Are you on facebook? Did you check for updates more than once today? Did you get a little excited when someone you know commented on something you said or did, or did you comment on something someone else did or said?
Then I think you may have a problem. According to Nessa Childers, if you’re Irish, you could be one of 400,000 people who have a psychological addiction to Facebook.
Well, what’s the solution? Educating people about the potential psychological effects of the internet and social networking sites? Oh no, that would be far too basic. We have to:
step in and subject such sites to the scrutiny of EU public health law
The EU can and should bring in new laws to protect people from the dangers of addiction to popular social networking sites such as Facebook
First of all, ahem, bollox. Second of all, why in the hell should we be promoting (what is for all intents and purposes) third-partying meddling and censorship of websites due to peoples succeptability to their lures?
People get quite easily addicted to gambling, but that doesn’t have Nessa Childers up in arms about poker websites or the facile addictiveness of games like Farmville. People quite easily get addicted to a whole host of things so what is the solution…? Well, what most people in the business of treating addiction have been doing for oh, say, the last couple of decades is to teach self-control.
People love gossip, they love information, they love staying up-to-date, they love to feel part of a movement or of a ‘crowd’, they love to be able to interact with their friends and family – for these things there is the potential to become addicted to beauty magazines, celeb gossip magazines, soaps, social networking sites, celebrity stalker news websites, tv, stalking local celebs etc…
So what is Nessa’s plan to counter the overwhleming mass of the 21st century’s potential to suck people in and get them addicted…? Point out one single website, and suggest that the government intervene and tell the website how they are allowed to operate.
Well, Facebook is already under fire for it’s privacy policies, but aside form that it adheres to all the necessary federal laws in the US to which it is subject, including privacy laws and any relevant economics policies based on it’s profit-making areas of business, much as happens in Ireland with magazines and casinos etc…
Here’s my solution: the people are the problem, not the material they become addicted to. If you have an addictive personality or the potential for it, the right stimulus at the right time will do it. Even if it’s a rock tied to a stick. Does that mean we should tightly control the accessbility and quality of rock-sticks? Should we ensure that the twine holding the rock to the stick is of a bland colour so as not to inflame the senses? Should we ensure that the rock is shaped in such a way as to discourage people from wanting to look at it continuously? Or should we teach people that if they find themselves unable to go without a certain thing in their life and it has begun to take over and sour everything else in their life, they have a psychological issue and they should seek professional help…?
Censorship loses everytime.