"Dr Sigman makes his warning in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology.
A lack of 'real' social networking, involving personal interaction, may have biological effects, he suggests.
He also says that evidence suggests that a lack of face-to-face networking could alter the way genes work, upset immune responses, hormone levels, the function of arteries, and influence mental performance.
This, he claims, could increase the risk of health problems as serious as cancer, strokes, heart disease, and dementia."
Oh, I so want to read the original 'study'.
Nonsense of the highest order. Where is the evidence that people are diminishing their face-to-face activity because of social networking? It reminds me of the splendidly stupid technology predictions of the past which included such gems as "The cinema is little more than a fad. It’s canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage.", Charlie Chaplin, actor, producer, director, and studio founder, 1916 and “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys”,Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.
We're good at predicting the end of everything, aren't we? Social breakdown as the result of technological change. As per usual.
I quite fancy nominating Dr Sigman's predictions for inclusion in the "Imagining the Internet" site...
PS Don't read this blog. It may give you heart disease. ;o)
Update: Have a look at this analysis of the report by Charles Arthur in "The Guardian"... and take a look at the full study from The Biologist too. Both definitely worth a sniff!