Actually, there’s less yelling here than usual, but it’s good fun. My position: Yes, the Internet and video games and texting can be abused, just like many other things, but let’s not discount the great good to humanity the Internet represents. Let’s also focus on personal responsibility, good parenting, and education about media consumption habits being an antidote to the social dangers the Internet can pose instead of throwing our hands up and declaring it to be the end of us all. I don’t want to go back to a time when there were three networks and a handful of newspapers from which to get information, and I believe more information for more people is ultimately a good thing and a way to combat ignorance even if people sometimes use the Internet for things I don’t personally endorse.
O’REILLY: Now, a recent study by the Centers for Behavioral and Preventative Medicine looked at almost 500 female college freshmen. It concluded the average time spent on social media — nearly 12 hours a day. That’s the average! And the intense social media is harming those women in academic and social endeavors. Joining us now from Washington, a big booster of the ‘net, Mary Katharine Ham.”
HAM: “Hey there, Bill.”
O’REILLY: “Here is yet another study added to a to be — ton of others. That say the overuse, the reliance, the addiction, whatever you want to call it is creating people who are flawed. Let’s use that word. You say?”
HAM: “First, let’s point out that presumably someone found that interesting academic study by an Internet search and not by cold calling a bunch of academics, which is what you would have to do 20 years ago and then waiting for a hard copy that you paid for to show up on your doorstep to disseminate this interesting information. You may put a link to it on billoreilly.com so that more people can find out this information. We should not discount that that in and of itself is revolutionary and allows people to inform themselves in ways they were never able to before. I do not want to go back to the days when there was a paucity of sources from which to get information, when there were three networks and a couple of newspapers. If that makes me a booster of the Internet while also acknowledging that abuse can be a problem, well then call me Buddy Garrity y’all, because I’m a booster.”