First off, if you expect the usual arguments for and against social networking (conducted with Facebook as an unwitting model: the curse of prominence), then the title is misleading. For, that subject has already been debated, dissected and thrashed enough, in my opinion. No, this write-up is in response to Charlie White’s(of Mashable) words, disclaiming the rumours that Facebook is set to shut down on March 15th – “The fact that this absurd hoax spread so efficiently makes us wonder: Will people believe anything?”
Since that is a question that has been plaguing me quite often, of late, I decided to rant about it here (And, in this case, I know there are people out there who feel the same way I do – thankfully, Gen Y is not as nonsensical as the majority’s behaviour implies.) Yes, there are those who use Facebook (AND Twitter AND MySpace AND all those networking sites which I’m too lazy to mention) as a virtual washing-line to air out their dirty linen, but the more sensible crowd does know how to use social networking in its most advantageous capacity. I do not quibble about how people use the Internet – except when I wonder, exactly how much is the intellectual level of the former group deteriorating? Sheep-like tendencies aside, what if they act in ways harmful, not only to themselves but to others as well?
This isn’t just a silly notion of mine – it’s horrifying when one reads of people committing actions, which are so absurd as to seem laughable, but are carried out by them in all seriousness. For instance, I read about some kid who wants to become a vampire (No doubt, lured by the “good looks, super powers and invincibility” of that breed, being sensationalized in teenage fiction so much , nowadays. That subject merits its own rant.), and towards that goal, has started drinking her own blood, since that seems (to her) to be a logical way of going about it! She plans to turn her boyfriend into one, by getting him on the same bloody (pun intended) diet (The unsuspecting public always suffers unduly. Poor guy.) Then, there are all those specimens of humanity, whom one reads about in the papers (with frighteningly increasing frequency) who can’t seem to differentiate between reality and fiction – and act in ways which put the most melodramatic, fantastical stories to shame.
Is this just another side effect of free information being available to children before they’re ready for it? As we move towards greater technological, scientific and cultural progress, through all that “specialization” in our thinking, (wherein we accumulate loads of knowledge, but not wisdom.), are we losing out on basic common sense? Are we truly becoming so gullible, naïve and well, stupid, to accept everything presented to us as true, without bothering to use our heads?(The doubtful veracity of free information and total dependence on technology comes to mind.) It would be nice to get answers to these questions; it would help resolve what our attitude towards such an event (as suggested by the title) should be, if it should ever occur. -_-