Steve Chazin, former Apple marketing director and current chief marketing officer at DimDim.com, has experienced the feeling of isolation one gets after having become so dependent on Internet use, recalling, “I remember one day a few years ago when our office phones and Internet stopped working. No e-mail, no voicemail, no Facebook, no Skype, and no Twitter, [all examples of social networking sites]. People came out of their offices and talked. I enjoyed that day."
Rob Bedi, a registered psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Victoria, says that removing oneself from social networking sites after having experienced addiction-like urges to constantly be using the sites and receive notifications from them cannot be quit cold turkey. He explains, “while a cocaine addict can put down his drug and an alcoholic his drink, you can’t preach abstinence to a student society that functions on Internet usage.”
Paul Levinson, Professor and Chair of Media Studies at Fordham University, says, “What I think something like the Facebook does is that it gives everyone a little dossier, and it does profoundly change the rules of engagement when they do meet. It obsolesces small talk."
N’Gai Croal, a Newsweek technology columnist, writes that, once one becomes a user, it is very difficult to disengage oneself from sites like Facebook and Myspace, because “[they are] an insidious blend of peer pressure and crowd psychology – watching all your ‘friends’ on the site post every little detail of their lives, you can’t help but feel compelled to join in."
Ernest Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says that the fact that MySpace had to ban and remove so many convicted sex offenders from the site in recent months “clearly reinforces the fact that there are a significant number of people who seek access to kids online."
Isaac Gilman of Pacific University allows that, while there is nothing inherently immoral about using social networking sites, “publicly sharing unprofessional content…or excessive personal information may be compromising for professionals [currently and in the future]."