quarta-feira, 11 de março de 2009

Danger on the usage of social nertworking

Susan Greenfield a british investigator, states that an excessive use of social networking, like Twiter, Bebo and Facebook can be dangerous to the brain. It can "accomodate" the brain functions to live just the moment and lack also the capacity of paying attention and concentration. Technology and environment are influencing the way brain works and performs.
According to the Guardian, "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".
"It might be helpful to investigate whether the near total submersion of our culture in screen technologies over the last decade might in some way be linked to the threefold increase over this period in prescriptions for methylphenidate, the drug prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder."
She stated also "a much more marked preference for the here-and-now, where the immediacy of an experience trumps any regard for the consequences. After all, whenever you play a computer game, you can always just play it again; everything you do is reversible. The emphasis is on the thrill of the moment, the buzz of rescuing the princess in the game. No care is given for the princess herself, for the content or for any long-term significance, because there is none. This type of activity, a disregard for consequence, can be compared with the thrill of compulsive gambling or compulsive eating".
She found that we are "enthusiastically embracing" the possible erosion of our identity through social networking sites, since those that use such sites can lose a sense of where they themselves "finish and the outside world begins".
"Social networking sites can provide a constant reassurance – that you are listened to, recognised, and important". This is getting people out of the normal day to day life, "far more perilous … occur in real time, with no opportunity to think up clever or witty responses" and "require a sensitivity to voice tone, body language and perhaps even to pheromones, those sneaky molecules that we release and which others smell subconsciously".
According to the same Guardian news, Greenfield argued that the appeal of Facebook lay in the fact that "a child confined to the home every evening may find at the keyboard the kind of freedom of interaction and communication that earlier generations took for granted in the three-dimensional world of the street. But even given a choice, screen life can still be more appealing." For same heavy users, what matters is the number of virtual friends they have and it can be more then 500, which in the real world "that you can't see or hear other people makes it easier to reveal yourself in a way that you might not be comfortable with. You become less conscious of the individuals involved [including yourself], less inhibited, less embarrassed and less concerned about how you will be evaluated."
"It is hard to see how living this way on a daily basis will not result in brains, or rather minds, different from those of previous generations. We know that the human brain is exquisitely sensitive to the outside world."


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