Danger of social networks investigated

MT reporter Olga Sovrasova asks Grodno residents their opinions

MT reporter Olga Sovrasova asks Grodno residents their opinions

Maria Kovalenko, Secretary of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union’s Grodno Regional Committee:

According to the statistics, around 80 percent of our young people use social networks. Our organisation also has its pages and groups. To learn more about the positive and negative sides, Grodno Regional Committee recently held a youth debate. Young people appreciate networks for their potential for easy and convenient communication and the chance to learn of news promptly. However, they admit that online activities take a great deal of our time and can be used to excess. Both opponents and followers agree that much useful information can be found online.
Yekaterina Vorobieva, psychologist:

We need to understand that communication via social networks is a characteristic feature of our modern generation; this fact must be accepted. The problem is rooted in our psychological dependence; this especially refers to the weak psyche of children and young people. We know cases of ‘unpopular’ teenagers being bullied by their peers through social networks. This has resulted not simply in unhappiness but suicide.

Gennady Bondarik, pensioner:

It’s well known that political conflicts and, even, wars can be inspired by activity within social networks. I’m convinced that the authorities of any state — including ours — should remember this. Clearly, it’s impossible to control Internet resources (and there’s no need in fact); however, it’s vital to locate those dividing society. I believe we need to work harder at this in today’s world.

Valentin Yatsuk, programmer:

The online environment is ripe for criminal activity. Take spice [a type of drug] distribution as an example. While young people die or go mad, ‘businessmen’ make money. I’m surprised at how many teenagers know how to buy drugs via social networking sites yet the police remain inactive. They need to work through social networks.

Yevgeny Kovalev, lawyer:

It provides fertile ground for illegal business promotion. Some ‘enterprising’ citizens manage to trade online without the required registration of their entrepreneurial activity. They might earn a great deal of money without paying taxes. We can’t, yet, detect all and punish them in line with the law.

Galina Golubeva, pensioner:

I believe parents must bear responsibility for their children’s obsession with virtual communication and its consequences. If children are left too much to themselves, without parental input, they seek out companionship elsewhere. Of course, social networks are an easy solution. Parents can and must influence their children’s lifestyle, cultivating their interests, hobbies and friends.

Anna Nikitina, administrator:

I believe that social networks produce more evil than benefit. My niece, aged 13, is a vivid example, as she spends too much time online. Her parents have no idea how to handle this, as she shows interest in nothing else. People forget how to interact in the ‘real’ world. Young people make friends online, dating and parting virtually. The trouble is that many are then unprepared for ‘real’ life.
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