Better East Texas: Social media effects on social development -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Better East Texas: Social media effects on social development

By Pat Stacey

It seems that social media has quickly become entrenched in just about every facet of our lives including our home life and even our work areas.  Social media, which I would define as Facebook, Twitter and even now Linked In are impressive tools for keeping in touch and expressing opinions, but are they really healthy for our children and their social development? 

I have deep reservations about that because these forums are not really social – in fact they are anti-social. Facebook certainly allows users to keep in touch but at the expense of having a true, human experience. 

Posters can hide behind their keyboard and upload all types of offensive and damaging posts.  We have all seen stories of cyber-bullying and abusive words that destroy their targets and, once something is on-line, it is there pretty much forever.  Additionally, parents have to use Facebook to monitor what their kids are doing and saying about everything in their lives because we can't get our children to interact face-to-face. 

Social media outlets have a place and it is impressive how they allow us to connect but they cannot be used as a replacement for the true social interaction that separates humans from machines.  Stick and stones may break my bones but abusive social media will always hurt me.  Our young people need to be taught that there is no substitution for true human interaction.  They will be better for it and it will make for a Better East Texas.

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