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Perspectives Weekly: Social Networking- help or hindrance?

October 28, 2010
Do you find yourself ranting about the perils of facebook? Do you overhear busride tales depicting blogosphere character assassination? Do you think you’ve fulfilled your duty when you post a birthday message on a friend’s wall?
Social networking takes up a large portion of our lives; not only do we do it, but we talk about it, we think about it, and some would admit that we depend on it.JulieCale
Never before in history have we been able to wonder how a friend is doing and in less than 5 seconds make contact with this friend. Regardless of where we find ourselves be it on the tarmac in Ottawa, at the grocery store, or even in the waiting room-there is no need to wait... ever.
But what is instantaneous communication doing to our relationships?
In raising this topic with a friend, she jokingly quoted Dr. Ian Malcolm on Jurassic Park (played by Jeff Goldblum), who, when confronted with the fact that scientists had found a way to re-create dinosaurs from amber-embedded DNA infamously stated: “Yes, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should…”
I think he’s onto something there. Have we created a monster?
Is social networking our society’s demise? Are we placing too much emphasis on a world that is not reality?
Some of you think so.
Stefanie Romano writes via Facebook that social networking “maintains long-distance relationships at a quality never seen before (and saves a lot of money on phone bills), but it destructs local relationships by trumping basic conversational pieces just by the volume of information that is fed to us at any given time.”
Likewise, Monica Chagoya writes:
“It's a great tool to communicate certain factual info fast to many or to belong to an interest group. It will never replace real life or a real relationship, just like TV or a book won't either. We must learn to use tools effectively for constructive and positive purposes...so, in answer to your question, it can make it better or worse depending how it is used.
There is a balance to be articulated, however; a power to be harnessed. In his message for this year’s World Day of Communications, Pope Benedict XVI has called the web the new “court of the Gentiles” where we all called to meet those who do not yet know God.
On this Friday’s edition of Perspectives weekly, host Pedro Guevara Mann welcomes to the studio Julie Abernethy, a sidewalk counsellor at Toronto’s Aid to Women crisis pregnancy centre as well as thefaithexplained.com’s Cale Clarke and University of Windsor chaplain Fr. Chris Valka, CSB via broadband.
Join us for an enlightening panel discussion on social media and its place in the Church (and in the lives of the faithful) today.
That’s Perspectives Weekly this Friday at 7pm and 11pm ET, 8pm PT.

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