Facebook Bad for Teens, Warns Archbishop

Social networking degrades friendship, can lead to suicide
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2009 1:09 PM CDT
Backdropped by a picture of Pope Benedict XVI, Vincent Nichols, the newly appointed Archbishop of Westminster, leaves a news conference in central London, Friday, April 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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(Newser) – Facebook and MySpace are degrading our ability to relate to one another and pushing young people to suicide, the head of the Catholic Church in England tells the Telegraph. Archbishop Vincent Nichols is concerned that social-networking websites encourage teens to form only “transient relationships,” which can leave them feeling hopeless when they dissipate.

"They throw themselves into a friendship or network of friendships, then it collapses and they're desolate," the prelate said. His comments come after the suicide of a 15-year-old British girl who had been bullied on Bebo. "Facebook and MySpace might contribute towards communities, but I'm wary about it,” Nichols said. "It's not rounded communication so it won't build a rounded community.”