Social Media for people only above age 20
Debate Rounds (5)
I thank frostez00 for challenging me with this debate. I would have refused to accept such a debate due to the weakness of its opening statement if not for the fact that I was challenged directly by the opposition.
Pro has not specified whether this round is just meant for acceptance, so I take it that I could start by providing a long-winded refutation before I thorougly present my position.
My position on this is that social media should not have age restrictions, but instead use the testing method to decide whether the user satisfies the required standards.
Pro claims, "People under the age of 20 are still immature and have no idea what they are getting into."
Rebuttal: Pro has not satisfied his BoP by showing us peer-reviewed, scientific studies on how people below 20 are immature to the extent of being incapable of using social communication websites. Pro's central argument is nothing more than a baseless assertion. And I clearly have no idea why he specified 20 as the age-limit. There seems to be no objective, well-grounded criteria for his argument.
Pro continues, "...social media websites are destroying the brains of a children around the globe."
Rebuttal: Pro didn't provide any evidence supporting such a baseless assertion, although there is plenty of counter-evidence that could be presented against his hypothesis. For instance, Facebook has popular scientific pages which are presenting to young and adult enthusiasts many scientific discoveries, experiments and challenges. Take for example "Science is awesome." This page introduces them to puzzling mysteries and challenges about nature, the universe and everything, not forgetting that it teaches them critical thinking and some of the concepts of skepticism. I'm personally a co-admin of an Arabic page which has gained 200,000 users in a year because it aims to spread enlightenment through important quotations and publications about science and critical thinking. Pro has failed to prove that with all those educational merits, Social Media is actually "destroying the brains of children around the world."
Pro says, "The Internet is being abused by children and predators out there on the web. Adults using hooks to steal kids from there parents who hold there children in high esteem. Still social media is a big hook that predators use to catch a child."
Rebuttal: It is true that the Internet is a tool that could be abused, but a tool is not redeemed evil for cases of abuse or misuse. Sexual predators have always took advantage of summer camps, schools, churches and swimming pools. This, however, doesn't mean that we should make those places 20+. It only means that parents should pay a closer eye to their children or teach them about perverts from an early age, ensuring that the children can better understand the dangers out there and learn how to cope with them. Dangers will always exist. It is quite an escapist approach to ensure that they will never occur if we'd only try to prevent children from ever encountering them.
Pro remarks, "Social media distracts them[teenagers] and puts them in a temptation to do mostly bad stuff."
Rebuttal: Pro has not specified any intrinsic quality about Social Media that entails such an adverse effect. Hence, this is a baseless assertion at best if Pro doesn't ground it factually.
Pro further argues, "Social media is destroying lives and is being used as a tree to hide behind instead of facing a gruesome fact of life, that is called reality."
Rebuttal: Pro is arguing that social media is bad to everyone because of the virtual reality it creates, even when most people use it to organize real-life events, get in contact with real-life friends, share their real-life happenings, post their real-life pictures and and keep track of similar additions made by real-life people. I would have agreed with Pro if the debate was about a virtual game where users depict themselves as eight-feet-tall monsters with tentacles coming out of their limbs, but clearly Social Media is popular because it is centered on managing and displaying real-life events. If some people misuse it, then why do all teenagers deserve to be prohibited from it? I find that ridiculous.
Pro concludes, "The kids under 20 should not be allowed because reality will be too hard for them to face."
Rebuttal: This sentence clearly summarizes the major error in my opponent's reasoning. He adopts the ostrich-approach which is to ignore dangers by thrusting your child's head down the sand. Escapism doesn't give the child an immunity against the dangers present in the big bad world. On the contrary, it makes the child much weaker and much more vulnerable to such unavoidable threats.
As I explained earlier, my position is that social networks should not implement age restrictions but instead a testing procedure which determines if a user qualifies to be on the social network. I propose that because of the inaccuracy of correlating maturity with age, knowing that a child prodigy might be more mature than a 25 year-old man.
