Sunday, August 02, 2009

Social Media harms true friendship?

Archbishop Nichols, head of the Catholic church in England & Wales has warned that, "Websites such as Facebook and MySpace encourage teenagers to view friendship as a "commodity" and are leading them to suicide".

he goes on to say that:

"The sites are leading teenagers to build "transient relationships" which leave them unable to cope when their social networks collapse. He said the internet and mobile phones were "dehumanising" community life. I think there's a worry that an excessive use or an almost exclusive use of text and emails means that as a society we're losing some of the ability to build interpersonal communication that's necessary for living together and building a community.

We're losing social skills, the human interaction skills, how to read a person's mood, to read their body language, how to be patient until the moment is right to make or press a point.

Too much exclusive use of electronic information dehumanises what is a very, very important part of community life and living together."

Is this another example of the established church being out of touch with reality? or is there something in what the Archbishop says?

I do know that electronic communication has somehow given people the perceived freedom to say things electronically that they would never have said face to face. Although not a young persons disease it seems to open some doors for them that may well be better left shut.

I prefer to see social media as opening connections that I would have never otherwise have had. The use of the word friend by facebook may be a little misleading but I for one enjoy the connection and also know who my friends are.

What do you think?

Read the whole article here.


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