WHAT? Social networking bad for your health? Surely not…


Reading the BBC site tonight I was interested to read about a Dr Sigman who today published a report stating that social networking could have a detrimental effect on a user’s health. The  paper which is called Well Connected?: The Biological Implications of ‘Social Networking’ aims to show that the decline in face-to-face interaction could contribute to health issues such as stroke and dementia amongst others!

Dead at computerGiven the sheer amount of time that the PoLR Team spend online and in particular, on social networking sites it looks like we could have a shorter lifespan than we initially expected (wonder who’ll be first!) 😉

Anyway, much as we know his paper is not as cut and dried as saying Social Networking is bad, it’s still giving us some food for thought (and most importantly the basis of a blog post).

Speaking for myself alone, the amount of time I devote to Social Networking sites is huge and one quote from Dr Sigman’s paper that made me laugh is the one below:

Couples now spend less time in one another’s company and more time at work, commuting, or in
the same house but in separate rooms using different electronic media devices.

Quite a familiar scenario in our household and I have had my leg pulled more than once in the past for using MSN to ask my Fiance if he’s fancies a cuppa (he was in the next room – OK!).

Joking aside though, I have found Social Networking to be a great tool and far from reducing social interaction it has enabled me, through Facebook, to meet (face-to-face) with old friends. I have used LinkedIn and ecademy to meet business contacts and through Twitter and Forums to (in the very near future) attend conferences where we hope to make some new acquaintances! So for us, far from being anti-face-to-face it’s encouraging us to ‘get out there’.

Comments on today’s Twitter post on this very website threw up an interesting quote too:

Twitter has put me in touch of a whole new network of friends and professionals within my industry that I would never have come across…

Social Networking has been a great benefit to me both personally and to PoLR and we’re a pretty sociable bunch!

But, for now, I really must shoot, I’ve a Twitter update to do and some Facebook apps to play with before bed!

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    • admin
    • 21st February 2009

    @Ryan : Maybe there’s a shout for social networking centres like the LAN gaming centres – everyone sitting next to each other ‘virtually chatting’ and still able to look over to their neighbour for a face-to-face chat. Wait, that sounds like our office…

    • Ryan
    • 20th February 2009

    Yeah there’s probably a shout for it ruining your health… Still going to keep doing it though. If people give up another bad habit then perhaps they can ‘offset’ the badness.

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