Social Interaction vs. Social Networking

If I, a successful, bright, intelligent, popular, attractive person, spends as much time on facebook as I do, I’m scared to think of kids these days, with all the time in the world on their hands (i.e. not just after school, but during school while teachers aren’t looking or every chance they get, when they’re supposed to be doing homework, at (under) the dinner table, and when they’re supposed to be sleeping)…it’s not just facebook. It’s Twitter, Foursquare, Check-in, music sharing, games, apps, texting, oh I can’t go on!

But they can. I tried to do some proper research on the amount of time spent on the internet, but, a recent silly report is pervading the internet with lies and fear:

Social Networking Increases Risk of Teen Drug Abuse

Favorite quotes from that fear-mongering article: “But for this same age bracket, social-network-savvy teens are five times more likely to use tobacco; three times more likely to use alcohol; and twice as likely to use marijuana than teens who do not spend any of their day on social networking sites.” -and- “The results are profoundly troubling … the anything goes, free-for-all world of Internet expression, suggestive television programing and what-the-hell attitudes put teens at sharply increased risk of substance abuse,” [said some “important” guy].

This side-tracked me from my timeless, pointless blog post, and got me interested in this stupid idea that pervaded the majority of each of the first few google page results I could tolerate looking through.

Increased time spent social networking is not the cause of increased drug/alcohol use. Society today is. These kids’ parents (many of which are just ridiculous grown children) are a big part of the problem- how are they making efforts to better raise their kids? Maybe we can even blame the economy- it’s at fault for nearly everything. And so maybe these parents themselves are on prescription drugs and the somewhat-socially-acceptable alcohol train to destruction town! Drowning their sorrows because they can’t find work, or hate their jobs, or are afraid of losing them, or hate their entire lives!

WOH, WHAT AM I SAYING?! WHERE IS THIS GOING? THESE ARE RANTINGS AND RAVINGS WITH NO SOLID STATISTICS. People want, need, believe in, and exemplify statistics. So a “study” says kids who spend more time online are more likely to do a line? Well, then, let’s get them off of facebook!

Ironically I am totally veering away from my original intentions (about the degrading quality (and frequency) of social interactions due to social networking and being online), and making this a hodge-podge-mcdodge.

The only good result obtained in my extensive research was this link: A moronic survey says social networks will cause teens to do drugs

A Moronic Survey Says Social Networks Will Cause Teens to do Drugs

They make so many good points:

1) Most kids go online and use s.n.’s, so you’re really making a pointless comparison between random kids in this crappy study.
2) One of the National Drug Whatever Waste of Money Study Company’s main points is that kids are seeing other kids drunk, high, smoking, or whatever, on these sites, and are likely to then do that?

No. Kids are doing that. And the problem is they are posting it online and then everyone’s commenting on it. Same thing with sexually (morally) degrading pictures, emphasizing looks and body features, and sharing superficial sectors of their lives.

Oh wait, where are kids getting the examples for that? (Think media in America. Think political scandals…wait, kids don’t care about those. But! They do hear about them more and more.)

So maybe I made some loony points myself, in a completely scatterbrained order. My main points are these: Society is #$%ed and a lot of Americans are becoming more and more like the movie Idiocracy.

I guess part of my rant/rave comes from being bewildered by kids these days, from middle-to-high-school age, trying to teach them, and being up against a huge amount of forces working against me (of course the education system is a big part of the problem as it pretty much always will be, but there are so many parenting issues and technology addictions and intelligence gaps, oh dear, here comes the anxiety).

What can I do? I guess I will temporarily quit facebook. And I may not go back to teaching anytime soon. But I can tutor kids. I could make videos to help them (one that makes it viral would be best). I can hold off on pro-creating until I am certain that me and my partner are ready to climb the mountain of raising a child with awareness in today’s world…a balancing act for sure.

I guess, to end on a positive note, I’m secretly really hoping the world does end, at the end of 2012.

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