Tuesday :: Feb 24, 2009

"'Infantilising' The Human Mind"

by Turkana

No, this isn't about Republicans. It's about social networking sites.

Yesterday, at Daily Kos, diarist The Termite wrote a scathing critique of Facebook culture. My favorite part was this:

If you were my friend a long time ago, or perhaps a girlfriend, there is probably also a reason that we no longer speak. You should not take this as a sign that you are inferior. A human life has many doors, and people enter and leave. Brevity is not the sign of a failed relationship; perhaps instead it is the sign of a complete one.

Today, The Guardian talks science:

Social network sites risk infantilising the mid-21st century mind, leaving it characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity, according to a leading neuroscientist.

The startling warning from Lady Greenfield, professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln college, Oxford, and director of the Royal Institution, has led members of the government to admit their work on internet regulation has not extended to broader issues, such as the psychological impact on children.

Greenfield believes ministers have not yet looked at the broad cultural and psychological effect of on-screen friendships via Facebook, Bebo and Twitter.

I don't like the idea of using this warning as justification for government censorship, but I do consider it important.

Turkana :: 2:34 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!