Monday, May 16, 2011

Youth Culture Update: With this click, I thee wed

Facebook seems to be the center of many youth culture related articles as of late.  It was reported that 7.5 Million Facebook users are below the age of 12 even though the social media giant’s policy states that individuals much be over 13 to have an account.  There are daily news reports about kids that have faced online bullying or have been lured into danger simply through the use of this site.  However, the lighter side of how kids use their facebook is rarely reported.  I was surprised by the post on socialtimes.com that was discussing how students are using their relationship updates on facebook to enter in “facebook marriages” with their friends.  This shows up when you look at someone’s profile and it say John Smith is married to “Maria Johnson” even though they are both only 14 and in real relationships with other people.  Some kids create entire families, listing different friends as children and or siblings.  It is all thought of as extremely hilarious.  Is there anything to this bit of joking around?  There is no doubt that teens in our culture are increasingly peer dependant.  I have watched several students graduating from highshool in deep grief as they feel they are leaving the only stable family that they have ever had.  Could it be that kids are actually creating the families of their dreams through the use of a rather insignificant facebook feature, or is it simply just all in good friend.  I would be interested in if you think this is something to address with young people or ignore it as harmless.  Please comment what you would do.
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