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Head of English Catholics warns about emails/texting

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posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:27 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales is concerned that excessive use of emails and mobile phone text messaging is creating shallow friendships and undermining community life, according to an interview published on Sunday.

Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, also said that popular social networking sites led young people to form "transient relationships" which put them at risk of suicide when they collapsed.

"Friendship is not a commodity, friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when it's right," he told the Sunday Times newspaper.

"I think there's a worry that an excessive use, or an almost exclusive use of text and emails means that as a society we're losing some of the ability to build interpersonal communication that's necessary for living together and building a community."

The Archbishop, 63, said too much use of electronic information was "dehumanising," leading to a loss in social skills and the ability to read a person's mood through their body language.

Furthermore social networking sites encouraged children to place an excessive importance on the number of friends they had instead of the quality of their relationships, he said.

"Among young people often a key factor in their committing suicide is the trauma of transient relationships. They throw themselves into a friendship or network of friendships, then it collapses and they're desolate," Nichols said.


I think this man has it wrong. Generally, friendships aren't made through popular social networking sites (myspace, facebook, twitter) as these sites are used mostly to talk to people you ALREADY use. Texting doesn't usually create "shallow" friendships, as most people only text people they know. I think this guy is poorly mistaken. Granted, people have made mistakes when using these sites and have been burned by losing "friends", but this does not happen to the majority of us.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:52 AM
Though I'm not religious, I tend to agree with the premise of article. While it's great to have online mates, nothing quite replaces the real thing. You only really get to know people in the flesh and that's a rewarding aspect that isn't quite duplicated online. In short it's more rewarding and libel to have a greater longevity/stability when you share the thick and thin in the real world.

Virtual friends will never replace real friends.


posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:58 AM
I have to agree with the Archbishop.

He makes some very good points and if you put aside his religious affiliation you would probably agree with alot of what he has to say.


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