Last week, Facebook made a controversial decision to loosen its privacy settings allowing underage users – those aged 13 to 17 – to share their statuses with the world and accept 'followers'. Previously, users in this age bracket were protected under a strict privacy policy to minimise any potential danger they could find themselves in from misusing the site.

Social media has completely revolutionised the way people interact with each other. Relationships are now developed over a keyboard and through a screen. First impressions are decided over a social profile rather than a face-to-face meeting. And students are connected over internet communities developed through their education institution.

Just as young children now often have mobile phones (previously a strictly adult gadget), social media sites are also becoming more open to children. But, is this a good thing?

Intra-university online communities are there to give students a portal to interact with each other through (that's how Facebook started), and to assist or further their education. Primary and high schools have latched onto this idea to an extent and use computers with internet access to teach the younger generation.

The internet is a vitally important tool for educating students – it's by far the largest encyclopaedia of information ever – and the world would undeniably be lost without it now. Businesses and schools rely on their broadband connection to operate while individually, people depend on it for entertainment and social purposes.

With this in mind, the infographic below was created in conjunction with Virgin Media to show just what life would be like without broadband now society has become so accustomed to it.

However, while the internet is part of life, has Facebook done the right thing by opening up their site further to younger users?

Click on the infographic to expand it.


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