Reality check

THERE are many who regard the Catholic Church leadership as a group of fuddy-duddies who want to keep us all in the Middle Ages.

THERE are many who regard the Catholic Church leadership as a group of fuddy-duddies who want to keep us all in the Middle Ages.

It is quite possible that those who hold this view dismissed Vincent Nichols, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, when he said last week that modern friendships built around heavy SMS volley, e-mail correspondence, and social networking sites created "transient relationships" which put users at a risk of suicide.

The realities of the dangers of unmitigated usage of this form of networking was this week visited on a Johannesburg family whose 14-year-old daughter disappeared for 48 hours, apparently after being lured by people she had met on MXit.

You may dismiss the clergyman's take as alarmist but the message from the girl's parents is chillingly simple: "Get your children off it. It is a sick world out there".

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