• Michael Weeding

The Internet is Killing Us

There is a consistent belief that young people today cannot communicate, the Internet has changed the way that we interact so much so that teens now lack the interpersonal communication skills necessary for an effective and healthy existence. So what should we do?

With the rise of social media our youth are now missing out on vital face to face interaction, as a result they lack certain qualities such as empathy or reading social clues such as facial expressions and body language. Their addiction to social media has isolated individuals from reality and disconnected them from the real world and as a result many are developing an “Internet Addiction Disorder”.

If the lack of social skills is not enough to worry about it has been reported that this lack of face to face contact could alter the way our genes work by upsetting immune responses and hormone levels, the impact is putting everyone at risk of serious health problems such as cancer and strokes.

So could our youths desire to continually show people how much fun they are actually having rather than worrying about actually having fun may be killing them? If so what should we do, should we turn the Internet off now and get back to living the way we did in the good old days.

There is a lot of information supporting the fact that our youth spend more time on the Internet and much of this time is spent communicating with their peers via social media, the only call out is that this is reported as a trend but not compared to anything from the past.

I wonder if we went back 30 years and researched the time teenagers spent using the telephone would we see the same trend appearing. If you are Generation X you would be familiar with a traditional cry of “get off the phone” coming from frustrated parents who wanted to use the household telephone. Then there was the first bill after purchasing your first mobile phone, I am sure there are many who are still paying that off today.

If you do look deeper than the doom and gloom you can find some research that points to the fact that while we may be spending more time online it is still drawfed by the analog world where all our influential conversations are still conducted no matter what age group you belong.

So what should we do? At least in social gathering we all should resist the desire to continually share our location or our fantastic experience and maybe think about actually putting the phone away and enjoy the experience. Doing this could save your life.


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