Aug 3, 2009

Archbishop says Facebook causes uptick in Suicide

From the BBC

Archbishop Vincent Nichols said MySpace and Facebook led young people to seek "transient" friendships, with quantity becoming more important than quality.
He said a key factor in suicide among young people was the trauma caused when such loose relationships collapsed.
"Friendship is not a commodity," he told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
He added: "Friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when it's right".

Archbishop Nichols said society was losing some of its ability to build communities through inter-personal communication, as the result of excessive use of texts and e-mails rather than face-to-face meetings or telephone conversations.
He said skills such as reading a person's mood and body language were in decline, and that exclusive use of electronic information had a "dehumanising" effect on community life.

Archbishop Nichols said that social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace encouraged a form of communication that was not in his words "rounded", and would not therefore build rounded communities.


I agree with some of his statements here but I seriously doubt that any sociologist or psychologist would say with any certainty that suicide can be linked with frequent use of social networking.

4 comments:

Paul said...

He's wrong about Facebook.

He's right about texting.

St Edwards Blog said...

What Paul said.

Fran

Murphy Family Ministry said...

I have to say that FB and such things HELP in an indescribable way people be connected and less alone. When my husband and I moved away from family, we knew no one. Home alone with a baby I was very isolated! FB allowed me to stay in touch with folks and feel alot less alone! It all depends on how you use it and how we teach people about using it..

RAKSTAR said...

I can see some truth to what he is saying. The surface level of the "friendship" if it is virtual only, regardless of how transparent, does stunt their ability to form deeper lasting relationships in many instances. I speak not from "data" but from having worked at a university for 6 years and watched the upswing in the prevalence of social networking. It can have the effect of being isolating in a very insidious way because it doesn't seem as though one is isolated based on the number of "friends," but the number of true friends may be quite low or nonexistent.

I think it is tough to simply blame the technology though. I won't speak for MySpace because, frankly, I no longer have any use for it, but Facebook is a fantastic way to reconnect or stay connected with old friends.

I think too, what we are seeing, is a generational difference. For us GenXers and older Millenials, the use is far different than today's youth, who often spend their time online or texting rather than hanging out or talking in person. In that case, isn't it our job as parents and ministers to counterbalance that? Young people need direction, and I may sound like an old fart, but I'm quite willing to provide it!

Same goes for texting - my bigger complaint there is the rapid decline of grammatical abilities! I'm sorry, but "ur" does not actually equal "you are" in written form. :)

Well, that was a handful - I'm done with my soapbox for now!!

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