Specialist Warns Against Dangers of Internet Use

Discourages Placing Computers in Youth Bedrooms

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ROME, FEB. 15, 2011 (Zenit.org).- In a globalized and hyper-connected world of the Internet and new technologies, youth are at risk of isolation, says the president of the Italian Association of Catholic Psychologists and Psychiatrists.

Tonino Cantelmi, a surgeon specialized in psychiatry and author of more than 200 publications, said this Feb. 7 at a conference on “The Young Generations in the Internet Era,” which was held at the headquarters of the Famiglia Domani association.

He said that “it is necessary to know these phenomena.” Cantelmi said that the Church is among the most active users of the Internet, as he verified in meetings he had on the subject with representatives of some 150 dioceses.

The association president suggested that “young people and children use computers in common rooms of the home and not in isolation, as in their bedrooms.”

“Affectivity, love and friendship are important instruments to overcome this technological challenge,” he affirmed, noting that “beauty is a great healing motor of technological dependence.”

“There is an ever greater tendency to ‘techno-communicate,'” he observed, “creating a new way of relating in which it is easier to express one’s feelings, as when one has a few drinks.”

The danger, Cantelmi warned, is that of moving toward a “liquid society,” without points of reference, in which, for example, sex and roles are confused.

The association president pointed out, moreover, that the Web could cause an anthropological change in the system of study, with a different development through “hyper-textuality,” which allows one to change texts in a casual and illogical way.

At the same time, he recalled the positive aspects of technology, such as online medical consultations that are carried out with people from other countries.

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