Some people need to realize that Facebook is a social network; not a diary.
Much like the multitude of excuse makers for children stamping off in the face of scolding parents and slamming doors behind them, an equally able army of “experts” in denial are these days making a case for the addiction of teens to the Internet –– in particular the shallow tweeting and messaging –– at the cost of a creative mind, and thinking.
Regrettably, to the other extreme are the health nuts who argue that being on the Net, particularly on Facebook, is very bad for your physical and mental wellness. We will concede that too much of most things is sorely unsafe for body and mind; and that consumption of large quantities of titbits
of trivia will keep a mind shallow and pervert the course of thought.
Surely, the brain –– a working one –– will require exercise in comprehension: the saturation of articles of some length –– and much depth –– for enlightenment and knowledge, and, by no means least, a meaningful awareness of current affairs.
It would be no idle boast to suggest that Barbados TODAY provides such mental stimuli, and as such all is not lost on the Internet. After all, credible and accurate information may only be guaranteed by a estimable media house. And our teens –– and others –– would be well advised to seek out the reports of a reliable source, in place of the carefree, cavalier and oft-times irresponsible informants who fancy themselves as the trailblazers of the social media.
Actually, Facebook doesn’t have to mislead. It only takes the first and wise determination of whose word you and your teen will follow. A responsible source like Barbados TODAY can make your Facebook life better, and help you both to make wiser decisions.
It can mean much more than receiving messages, birthday greetings, notifications and ball-by-ball snaps of what your mate is doing in the kitchen
or the bedroom –– which brings us to the core of what is the turn-off for most of the anti-Facebook critics: the atrocious writing.
The critics say a good author Facebook will not make, if for no other cause than the diminishment of patience and reasoning.
Arch-enemy Akshat Rathi, a science and tech writer, is of the view Facebook is toxic to the body, constantly triggering the limbic system.
He argues that new pictures on Facebook spur the release of cascades
of glucocorticoid (cortisol), thus deregulating the immune system and inhibiting the release of growth hormones.
“In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress even though you are feeling good. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitization.”
A mouthful indeed! We will have to check with our health doctor. We assume Mr Rathi was expressing his right to freedom of expression, and that his utterances were neither meant to diagnose nor treat . . . .
But, as we inferred earlier, we are not unaware of the challenge
to concentration and deep thinking that Facebook, Twitter and the like may present, and that firm guidance, a regime and a timetable will be required as we guide our teens through and around this mass of information –– trivial and profound.
Let it not be said that we are averse to keeping in touch with loved ones and colleagues by means of these tools of the Internet. We anticipate responsible contact with friends and family via Facebook and the like during the day when parties are far apart, and a tweet or message will bring
an answer, or advice or comfort that it merits.
The newlywed might, during a break at the office, and without all the unnecessary attention of his workmates, wish again to express his love for
his bride –– as advised by his marriage counsellor. The bridegroom may do it quietly by Facebook –– and she may reply equally so.
Facebook need not be a replacement for face-to-face communication and interaction with your loved one, friend and family –– once used properly and responsibly. In this way it may be a vehicle for greater involvement of parties in one another’s lives, in circumstances otherwise impracticable or impossible.
Some people testify they are now more often closer to the ones they love because of Facebook –– used sensibly and for matters of personal import.
In affairs of national significance, many swear on the creditability of Barbados TODAY; and we on our allegiance to fact!