If you read my blog here, there is one thing you can easily deduce – both from my tone and my ramblings – I hate social networks. I don’t hate them because they are dangerous or filled with predators and pedophiles. No, I hate them for a much more philosophical and basic-caring-for-the-human-race reason.
You see, the term, applied to places like MySpace and FaceBook – “Social Network” – is misleading and entirely wrong. If anything it should be called “Self-Centered Bragging Pages” because that is all it is.
So what if you have 5,000 friends. How many of them do you know in real life? If you ever “met” a stranger in real life – like you often do on these sites – would you know how to act? Would you know how to break the ice or start a conversation of worth? I believe it is referred to as “small talk”… You may have 5,000 friends – but what is the point? What have you gained?
I also hate these sites because I have friends (who are 30+ years old) who have a) been fired due to their involvement in the website (creating a profile to bash the reputation of their current employer OR simply not paying attention to the job they were hired to do) and b) been constantly nagging me to join (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!).
And for the high schools kids it’s even worse. One of the kids on the PBS Frontline special literally said he wouldn’t know what to do if he unplugged his computer – he claimed he’d sit and stare at walls. Are you that inept? Are you really that dependent on something – this electronic connection? If so, you may need to seek help. (Skynet, anyone?)
The fact is that these networks that encourage socializing do just the opposite. I contest that the sites actually decrease the ability to network socially. How could it not, since you have to be sitting, secluded and glued to your computer in order to participate? (Okay, youn’t have to be – but 99% are!) How does posting on some person’s page – who you may have never met in real life – enable your social skills?
I’m not trying to scold or resist the current technology, but all I am saying is that the generation that relies and thrives on MySpace is going to have a real tough time in the real world when they need to go to a job and interact with REAL people (you know, those with a pulse and breathing functions).
I wish parents would pay attention to what their kids are doing online. Forget about the threat of predators and cyberbullies – just look at how much time they are wasting and ask, “what is it for?” In the ‘90s we realized our kids were fat because they weren’t playing tag anymore, they were playing PlayStation… This was a result of generations of imrpoved gaming consoles finally taking over as the preferred method of entertainment. It became more fun to sit inside and stare at a screen, than be outside in the fresh air playing a sport, exploring the woods, reading a book or just hanging out with friends. I remember playing Nintendo and getting bored with it and going outside. At least there was a balance. It seems there is no balance today and like with fat kids evolving from video games, we’re going to have socially inept idiots evolving from ‘social networks’ – again, due to the physical manner that is required to participate.
They may be able to type fast and google circles around you, but they won’t know how to do a job or talk to real people. I can only imagine what dinner conversations will be like…
Anyway, what sparked this little rant of mine is this post here: Is Online Social Network A Complete Waste of Time? Please read. It is EXCELLENT and brings up many further points of how bad social networks truly are – philosophically and mentally.
Parents, know what your kids are doing. Invest in monitoring software like our new PC Pandora version 5.0. It may not be predators and cyberbullying you have to watch out for – it may simply be the complete de-constructive waste of time.
As the author of the above article says: “Get Real Friends and Stay in the Real World.”
As David Spade says: “There I said it…”