Are social networks really dangerous?
A teen writes from inside the Mxit beast.
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So many times I’ve seen Mxit and other IM applications dubbed ‘evil’ and that they ‘just cause harm’. I say – RUBBISH!

The dangers of using an application like Mxit is that open forums are available and yes, you meet strangers. That, however, is where the danger stops. From then on it’s all about choice! You’re not forced to give out ANY personal information. Not your real name, address, telephone number – nothing. It all comes down to whether or not you choose to do so.

Two girls went missing earlier this year and Mxit got blamed. However Mxit does not encourage sharing of personal information in any way. They even try to discourage giving a Mxit friend your real name.

Mxit is not the only service that gets a bad rap. Facebook, MySpace, anything that gives children private access to people who are just waiting to ‘make friends’.

I have been using social networks such as Mxit, Facebook and others for about 3 years now and I have NEVER met a stranger from any of these sites. You see, all of these services come with wonderful little features – reject, delete and block. So you’ve gotten a friend request from someone you don’t know? REJECT! You become friends with someone and they start saying things that make you uncomfortable? DELETE! That same person keeps bugging you even after you’ve deleted them? BLOCK! Amazing isn’t it…

So it is all about choice. You choose to press accept and you choose to agree to a meeting with this stranger and you choose to choose.

But what do YOU think? Do you think teens should be allowed on social networks?

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