Thursday, February 19, 2009

Social Networking's Negative Effects

I recently read a report from the UK's Mail Online about an article written by Dr. Aric Sigman, a psychologist, featured in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology.

According to Dr. Sigman, Social Networking Sites like Facebook, MySpace, etc etc could increase the risk of serious health illness (like cancer and heart disease) because they the levels of face-to-face communication necessary for humans. He called it "increased isolation" which negative effects includes altering the way genes work,upsetting immune responses, hormone levels and the function of arteries, and it could also impair mental performance.

He said their purpose maybe to bring people together but in reality they played a significant role in people becoming more isolated (stuck to their computers in short).

The next paragraphs are taken from the article in the Mail Online entitled "How using Facebook could raise your risk of Cancer":

'Social networking is the internet's biggest growth area, particular among young children.

'A quarter of British children have a laptop or computer in their room by the age of five and they have their own social networking sites, like the BBC's myCBBC. It's causing huge changes.'

Studies had shown that children taught via video broadcasts or DVDs did not learn as well as they did when given lessons by a real teacher.

Dr Sigman said 209 'socially regulated' genes had been identified, including ones involved in the immune system, cell proliferation and responses to stress.

Their activity may account for higher rates of inflammatory disease and other health problems seen in socially isolated individuals.

Electronic media was also undermining the ability of children and young people to learn vital social skills and read body language, said Dr Sigman.

'One of the most pronounced changes in the daily habits of British citizens is a reduction in the number of minutes per day that they interact with another human being,' he said.

'In less than two decades, the number of people saying there is no one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled.

'Parents spend less time with their children than they did only a decade ago. Britain has the lowest proportion of children in all of Europe who eat with their parents at the table. The proportion of people who work at home alone continues to rise.

'I am worried about where this is all leading.

'Social networking sites should allow us to embellish our social lives, but what we find is very different. The tail is wagging the dog. These are not tools that enhance, they are tools that displace.’


The point I think is it's all right to socialize online as long as we do it as only as a part of our life not making it our life. Look around you! Do not take for granted the people and things that may be needing our utmost attention.


The TEFL Don said...

My own experience when working with young people in the UK tend to back up some of this theory.

Many teenagers seem to prefer a virtual world to a real one with all the problems that presents.

Family gatherings like having dinner together now seem to be a thing of the past in many households.

What a pity!

Jes said...

argh!!!! it hurts!

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