Archbishop attacks Facebook and social networking

The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has launched a stinging attack on the effects that social networking sites, text messages and emails are having on community life in the UK.

Showing the type of foresight usually associated with the Catholic church archbishop Vincent Nichols told the Sunday Telegraph that sites like MySpaceand Facebook have encouraged young people to forge "transient" friendships where quantity and not quality takes prominence.

"Friendship is not a commodity," bishop Nichols told the Sunday Telegraph before adding: "Friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when it's right". The man of the cloth claimed that social networking sites are eroding face-to-face communications and thus a sense of community.

Nichols also criticized the quality of friendships made online: "Facebook and MySpace might contribute towards communities, but I'm wary about it," he told the newspaper.

"They throw themselves into a friendship or network of friendships, then it collapses and they're desolate. It's an all-or-nothing syndrome that you have to have in an attempt to shore up an identity; a collection of friends about whom you can talk and even boast."

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