It was just a matter of time before we see headlines like “Facebook causes lower grades”. But before you hit the social networking panic button, this type of scare tactic is nothing new.
Here is a list of other things that supposedly will destroy the fragile mind of the young.
Harry Potter books
The Twilight books
The CW’s Ultra-Rich Kids
The Daily Show/Colbert Report
Paris Hilton (Umm, I may give you this one)
And now…Social Networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.
Hey, here’s a thought – instead of protesting the latest technology trends by spending all our time writing blog entries (posted on the “evil” Internet), appearing on 24 hour cable news shows (shown on “mind numbing” TV), and printing books (that are in book stores along with “homo promoting” Harry Potter books), why don’t we just talk to our kids. Why don’t we just teach them the good and the bad of these things?
I know, I know, the idea of talking to your kids can be horrifying to some. They find it so much easier to shoot the messenger by appearing on national TV with pundits parlaying for ratings.
I am not suggesting you should give your kids unbridled access to the Internet no more than you should give them an unlimited credit card. But setting up your own Facbook account affords a great teaching opportunity.
Technology innovations from the printing press to the WWW have been more of any ally to education to a hindrance. Technology does not ruin the young, we do. To scapegoat a technology we do not understand may provide temporary relief of the responsibility of communicating with our youth, in the end it causes more harm than good. It alienates young minds when we should be doing just the opposite, reaching out and building relationships.
And you know what can help build relationships…social networking. Try it, you may like it. And then if you decide it is not for you, make that decision based on fact not fear.