Friday, September 20, 2019

Being Online Too Much?

The press is overflowing with stories of harm being done to individuals who are “online too much.”  Such as the kids who have their iPhone glued to their ear all day, even taking it along to bed at night, keeping texting and “talking” around the clock. Then, of course, there are the guys and dolls playing video games, again at any time of day and night.  Plus more, their eyes linked to the computer or cell phone screen whenever they can, as if they were living in a different universe.

Children’s and young adults’ minds, the experts say, are particularly vulnerable to excessive online exposure, both physically and mentally.

Thus, computers and handhelds come with apps which enable parental control of how much and what the user will be able to see and do online, and for how long.

All good and well, for they sure have a valid concern, which is the many forms of harm a particular online exposure can produce.  Mind you, the same or worse harm would be done if that particular behavior or activity were done offline, say, not sleeping but rolling dice in bed, or playing the slot machines no end, or smoking and overstaying at a gaming table, etc.

I’d like to make the case, however, that there is nothing wrong with being online, nothing at all.  Rather the crucial question is, WHAT one is doing online, and for how long.  Online enables the user to do things which would be harder to do, take longer, and maybe couldn’t be done as well as online.  So, that’s really great.

Online is an advanced form of communications, very much like the bicycle is a technology-assisted form of walking.  I can imagine that there were lots of like critics when the bicycle was invented, for it, likewise, was seen as becoming far more dangerous in covering distances, and much faster.

So, online is just fine.  As long as you are spending your time online intelligently, it can greatly enrich your life.  That’s all.

1 comment:

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