Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Social Media (12/01/11)
TITLE: The Internet : Guilty of mass murdering our culture
By Tina Leonard
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Cell phones have become dinnertime guests, and the world-wide-web has replaced schoolbooks. Sexual predators disguised as rival football players and cheerleaders have become chat room buddies before bedtime. The last thing most kids do before they go into a deep slumber is no longer a prayer or a bedtime story with mom and dad, but a text message to a friend or an email to a complete stranger.
I remember being in awe of Microsoft Word when I purchased my first computer in 1998. I thought, Oh my goodness I don't have to worry about the word "their" being circled in red again, praise the Lord! Instantly after I said that aloud I thought, "God how in the world are those growing up now going to learn how to spell?"
I can almost guarantee that if the government would truly begin to investigate this troublesome reality America would be shocked. I would bet money if they mandated every high school in America, to randomly pick forty high school students to hand write a three page essay we would be mortified. With their new "short hand text and email" language, they actually spell the same way.
Face book and My Space have become America's number one hot spot. They are great social networking sites but that is not the only factor they bring to the table. They both open a whole slew of time consuming monstrosities of online games.
It's shocking how many teenagers are bound by online gaming addictions and false realities and identities. One of the books I have been reading called "Born Digital" explains in so much detail the offspring that computers have given birth too and the dark road that awaits them in the near future.
"The increasing power and attractiveness of the Internet for purposes like escape and self-expression is part of the problem for some young people. Some young people become overly focused on their online selves. Research suggests that some may also overgeneralize specific positive events associated with Internet use, which can cause them to develop the belief that only the Internet holds positive experiences for their lives." (Palfrey 188-189)
The disturbing fact in this is that the same individuals who spell tomorrow night like "2maro nite" write most of the blogs posted in the online blogging addiction. Another disturbing fact is that no one who publishes their opinion is held accountable for what they write. In a land where freedom of speech has become shifting sand for the trained journalist, America has decided to mud slide into an erratic conglomeration of uneducated, opinionated, unaccountable bloggers. Society as we know it today will become an ancient artifact.
With the Internet come the consequences of a socially and physically inadequate generation of society. Much of their time is spent in a technological bubble devoid of real human contact or intellect.
The girl that you used to see sitting under the tree in the park reading Mark Twains "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is now the girl sitting alone in her bedroom reading a twelve year olds blog about how he ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. That group of kids who used to ride their bikes to the skating rink on the weekend is now the group that wake up late on Saturday morning and sign on to different chat rooms and talk for hours with complete strangers.
As you go about your daily journey keep your eyes open to how you communicate with others on a daily basis. Pay attention to how you learn about recent events and how you listen to the latest music. Observe how you and your family socialize with each other at home. We may not be able to change the social and economical annihilation of the generations to come, but we can definitely look behind our own front door and begin there. As history has proven in the past, it only takes one person to change the whole world.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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