The Guardian is reporting that social networks like the FB...Facebook...are likely going to make the generations yet to come a bunch of babbling, infantile, social networking idiots.
Everybody's got to be somebody, I guess.
And here I was thinking that Facebook was just letting me get back in touch with people whom I thought had fallen off the face of the earth, like some of my fraternity brothers who now post pictures of me and that ancient beer bong from 20+ years ago.
But noooo, it's just not that simple.
A professor in synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln College in Oxford recently explained to that bastion of advanced technology, the U.K.'s House of Lords, that social networking sites like Facebook "are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance."
No offense, but if I wanted some Shakespeare, I'd fly over to London myself and check out Othello at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Facebook is not the place I typically turn to to have deep, inspiring, and cathartic narrative experiences.
Although I must say I do get a kick out of getting those status updates when somebody's either breaking up or headed into a new relationship or, if they're a newbie to Facebook, the notification that they just got "married," even though I know perfectly well they've been married for 15 years.
Perhaps Facebook relationship status updates are somewhere on the road towards dramatic catharsis, but they're definitely nowhere near Shakespearean territory.
Not even The Taming of the Shrew or the sonnets.
The Guardian article went on to explain that social networks are also putting attention span in jeopardy.
Attention span? In jeopardy?
When I was a kid, I played the Atari 2600, standup Asteroids and Defender machines, even the original Evil Knivel pinball machine -- for which I was a local recordholder (I figured if I couldn't jump canyons on my pseudo BMX, the next best thing was to ace the Evil Knievel pinball machine).
Those were attention deficit disorder drivers.
I can't remember the last time I paid attention to, well, anything, for more than a few minutes at a time.
But then again, all that was long before they had such a diagnosis, much less a pill.
In fact, I think this issue emanated even from the Atari Jurassic period, about the time that the original black-and-white Pong came into being.
You want to fix your kids on the subject of short attention spans?
Grab that original Atari 2600 out of storage and require them to play a pixellated version of the original Defender.
They'll be doing their homework in no time.Listen to this post.