Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sunday 2 August

Overcast day, with a bit of drizzle and a bit of sunshine here and there.

Archbishop Vincent Nicols, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England, has sounded a warning bell against the (over)use of social networking sites on the Internet, particularly by young people. He claims that sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter give people a false sense of belonging to a group, a group that can sometimes turn out to be as ephemeral as the air itself. And when it all collapses, suicide is only just around the corner.

I know people who are strongly opposed to social networking sites for that reason, claiming that they prey on the vulnerable and leading to disaster should a meeting face-to-face ever ensue. All the people that I correspond with through the internet, with only a few exceptions, I have never met in person. There is exactly one person that I met as a direct result of a meeting on-line. I am no longer in touch (haven't been for 4-5 years), but will say that my impression face-to-face was little different from what I had been led to believe on AOL (as was). Although you miss the non-verbal communication (which makes up 70% of any face-to-face communication), I was surprised at the outcome. We were both aware of mutual vulnerability, and both took that into account. We parted as friends; circumstances led to a drifting apart.

There are a few people that I have "met" through AOL Journals, Facebook and Twitter I would like to meet in person. As in real life, you get close friends, "ordinary" friends and acquaintances on-line. I am wary of making the transition.

5 comments:

  1. I have posted my take on it as a reply to you on Twitter.

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  2. Comment from Jeannette [jeanno43], from Twitter:

    Social networking like we are doing, among responsible adult people is totally harmless. However, I do feel that young people now, lots of them, spend too long on the computer, isolating themselves from the world and from their peers. The young need human interaction,face to face. Spending long hours in your own room living a fantasy life through the computer is not healthy.and with some it is a true fantasy life and they come down to earth with a bump. They can also get hurt by other people. My main concern is the fact that the young need to be out and about amongst their own generation, experiencing life at first hand. You cannot do that through a computer.

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  3. I had one really bad experience, but several really good ones!!!!

    So, I think it is just like life... a few bad apples can spoil it for the whole bunch!

    be well...

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  4. i think these social networking sites for me are great - i am under no false impression that my tweetfriends are 'real' friends but i enjoy the banter that goes on within in my various interest groups.
    but my facebook friends - i am only friends with people i really know and being so far away from most of them it makes a really nice and easy way to keep in touch with them!!!
    I also think as dawn says the internet reflects real life - there is good and bad in 'real' life as well as virtual life
    rant over! :0)

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  5. I was on Facebook for 2 days and left it. I don't know, I'm probably missing out on a lot of interesting conversations with interesting people, but simple chit chat doesn't interest me. As for young people, it's a way of life these days, there's no point in criticizing it. They'll figure out it's dangers, most of them.

    DB

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