Thursday, August 14, 2008

Facebook, MySpacers 'can't form relationships'?

I stumbled upon this article on a message board. It made me curious:

Facebook and MySpace generation 'cannot form relationships'

Here's an excerpt.

Dr. Himanshu Tyagi, a psychiatrist at West London Mental Health Trust, said social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace have fostered the idea that relationships and friendships can be formed and destroyed quickly and easily.


"... It's a world where everything moves fast and changes all the time, where relationships are quickly disposed at the click of a mouse, where you can delete your profile if you don't like it and swap an unacceptable identity in the blink of an eye for one that is more acceptable.

"People used to the quick pace of online social networking may soon find the real world boring and unstimulating, potentially leading to more extreme behaviour to get that sense."

He said teenagers who socialise online put less value on their "real world" selves which puts them at risk of impulsive and even suicidal behaviour. They may be less able to form relationships as they do not learn the physical clues involved with communication including body language, tone of voice and facial expressions.

That last sentence really spoke to me because it's one of the main reasons I don't like online dating sites. Not only do you not know who you're talking to, but you can't see the effect your words have on them and they can't see how what they say effects you.

The article isn't all doom and gloom; for example, online communication can strip away geographical boundaries and there's less discrimination as race, gender and wealth have less meaning. But still ...

What do you think? Are online networking sites chipping away at our ability to communicate?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whenever I'm having a bad hair day I just click on this blog and check out this clown Jason's whacked out frontal hairline disaster/tragedy

Anonymous said...

Who in their right mind would use that picture? That comb over/comb froward trick is not working at all. amazing.

Anonymous said...

That flannel shirt isn't working either.

crystalsbass said...

Of course it impairs people's abilities to form relationships. They can say all the mean, rude and crass things they want and hide behind anonymity. Like the impaired idiots who commented before I did.

Anonymous said...

You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. There is no reason you need to make fun of Jason's picture. It has nothing to do with the blog, or the post. I guess it must make you feel better about yourselves to put other people down. Who cares what his hair or clothes look like. At least he is probably a good person, which is more than I can say for all of you.

Anonymous said...

yeah...you big...meanies...

Anyway, I don't think that online sites are inhibiting peoples social abilities. Its just changing them. The argument that "you don't know who you're really talking to when you meet someone online" makes me want to slap the naivety out of people. Guess what ladies, when you meet a guy in a bar or a coffee shop, you still don't really know who you're talking to, you just know what they look like. In the end people always let you know what they want you to know about them, no matter what the means of communication.

Just because somethings different doesn't make it bad.

Anonymous said...

Why is his pic on here anyway? He never writes anything.

Jason.....Good pic or bad pic step up and say something. Good or bad.

madEthelFlint said...

perhaps the internet interferes with face-to-face social behavior, but is it possible that those (juveniles, in particular) that are impacted are already encountering problems with that? i think it's difficult to tightly correlate (and thus possibly place blame on) social networking use with the problem of forming relationships.

who doesn't have trouble forming and maintaining relationships to begin with? and who's to say that a person will pay attention to body language and other cues that an in-person interaction provides? i encounter LOTS of people who don't pick up on that stuff because they are so self-engrossed. we don't exactly have a method to teach body language interpretation either (parents/caregivers?).

as for the article and studies, i think the only way to truly prove a correlation would be to take a child and not let him have access to the internet...see how he forms relationships. take a child of similar characteristics (personality, etc.), and let him have the social networking on the internet. then compare how to the 2 subjects fare. even then, you've still got the unknown variable of how 2 different people act/interact.

interesting topic.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what is said in this blog. Myspace and Facebook are both very addictive and I think an unhealthy way to network socially, especially if you're out there trying to meet new people and you feel lonely. I am in my 20s and I really believe most people my age suffer in social skills. Being a guy, I have even met other guys who can only find a date through the internet, and when one relationship doesn't work out they just try another dating site. I use to have a myspace and finally decided to delete it a few months ago because I felt like my social life was suffering in the real world. I would write/email people more than go out and talk face to face, and years before I was always very active and social. Since I've deleted my profile I have been going out more, approaching people more, and when some of my friends are like "why did you get off myspace?, now I can't get in touch with you." I just say, "You have my cell number, and you know where I live, so get off the computer and maybe we can do something together."

Anonymous said...

I think that Deidre is gorgeous! The guy looks just fine. They both have great smiles!

Anonymous said...

People are becoing robots. It is too easy to become a recluse as we are moving to a fedual system of living each and every day.

High rises which have everything you need, work, food, entertainment and a home.

How about gated and planned communites, they are the same idea?

My biggest example of just how our world has changed with our computers usage and making us act like robots, is the fact we never had wholesale killings at schools and colleges until we started this new way of handling relationships and our fellow man.

Florabora said...

I'm a 35 yo professional who lives 600 miles from home. Facebook has allowed me to catch up instantly with old friends that I've lost touch with.

Most people use Facebook/myspace for communication - about events in real life. It's just a tool, and like every tool, it can be abused.

I'm sure similar criticism was lobbed at the new fangled telephone when it was invented. I know it was when TV was - and people still ended up having a social life away from the set.