Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Friday, September 14, 2007

MYSpace, Facebook

Are you on Facebook? Have a MYSpace page?

I'm on Facebook because I think it's funny-and ever since the inclusion of "applications" I've loved the creativity that Facebook affords.

But while it's the latest phenomenon in the new age of communication, it also speaks a great deal about our life.

Seriously-my space. Who is it about? Me. Even Facebook, which I have fun mocking is all about ME. Granted, you can give gifts, leave message on others' pages, share pictures, and all, but I think it keeps us separated from really sharing with each other in Reality.

Ok, I'm an adult-I HAVE friends on the outside. I use Facebook but I don't depend on it to tell me how popular I am.

But how many kids are getting their identity through it? How many are seeking real relationships and not finding them via the internet?

I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying it is a statement about our times. How lonely are we that we have hundreds of friends online, but maybe few in real life? How lonely are our kids who spend hours online?

In their study, Reader and colleagues asked people a series of questions about their attitudes toward friendships and found 90 percent of individuals said it was imperative to know somebody face-to-face to form the tightest bonds.

The key it seems is face-to-face interaction where people can interpret social clues such as laughs and smiles that help determine if others are friends to be counted on, Reader said.

I don't know. What do you think-help or inhibit kids' lives?



Blogger Christopher said...

I've actually tested this (in an non-empirical sort of way) when I was in college (first test- Lent '05, second Lent '06).

Prior to Lent- daily fb checks. jokes exchanged (this was in the days before "applications" came about). comments made. plans to go out the next week initialized. Regular feelings of isolation, as well as periods of cramming for exams and papers.

Lent- zero fb checks from Ash Wednesday until Tuesday of Easter Week (who has time during Triduum to check facebook?) Results? More frequent phone conversations with friends across/out of town, more face time with friends and roommates, decreased instances of feeling isolated, and more time for homework.

So yes, I think fb and myspace can severely inhibit socialization by providing cheap alternatives to friends.
Now- being a grad student outside of my home state- I use it to keep tabs on friends who live across the country.
Ok, sorry for the long comment.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I think the better discussion should be about if it good for our High school or middle school kids to be involved in. We have had several talks about the dangers of myspace and who can see their profiles. To make a long story short I opened a myspace account to post on my cousins myspace and before I knew it I was getting things from other people. Come to find out the default setting was not set to private. This could be dangerous.
About Facebook! I do have a Facebook account. It seems to be much safer. The kids in the youth group started a group and asked me to join and so I did but I had to have one of the kids walk me through it. I have some reservations about it and they are this. It is a good way to communicate with them and get to know the kids a little better. You can see pictures and what is going on in their lives. It has also been a way to bring up some topics of conversations based on what I saw on their Facebook.
I have also challenged the kids on what they put on their Facebook, sometimes not the most appropriate stuff. So it can be good but in all I'm not a big fan because I think kids spends too much time on the computer (as am typing) and less time praying and studying their faith. In our youth group we have challenged them to use some of their time they are spending on Facebook etc and spend it in prayer or reading scripture etc. That's my two cents!

12:59 AM  

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