and for the people who surround you.

  19. Gian Marco says:

    When I started using the Net most of my parents worries were related to my personal informations: for example the risk that after signing up for a website, strangers or even pedophiles could have had access to informations such as my name and surname, my address, the school I was attending to. As I grew up I became more and more responsible conscious about Internet perils, and now my parents are not as worried as they were before when I surf the Net.
    While using social medias there are plenty of perils you should watch out for: you should firstly post on social networks with consciousness, knowing that everything you upload on the internet will be accessible to everyone; you should also know who can see what you post, you shouldn’t share your photos with people you don’t now in real life.
    I personally access only a few social network, because I feel like I don’t need or want to share everything with anyone, I prefer to maintain private. The social I used for most of the time is Youtube, but only to watch videos or comment, I’ve never posted any video, but I find it a great platform for entertaining.
    Since I don’t have many social networks, I can’t really tell what are the advantages of using a certain network instead of another one, I’ve never made a comparison.

  20. Sara says:

    My parents are not really worried about me using social media for a long time, their worries are most about cyber-grooming and fake identities: they know that there could be people trying to lure me into tricks and that there is a fine line between being responsible and being not while surfing the net.
    You can also encounter plenty of perils: some sites for example ask for your personal information such as the email address or phone number and they could probably steal your identity; or you could also encounter someone that is faking his identity to lure you or to obtain pictures of you.
    I access to Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat very often and Ask rarely. I honestly think that Instagram is a good social networking site because I can share pictures with my friends and my profile is private so just people I have befriended con see them. I use Whatsapp to stay in contact with relatives, friends and classmates.
    I access to certain sites rather than other because some social media are more secure and I don’t like some sites, for example Facebook, because in the home page you see also things your friends like and you don’t.

  21. Sifahu says:

    I think the main worries of my parents are if I spend most of my time using my smartphone I become dipendent on social media and so I won’t focus on my studies and I will tend to not speak face to face with them.
    The other worry is that I can get in touch with people who I don’t know their identity, and that happened before but it wasn’t my fault because of my friends gave my number to a person I didn’t know, and that person contact me by Whatsapp saying that he wanted to be my friend but I disagreed, but he was insiting so I decided to tell my parents because I was also scared about getting in trouble, and so in the end we decided to talk to my friend’s parents and to block the person on Whatsapp.
    The hidden perils that I can euncounter surfing the net are people who use identity theft to get in touch with me or advertisement which contains virus that can destroy the system of my phone and computer and be exposed to not appropriate videos. The main problem
    I usually acess to Whatsapp and Wattpad, the advantages of using these social medias are that you can communicate easily with your friends, and you can have the possibility to share medias with them.
    Wattpad is made for readers and writers and it’s fantastic because you can have the possibility to read stories written by teenager and also adult, and if you want you can also start writing your story and share it with other users, get feedback on their impression. The only thing that I don’t like about this app is that someone can still your story if it’s having a huge success and many stories expecially love stories aren’t written with good grammar and they don’t tend to give a good message to the little users who read them.
    I also have Istagram and Snapchat, you can use them to post pictures and also look at the pictures of others and also comment them, but in this period I don’t use them most because I prefer using Whatsapp and Wattpad so I can keep more safe my privacy.
    Social medias are really important but the main problem is using them in a responsible way, for example when I usually watch videos on Youtube I also read the comments and It really shocked when I see people insulting each other, sometimes these insult are really bad, the can tell a person that he’s mother should have abort him or his a cancer, I really can’t believe it. And I think that all these creat the big phenomenom called CYBERULLING. But I think that anyone who sees these type of comments should report them to the system, because if we always see and we don’t do something to stop and help the victims we are also victimizers.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      My dear special Sifahu,
      The world is packed with evil people and we just need to equip ourselves with the necessary means to protect and defend ourselves. Evil is inborn in people and some do not try to control it, they just let it grow inside them and they seem to find pleasure in it. Those people who wish somebody else’s death or illness are already dead inside and we can just feel sorry for them, but at the same time ignore them. Are there words for a person who inflicts pain upon a living being? Obviously not. I have reached the stage that I do not even want to waste my time understand evil. I have seen it in all its shades and I do not want it to play any role in my life, if possible.
      Thanks for suggesting Wattpad. I did not know you love writing. You never shared this passion of yours in class. Would you once like to talk about it?

  22. Sara Lombardi says:

    My parents aren’t really worried about the risks of the net because they know that I am enough responsible and mature. I access to social like WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat to chat with my friends, see their photos and to get in touch with friends near and far . However my parents remind me to pay attention when I use social network.
    As they say there are some “hidden” perils that I can’t control. For example when we chat with someone we don’t know who he or she really is. Who is the person behind the screen? He or she could be an ill-intentioned but we can’t know it. Another risk is that if I post some photos other people can use them in an inappropriate way. I also know that when you want to find a job the employer searches on the net everything about you and someone can’t have the job because of the photos that he or she posts on the net.
    Some social networks are more controlled and safer than other: one of these is WhatsApp, where is almost impossible to speak with unknowns.
    I think that the more useful social network is WhatsApp because you can chat and also send images and videos and it’s almost free. I personally don’t use so much the other social because I think that they are quite useless and a waste of time.

  23. Merilda Sheraj says:

    Cyberbulling is a phenomenon that is spreading online with social networks. The effects of cyberbulling are not negligible and everyone has to pay close attention to the things shared with “friends” and to the people he/she chats with.
    Last year my parents were worried because they thought I used too much my phone. At first I got angry because I thought that they didn’t trust me, but later I understood that they were worried because of what strangers could see and what they could tell me. They also noticed that I spent more time chatting with my friends than talking to them. At first I didn’t want to listen to them, but then I understood their point of view. I told them I didn’t want to have a smartphone any longer and I would have bought a simple cell phone and so I did.
    As far as I’m concerned, the “hidden” perils are certainly fake profiles because I don’t know who I am chatting with and I can accidentally say something that can compromise me. Another thing that many people underestimate is the time that we waste to check our profile and other’s business. The web become a spider web and we become little flies ready to be eaten by a big spider called fear. Fear of being left out, fear of not knowing the latest news, fear of not being accepted by our “friends” and doing this we can bump into cyberbullies, people which hide themselves behind a screen because they don’t have the bravery to talk to people face to face and because they need an audience in order to do something. Cyberbullies are mannequins which can be noticed only behind a “shop window” and who are often nobody outside that.
    Since last year I have access only to Instagram to chat with my classmates, even if I prefer to call them on the phone, and to watch funny videos during my spare time. I think the social network that give more advantages is Whatsapp because I can share photos, videos, audio files and many other things but I understood that I can survive even without it.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      You are certainly right when you state that fear compromises our lives.
      You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ Eleanor Roosevelt

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