‘Online missionaries’ talk about symptoms of excessive internet use

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MANILA, Sept. 6, 2012?Online missionaries zero in on symptoms of over-the-top internet use, which can be summed up simply ?poor personal relationships. 

Episcopal Commission on Youth Executive Secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta, also one of the organizers of the 1st Catholic Social Media Summit last July, said a person knows if he has been online for too long if he is “less interested in meeting people” physically; if he is “less considerate of people’s ‘quirks’”, and if he prioritizes online activities over face-to-face encounters.

Garganta, who often talks to media networks about social issues via Twitter, says interacting with others online should be balanced with actual, physical conversations and activities with others.

Facebook takes you away from face-to-face time 

This actually makes sense, according to an ABC News article that said “the time (people) spend chatting, IM-ing, friending and tweeting with people online takes away from face-to-face conversations and activities.”

Online missionary Sky Ortigas did the online updates during the National Youth Day last year.

With Social Bakers’ estimating that there are 29,127,540 Facebook users in the Philippines, there are possibly more people foregoing actual conversations for online ones.

Maintaining a balance 

A mover of several online campaigns like the Love Rocks! anti-RH Bill campaign and 100 Days to Bl. Pedro Calungsod’s canonization, Sky Ortigas, simply said people will know they have been online too much if they ignore people they are physically with to post Facebook updates or to tweet.

Ortigas, who admits being online nearly 8 hours a day because of her Blackberry phone, recalled a time when a friend she was having dinner with scolded her for posting “Godly” tweets, promptly forgetting he was there.

Jokingly, the blogger and web designer said, true-blue signs of too much online activity are “obesity, eyesight problems and losing friends.”

To maintain the balance Garganta mentioned, Ortigas advised people to avoid tweeting or generally being online when you are with others, texting or even taking calls if they are not important. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]

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