'Get off Facebook and get a life'

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'Get off Facebook and get a life’

A psychologist is urging people to get off Facebook and other social networking sites, and get a life instead.

Dr Aric Sigman says the amount of time we spend with each other has slumped dramatically and in turn is damaging our health.

He says our devotion to such sites could alter the way genes work, upset immune responses, hormone levels, and the function of arteries, and influence mental performance.

Levels of hormones such as the “cuddle chemical” oxytocin, which promotes bonding, altered according to whether people were in close contact or not.

This could increase the risk of health problems as serious as cancer, strokes, heart disease, and dementia.

Dr Sigman spells out his warning in the latest issue of Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology, and maintains that social networking sites have played a significant role in people becoming more isolated.

He said: "Social networking is the internet’s biggest growth area, particular among young children.

"A quarter of British children have a laptop or computer in their room by the age of five and they have their own social networking sites, like the BBC’s myCBBC. It’s causing huge changes."

Dr Sigman said 209 “socially regulated” genes have been identified, including ones involved in the immune system, cell proliferation and responses to stress.

Electronic media is also undermining the ability of children and young people to learn vital social skills and read body language, he said.

Dr Sigman continued: "One of the most pronounced changes in the daily habits of British citizens is a reduction in the number of minutes per day that they interact with another human being.

"In less than two decades, the number of people saying there is no one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled.

"Parents spend less time with their children than they did only a decade ago. Britain has the lowest proportion of children in all of Europe who eat with their parents at the table. The proportion of people who work at home alone continues to rise.

"I am worried about where this is all leading. It’s not that I’m old fashioned in terms of new technology, but the purpose of any new technology should be to provide a tool that enhances our lives.

"Social networking sites should allow us to embellish our social lives, but what we find is very different. The tail is wagging the dog. These are not tools that enhance, they are tools that displace."

Research suggests the number of hours people spend interacting face-to-face has fallen dramatically since 1987 as electronic media use increases.

Link: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090220/tuk-get-off-facebook-and-get-a-life-dba1618.html

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Couldn’t agree more! Social networking is a crappy, wasteful use of the internet.

I disagree. Although its true some people take it to the extreme and really become addicted to Facebook etc, the vast majority of the people I know use it moderately. Social networking sites are also an excellent complement to an offline social life, and especially in this age of globalization where chances are you probably have friends and family in other countries, it can lessen that social gap!

Anything in excess is poison, and its a bit unfair to put all the blame on the concept of online social networking.

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Couldn’t agree more! Social networking is a crappy, wasteful use of the internet.
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Agree!

Social networking is crap. I didn’t even have a Facebook profile until a month back when I needed to create one for a client project. And the Orkut profile I created a few years ago when I was naive, I check it like may be once in two or three months! :P

I am so not into social networking as there are better things to do.

I was using orkut a few months ago, now i'm in Facebook. the reason im there is just to be connected with my friends and family whom i cannot meet due to busy schedules, it only take less than 5 minutes to check out whats happening in a couple of day. I don't think there is nothing wrong with that!!

People who are addicts of social networking, this is a article for you. Do social networking if and only if its required and only to a certain extent it should be done.

Someday a psychologist will appear out of no where with a new research and tell the same thing about Internet too :P Internet has changed our lives more than social networking. Should we stop "internetworking" too :D

I do not use Facebook or any other social networking web-site, except forums and blogs.

Social networking web-sites, for example Facebook, are like real life's clubs. Take example of Islamabad Club and compare it to Facebook. In my thoughts, both are useless and time wasting but people use it for their own benefits and of course socializing. Facebook is a larger version (global version) of Islamabad Club or any other club like Gymkhana Clubs in Pakistan.

Humans socialize as monkeys and chimps do. Humans are nothing more than mere mammals. After so much "evolution" they still behave like other products of Apes.

Facebook is a waste of time.

If u become addicted to it, facebook is definitely a waste of time but in my case i primarily user it for sharing photos and videos with my friends, it would b time consuming to share photos of any event without facebook.

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Couldn’t agree more! Social networking is a crappy, wasteful use of the internet.

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Double ditto!

Ditto with what Sah said. I use it myself to communicate offline with friends back in Canada and its an excellent way to share items with other people including videos pictures and etc. Its simply an extension to real life meetings i say.

I agree with Sah on this matter. I only log in to my facebook account(created 2 months ago) about once or twice a week. I find it an excellent resource to stay in touch with friends and family from abroad. Although I agree with the article(I only read the first 2 lines :P), that excessive use of facebook isn't good and people who use it 24/7 need to get a life!

if you check you're social network on daily basis,

chances are you're a lazy ass and need to get some real friends.

Spend time with your families!

Social Networking = FAIL!

Every Coin has 2 sides. I don't know why people look things on the darker side?

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Every Coin has 2 sides. I don’t know why people look things on the darker side?
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Because 140+ million (?) people look at shiny side of Facebook.

People can waste time on youtube, redtube sites too

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People can waste time on youtube, redtube sites too
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True.

checking any site daily is a waste of time IMO. i am not a fan of social networking sites myself and never joined facebook but looking at myself and other people who visit same sites many times a day causes same lvl of harm to them as anyother social networking site would do...

in easy words if you are NOT getting a proper benefit out of (anything you do on) internet then you are surly wasting your time and everything you got.

^ Thats a ridiculous notion. If you apply that to life, to quit any activity which does not bring you 'proper benefit' (proper in this case is also subject to ones definition) then you'd essentially stop living as you do now. Why don't you list the benefits of watching tv shows, movies, listening to music?

Problems only arise when you take something to the extreme and become consumed by it.

^ i agree.

So the moral of the above posts

"anyone can use facebook(no problem with that) but to a certain limit (no problem with that too)"

Agreed?

^ Yup. Thats what I said! And the same rule applies to most other things in life as well. Moderation is good, but too much is bad! :)