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Social Networking : Time Wasters

August 25, 2010

Modern technology is evident everywhere in the world today. Almost everyone uses it. They make it easier to connect with friends and family no matter which part of the world they are in. But there is mounting evidence that it is doing more damage than good to our society.

Social networking media such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace claim to socially connect us to millions of users globally, but it does not give a real world perception of the less fortunate in today’s society. The less fortunate – the homeless and victims of natural disasters, for instance – do not have the opportunity to connect to these networks.

Technology and social networking is not all bad, it is the obsession with them that can waste a lot of time. People need to readdress this problem by giving back to society via volunteer work such as helping out in soup kitchens where you can directly communicate with people on a personal level and make a real difference in their lives – something which you cannot do behind a computer screen.

Going out in the real world and volunteering your services to charity can make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged people as well as make them realise that they do not need to obsess over technology and there are far more important needs to address that will have a more meaningful impact on society.

In a survey conducted by The Nielsen Company, it was found that global web users spent an average of five and a half hours per person in February 2010 on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. This is an increase of two hours from the same time last year, and the numbers keep rising.

Social Networking icons

If each person can give up an hour and a half a week to assist in meaningful charity work, time that would otherwise have been wasted on social networking, this additional manpower can be significant in making a difference in people’s lives whether it is simply to lend a listening ear or to help sort clothing and food for the less fortunate.

After a tragedy such as the 2009 Victorian bushfires, there is often a number of web forums and blogs that pop up to talk about the tragedy. Would it not be better, if the time and effort is spent communicating directly with charity groups and spending time helping to distribute emergency supplies to those in need?

When you think of people who have lost so much, like homes and even families and friends in tragedies like the 2009 Victorian bushfires, it is saddening to see the people spending so much time and money on unimportant, unnecessary things. Life is short, and we should live it to the fullest, engage with real people, spend more time in a meaningful way.

There is a saying ‘You never know how good you have it till you have lost everything’. It should not take a tragedy or people to hit rock bottom to realise that people and nature are more important than material things. We can replace things, but we can never replace the people we love and value. People need to understand this and take action before it is too late.

References :

Nielsen Wire
March 19, 2010
http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/global/global-audience-spends-two-hours-more-a-month-on-social-networks-than-last-year/

Vision: Insights and New Horizons – And They All Lived Technologically Ever After
by David F. Lloyd
Spring 2007 Issue
http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=2954

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