Online media: Calling the emperor’s new clothes
Cessy, a French village just across the border, is known for two things. First, it’s where Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, used to live. CERN normally takes credit for this, but I believe that the British computer scientist, like Archimedes, did his original thinking at home in the bath. Cessy’s second claim to fame is that this is where the Large Hadron Collider is located. So if a Black Hole is created, Cessy will be the first to go.
Given such apocalyptic knowledge, I fully appreciate the web. I check my email and search the internet, but rarely Facebook. Twitter may have 280 million registered users, but many admit, somewhat embarrassed, that they don’t use it, but feel they should. My principal concern – as highlighted by reporter Chris Woodburn – is social media’s impact on young people. Few use Twitter; some still do Facebook, but almost all chat on Skype, send texts, surf YouTube or spend hours obsessively playing electronic games. It has taken over their lives – and our lives!
So why are we allowing this to happen? I want my kids to engage in more enriching activities, which they do on holiday with all electronic items banned. They become normal human beings again. The more I speak with other parents, the more I realize we’re all grappling with the same dilemma. None of us knows what to do. We acknowledge the need for compromise, but also note that our kids are reading less. So, are we dealing with a modern version of the devil incarnate? Have we become so obsessed with new technology ourselves that we’re shirking our responsibilities vis-à-vis our kids’ socialization, emotional development and education? Maybe it is time to call the emperor’s new clothes with regard to how social media should be consumed. How are our readers dealing with this? Let us know. Email us. Or, yes, go on Facebook. And why not, tweet.