Archive for the ‘Social media’ Category

The Perils of Social Media

July 2, 2012

Just a few decades ago people did not use the Internet. Since the 1990s, the Internet blossomed, growing from external motives, simple e-mail, and chat rooms with anonymous stangers to high-speed Internet access and social media. Social networking sites like Facebook an e-mail\combinations like G-mail allow people to be in perpetual contact 24\7. With the advent of the smart phone, people no longer even need to be at home to be online, which has led to the current state of affairs, of people glued to their smart phones while at lunch or dinner with friends, the movie theater’s, sporting events, and even while praying in church. Too much Internet use can have negative consequences for people and can contribute to psychological and physical problems.
Overusing your smart phone can also have physical effects. Recent studies show that using a smart phone or laptop or Ipad before bed can affect the quality of sleep that you get. Light emitting devices can be inhibit the body’s secretion of melatonin and tell your brain to remain alert, preventing quality sleep.
But the sleep disruption can also come from a mental place. The anxiety created by People’s incessant need to check their Facebook or their e-mail can cause people to lose sleep because of their excessive online use. This lack of sleep can cause additional problems at school or work if the person has trouble focusing because he\she is so tired.
Bottom line: There are good and valid reasons to use social media, assuming you don’t use it at the expense of face-to-face interactions. If you are so involved with social media and reading other people status updates and tweets that you’re not engaging with people in your actual physical world, then this modern technology can be a bad thing. It can lead to increased isolation and alienation from people around you. But like everything else in life, moderation is key.

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Social Media, i.e., Facebook May Be Hazardous To Your (Children’s) Health

April 3, 2011

I had plenty of giggles on my face when I heard about the unique features and opportunities of social media.  For example, if you are Catholic, you can go to an iPhone app, Confessions: A Roman Catholic App, and make contrition for your sins 24\7.  Another article reported that there were social media users who made the ultimate sacrifice: giving up Facebook for Lent!  Now there is evidence, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics who warn that Facebook can make “troubled tweens and teens feel more alone and inadequate” and be a contributor to depression.  (http://bit.ly/icYVHV)  They have even given a name to this condition, Facebook Depression!  (http://bit.ly/fYxmEK)

So what is a parent to do?  First, there’s probably no way to make your child abolish their participation of Facebook.  You can, however, have a discussion with your children about being honest and realistic about their posts on Facebook and other social media sites.   And finally, when parents can see examples of “cyberbullying”, they can bring this to the attention of their children and school officials and let them know that you think online bullying is the same as true school bullying. Now that we see bullying for what it is, it’s much harder to pretend it’s not a problem.  Bottom line: Don’t be depressed about social media.  It’s here to stay and the sooner that parents obtain a greater understanding of this method of interaction, the better they will be able to communicate with their children.