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Facing Facebook (Grades 11-12)

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Facing Facebook

Facing Facebook

Not long ago, the social media site Facebook proudly announced that it had finally reached one billion—yes, that is billion—active users throughout the world. That number is exceedingly difficult to conceptualize—even for math wizards, so it might be helpful to think of it this way: one billion people is about three times the entire population of the United States. Further research has shown that almost half of these Facebook users check the site as soon as they wake in the morning. Another shocking 28 percent look before they even get out of bed! Every 20 minutes, three million messages are sent via this site, along with one million links shared, and two million friend requests
made.

Facebook’s pervasiveness and popularity are not in question, yet, its impact on people is. One side of the ongoing debate unequivocally believes that this powerful social network has been of incredible benefit to all ages. It allows people to reconnect and keep in touch in a way no other mode of communication can. By making it simple to post statuses, photographs, and experiences, Facebook helps people share and chronicle their lives. Using Facebook can help students enhance both their computer and social skills.

Conversely, opponents to the site point out that posting information online is a blanket invitation to share personal details with the entire world. Privacy becomes relatively non-existent. They also argue that time spent on Facebook is time not spent on more “worthwhile” activities such as interacting with family and friends face to face, doing homework, holding a job, pursuing hobbies, and getting exercise.

Is Facebook today’s solution to staying connected or tomorrow’s problem of feeling isolated? Perhaps someone should ask the one billion Facebook users. In 20 minutes, they could share the question at least a million times.
1. 
What factor do these two viewpoints have in common?
  1. Facebook is an incredibly popular social media site.
  2. Facebook is an excellent tool for learning social and computer skills.
  3. Facebook is helping to connect and network people all around the globe.
  4. Facebook is extremely damaging to people’s daily face to face interactions.
2. 
Which statement about Facebook users is the most accurate?
  1. They do not take time to pursue personal interests and hobbies.
  2. They tend to post on Facebook most often while still in bed.
  3. They are unaware of how public their profiles and details can be.
  4. They use the social media site to share details about their lives with friends.
3. 
What do opponents of social media sites like Facebook list as one of the biggest risks?
  1. Failing grades in school
  2. Lack of physical exercise
  3. Losing personal privacy
  4. Impact on social life
4. 
Just over a quarter of Facebook users check their Facebook pages before getting out of bed each day.
  1. True
  2. False
5. 
Facebook has stated that it has approximately one                      active users across the globe.
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