It is quite common for intelligent children(not necessarily prodigies) to feel that they are undermined because of the false assumption that they are young and hence immature. A great illustration of that comes from the book "Harry Potter and the methods of rationality" which is a fan-fiction written by the great Eliezer Yudkowsky who is a well-known American decision theorist. In this book, Yudkowsky attempts to explain the methods of rationality throughout JK Rowling's story and characters, but he self-projects himself in the character of Harry Potter by describing Harry as a child prodigy, explaining through him what he personally suffered as a young genius from not being taken seriously by adults to feeling undermined and disrespected because of that.
'"Harry stopped. "I'm too smart, Professor. I've got nothing to say to normal children. Adults don't respect me enough to really talk to me. And frankly, even if they did, they wouldn't sound as smart as Richard Feynman, so I might as well read something Richard Feynman wrote instead. I'm isolated, Professor McGonagall. I've been isolated my whole life. Maybe that has some of the same effects as being locked in a cellar. And I'm too intelligent to look up to my parents the way that children are designed to do. My parents love me, but they don't feel obliged to respond to reason, and sometimes I feel like they're the children - children who won't listen and have absolute authority over my whole existence. I try not to be too bitter about it, but I also try to be honest with myself, so, yes, I'm bitter..."'
My argument, therefore, is based on the right of children to be treated as individuals who are capable of having the required rationality to use social communication tools, so that they don't feel locked in a cellar and isolated from the social world because of a prejudice held by some parents and individuals about mature behavior.
The test I suggest is centered on problem-solving techniques that are deduced either from experience or good critical thinking. This test wouldn't be difficult for an 18 year-old who should be experienced at this age, neither would it be difficult for mature 13-year olds who are critical-minded and more than qualified to operate on websites while avoiding all possible dangers and threats, although they might lack the situational experiences as they are too prudent ot make such irrational decisions in the first place.
Here is a sample question:
(1) If a stranger gave you an unknown hyperlink, what would you do?
A- Open it to see its content.
B- Open it while pretending you refused to open it.
C- Tell him that you won't open something like that without having conclusive proof that it comes from a trusted website.
D- Block the person and alert your friends.
Solution: A and B are bad decisions because it could be a pervert/harmful person tracking your IP and location... -2 rationality points for each. C is the best decision to evaluate the intentions of the stranger... +2 rationality points. D is a bit too extreme but it acts like a protective measure, so +1 rationality points.
The test would involve more questions that could contain ones that are more difficult than the ones presented in this sample.
People should be allowed to use Social media if they pass the required test because:
A.1.1- The correlation between maturity and age is inaccurate as it is based on the prejudice that children are always immature because it is assumed that they tend to behave irrationally. There are many people below 20 who are capable of rational thought and maturity. I gave Eliezer Yudkowsky as an example provided that he scored 1410 on SAT at the age of eleven and 1600 at the age of fifteen. Another example could be MysticEgg (a fellow DDO debater here) who is fourteen years old, mature and even superior to me and other adult debaters on this social network in debating skills.
A.1.2- The educational merits of social networks are very important to adolescents, now that the Internet has a huge role in bettering the world through scientific, philosophic, historic and political knowledge.
A.1.3- Social Media is a great medium to encourage pluralism and diversity as it makes communication possible between people that come from different cultures and orientations. Teenagers are supposed to be subjected to such influences so that they aren't mislead into intolerance and radicalism.
A.1.4- Social Media is a very effective tool for teenagers to participate in humintarian clubs(e.g charity-raisers) and communicate with many other teenagers and adults with similar interests and life causes.
 Singularity Rising, by James Miller, page 38
 The Spike, by Damien Broderick, page 265
I award Pro the conduct point for his concession...
Since we have many rounds in this debate and forfeits will take 72 hours each, let us post kitten pictures to make the process much faster and entertain any disappointed readers.
frostez00 forfeited this round.
Where did you go dude?
frostez00 forfeited this round.
Long live the kitten king,
This round has not been posted yet.
This debate ended and someone voted on it. FFS what's wrong with the servers?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Honourable concession by Pro.
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