Catholic Leader Says Facebook Leads to Teen Suicide

Social networks "dehumanizing," says England's Archbishop of Westminster

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Aug 5, 2009  |  Updated 3:15 PM PDT
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Catholic Leader Says Facebook Leads to Teen Suicide

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According to the Archbishop of Westminster, Facebook will lead to more teen suicide -- but not, you know, worrying about an eternity in hell.

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Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster who leads England's flock of Catholics, has decided that modern communications -- including emails, text messages and sites like Facebook -- are "dehumanizing."

"[A]n excessive use or an almost exclusive use of text and emails means that as a society we're losing some of the ability to build interpersonal communication that's necessary for living together and building a community," Nichols has argued.

Teens struggling with their identities are vulnerable to despair if and when friends shun them en masse online, and might therefore commit suicide, his logic follows.

Guess you can count him against the "transhumanism" fetish that's all the rage in Silicon Valley.

Then again, Nichols may himself have a Facebook account -- meaning just like many people who think the service is a waste of time, he may be nervous about deleting it in case of missed job opportunities or other connections.

Because what if the cardinals in Rome need to go looking for a new pope using Facebook, and he's nowhere to be found?

Jackson West admits social networks increase situational autism and enable Asperger's symptoms but teen suicide?

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