This really hit me today when I noticed a wall post from someone I know (in the real world). They stated that they’d be gone for the weekend, but not to worry if anyone saw posts from them because they had asked someone to take care of their farm. This is s VIRTUAL farm mind you.
So what is the importance of this? Well, I’m taking classes that are based on technology and education. Part of those classes focus on social media and how the youth of today are more “wired” than ever. With this wiring, comes this chance for addiction. We are so concerned about drug and alcohol use in the youth of today, but what about internet use?
The youth of today run the very real risk of being socially dysfunctional when it come to interacting with with real people in real time. They’ve all got lots and lots o’ friends online, but when it comes to preferences some would rather use the computer as an interface to interacting with their friends than face to face. Of course, this is just based off of casual observations of my son and his friends. Even when friends are over their interaction tends to be around the computer or game console.
And it’s not just the kids. About a year ago CNN published “Five clues that you are addicted to Facebook” http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/23/ep.facebook.addict/index.html and that’s not the only danger. I’ve seen stories of kids being left alone while parents played online games. Kids left alone to the point of being considered child neglect or abuse.
So, does that mean we should all become unplugged? Nah, but if you can’t be “disconnected” for a day or two without starting to twitch, you may want to take a serious look at your usage.