The statistics are staggering. Facebook now has 1 billion users, Twitter 140 million users and there are 4 billion views a day on YouTube.
A leading neuroscientist has warned that a generation of children risks growing up with various disorders, including a poor attention span and little empathy, due to an addiction to websites such as twitter. She said that a decline in physical human contact meant children struggle to formulate basic social skills and emotional reactions and suggested that a reliance on social networking and use of computer games could effectively ‘rewire’ the brain. The researcher also said that websites like Facebook and Twitter were creating a generation with a child-like desire for constant feedback on their lives.
We, Ruth and Mary, have at times felt overwhelmed by the need to network as writers. There is a fine line to draw between giving the best to, and getting the best from, networking and allowing it to engulf us.
Being part of a writing community and able to share information is a definite plus. The negatives are the constant pressure to keep sites and blogs up to date, read comments, respond and take on board what’s being said as well as acclimatising to the technology.
We’re unsure how much personal information we want to put on the internet. It’s also very time-consuming scrolling through screeds of unwanted information on a website when one is trying to find out about the nitty-gritty of writing. How much time do we as writers spend networking? How important is it and would our time be better spent writing?
We would be interested to hear what other writers think as we are sure there is a wide spectrum of views and experiences.