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Facebook flowers or say it with roses?

PUBLISHED: 08:05 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 19:40 05 July 2010

DOES it not seem a little odd that people are choosing to talk to one another via social networking internet sites than actually getting out and about and meeting new people?

Many of my friends who do use such sites say that they use it just to keep in touch with people - so have they given up on texting and making phone calls?

Then again, perhaps it's easier for some people to talk via their computer - it does, after all, offer the less confident amongst us the chance to communicate without actually having to have any interaction with another human being.

DOES it not seem a little odd that people are choosing to talk to one another via social networking internet sites than actually getting out and about and meeting new people?

Many of my friends who do use such sites say that they use it just to keep in touch with people - so have they given up on texting and making phone calls?

Then again, perhaps it's easier for some people to talk via their computer - it does, after all, offer the less confident amongst us the chance to communicate without actually having to have any interaction with another human being. Those who have the time to sit in front of their computers hour after hour, tweaking and "pimping up" their home pages and exchanging online banalities that few would have the nerve to deliver in a face-to-face situation. I know I would much prefer someone to make the effort to meet me or call me on the telephone than to lazily send me a “poke”.

There are reports of users of such sites becoming addicted - constantly checking their profile to see if anyone has contacted them or left a comment about a particular photo.

If you research into Facebook's background, many of the people who designed it have links to the CIA, suggesting that the information users do feature on their profiles are not just being viewed by the eyes of their “friends”.

Many of my friends now use “Are you on Facebook?” as their chat up lines, leaving them free to check out their potential beau in the privacy of their own home, allowing them the chance to decide whether they are compatible or not.

So much for good old fashioned romance!

According to a recent report by Ofcom, four in 10 UK adults say they regularly visit these sites using them to build up a virtual network of friends through which they are able to exchange gossip and photographs and “meet” like-minded people. Surely it's better to stay in the real world and meet real friends and real people?

I do see the advantages of such sites as they allow you to remain some part of the lives of people who may be many miles away, seeing their photos and showing them yours. But it's the obsession that I can't get my head round and the fact that people don't seem to be able to see the potential dangers.

The truth of the matter is that a whole generation of Facebook addicts is gradually emerging and what does this mean for communication amongst tomorrow's adults? Will anyone actually talk anymore?

In reality these push-button friendships are largely valueless and serve simply to paper over the intrinsic loneliness of people fast retreating from their communities to the safety of a computer screen.

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