Are Social Networking Sites The Downfall of Society?

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The Archbishop Vincent Nichols has told the Sunday Telegraph that he believes social networking sites such as, Facebook and MySpace to be a catalyst in the downfall of communities and people’s ability to communicate interpersonally. He also attributes teenager’s use of social networking sites as a reason for an increase in suicide rates among young people who have become disillusioned when the online friendships they have forged break up.

Archbishop Nichols was quoted on the BBC website as saying;

“…society was losing some of its ability to build communities through inter-personal communication, as the result of excessive use of texts and e-mails rather than face-to-face meetings or telephone conversations.”

Although I do not want to completely disregard the points that he has made I do not believe that the downfall in community life and inter-personal relations can be solely attributed towards the use of modern technology. Surely we are in communication more often these days, it is so much easier to keep in contact with friends and family wherever you are in the world, this must bring communities and families closer together? Social networking sites are there to enable people to communicate and interact with their existing friends or find new ones through shared interests. I believe that most people who use Facebook or Myspace are able to draw the line between real life friendships and online acquaintances?

The Archbishop is also quoted as saying;

“Friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when it’s right”

I would think that when a friendship is hard work then it is maybe not a friendship at all? Should it not be those friendships that are effortless and irrespective of outside influences that are the long lasting ones.

Social networking sites as with all modern communication methods are a just and necessary way for not only people but also businesses to interact and promote themselves. Communities are able to advertise and reach out to members that they previously may not have been able to do so. The young people of today are technology savvy enough to be able to use social networking sites responsibly and safely. I am sure that everyone would like to see and be involved a bit more in their communities but when it comes to forging friendships and staying in touch, social networking, texting and e-mailing are leading the way.

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