An interesting article I found today on Digg contains claims from a top neuroscientist that social networking sites may have the ability to literally change, in a negative way, the way that children’s brains develop. Do social networking sites really shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people self-centered?
Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield expresses her concern:
We know how small babies need constant reassurance that they exist. My fear is that these technologies are infantilising the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment.
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. Of course, we do not know whether the current increase in autism is due more to increased awareness and diagnosis of autism, or whether it can – if there is a true increase – be in any way linked to an increased prevalence among people of spending time in screen relationships. Surely it is a point worth considering.
I would suggest you check out the whole article. Do you think social networking sites can literally change the way that children’s brains develop?