Wednesday, 9 March 2016: Inter-schools Debate
The motion that “This house believes that social media is destroying society” was proposed by Conall Rice [CBS] supported by Oisin McGuigan and Conor Lalsingh and opposed by Ryan Kane [OA] supported by Adam McFarland and Lewis Bratton with Harry Grace in reserve. All boys were third year pupils in their respective schools and spoke with a confidence and maturity which belied their age.
Conall opened for the proposition by arguing that the friendship which social media claims to promote cannot be achieved via a keyboard. Those who use Facebook often divulge enough personal information to make themselves targets for those who have posted fake profiles. Oisin developed the theme by graphic reference to users of social media hounded to suicide by internet predators. Conor observed that social media was making it increasingly difficult for some to distinguish between real and virtual relationships. Social media makes it easy for people to make out they are doing better in life than they actually are, causing others to become depressed.
Replying for the opposition Ryan began by identifying the huge commercial success of Social media and the billions of dollars of business generated by on-line trading. Far from destroying society the largest companies had donated billions to charity in their efforts to make society better. Adam pointed out that it was not the medium which was responsible for on-line bullying but the individuals who use it. He quoted examples of how people had been helped by social media in their search for missing persons and pets. Facebook was a way of communicating; Skype was a way of staying in touch and Google was a way accessing information on a global scale; Lewis developed the debate by describing how useful social media was in the classroom believed more kindness was exchanged in social media than hurt, and more happiness spread that harm.
The motion that was carried by 14 votes to 13, which accurately reflected the closeness of the debate. The teams were thanked for their participation by Probus President, Paul Gallagher and warmly congratulated by Probus members keen to say how much they had enjoyed the occasion.