Online social networking may 'harm health' due to reduction of face-to-face contact

Aric Sigman pubslished his "warning" in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology (click here for the original PDF). From BBC:

  • 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

  • Number of hours people spend interacting face-to-face has fallen dramatically since 1987, as the use of electronic media has increased

  • "One of the most pronounced changes in the daily habits of British citizens is a reduction in the number of minutes per day that they interact with another human being," he said.

  • "In less than two decades, the number of people saying there is no-one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled."

The American Psychological Association still has doubts if the Internet addiction exists but it looks pretty much for real in this Google video:

Video: "Don't work so hard."

This beautiful flower of Internet communication replaces the old starfish of Web 2.0 shown below:

Social Media Starfish created by Darren Barefoot (a Creative Commons license).

Online networking 'harms health.' BBC.
So, does Twitter give you cancer? We've read the study... (updated). The Guardian.
Get offline to stay healthy. IOB.
Well connected? The biological implications of ‘social networking. Aric Sigman. Biologist | Volume 56 Number 1, February 2009.
The beautiful flower of Internet conversation: how many petals do you have?
Don't work (or browse) so hard. Beware of Internet addiction


  1. Please see a psychologist's take on this issue:

    Social Networking Harms Health? LOL
    By John Grohol, PSY.D.

  2. I think the article in question makes valid points. Loneliness and depression is not anything you should make fun of.

  3. Yes, definitely. I am using social networks a lot, for me as a Toronto realtor it is a must, business potential is huge. But when I see some of my contacts and their "activity" on's their 24/7 occupation. But are not all these networks a RESULT, not cause of our dropping social skills and lack of face to face contact?!
    Take care