Exemplitory Essay: Dangers of Social Networking for Children

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In today’s technology age, computers play a huge role in our day to day lives, the Internet especially. A growing trend on the Internet these days is social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Bebo. These sites are great for catching up with old friends and being able to communicate with people instantly without running up your phone bill. While social networking sites are ideal for adults, they are not, however, good for children. First of all, they hinder children’s social skills. Social networking sites are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification, and make young people self centered (Derbyshire). Children today don’t know how to communicate face to face with people. They would rather text or IM their friends than even think about having a verbal conversation with them. A fine example of this is my thirteen year old sister-in-law, Abbie. One night while we were visiting my in-laws, Abbie had some of her friends from school over. We were wondering how a group of giggly thirteen year old girls could be so quiet while they were “hanging out” in Abbie’s room. As we peered into the room, the image we saw was almost comical; every girl had their phone out, either texting, accessing their Facebook, or playing a game. An Oxford University neuroscientist, Baroness Susan Greenfield states: “Kids are detracted from learning to communicate in the real world.  There are reports from teachers that social networking is affecting kids’ comprehension levels. Also, if kids communicate primarily through the screen, they do not learn the subtleties of real life communication -- such as body language, tone of voice, and subconsciously sensing the molecules that other people release” (Facebook). Going hand in hand with the harm to children’s social skills is the harm it has to the children’s learning abilities, which in turn affects their grades, and attitudes in school. Dr. Hatchoat states that “it is a scientifically proven fact that...
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