Editor, Commonwealth:

I am a mother, teacher and a retired college adjunct professor. I am disturbed about how cellphones and social media have taken over our youth.

When I taught, my students were more concerned about what was on their phones than what I was teaching. Outside the classroom, students would walk around looking at their screens and carry on no conversations with each other. I know education has deteriorated. So have social graces and nice intelligent exchange of ideas.

On Fox News, Tristan Harris of the Center for Human Technology was interviewed. His comments were to answer, “How can social media be better for society?” Of course I think it should be abolished, but he supported some of my thoughts about it.

So, I went to the Center for Human Technology site and got this: “Social media often leads to addiction, social isolation, outrage, misinformation, political polarization, human downgrading. Also to: shortening attention spans, rewarding outrage over dialogue, addicting children, polarizing the democratic process, turning life into a competition for likes and shares.”

All of the above abuses of social media are true. What can we do about it? I have told my children to not get cellphones for their children until middle school or later. I have suggested that they only have family, friends or emergency contacts and NO Internet, NO Facebook or any social media, NO games. The last suggestion will probably be ignored.

There is such hateful dialogue on social media because participants can be anonymous. There is so much misinformation (much on purpose) that “fake news” has become the norm and is ruining and dividing our country. And now foreign countries have infiltrated our social media and are making matters worse. Social media is hurting our children.

Pat Ellis


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.