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Social websites harm children's brains

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#1
Social websites harm children's brains: Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist


Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.

The claims from neuroscientist Susan Greenfield will make disturbing reading for the millions whose social lives depend on logging on to their favourite websites each day.

But they will strike a chord with parents and teachers who complain that many youngsters lack the ability to communicate or concentrate away from their screens.

More than 150million use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, share photographs and videos and post regular updates of their movements and thoughts.

A further six million have signed up to Twitter, the 'micro-blogging' service that lets users circulate text messages about themselves.

But while the sites are popular - and extremely profitable - a growing number of psychologists and neuroscientists believe they may be doing more harm than good.

Baroness Greenfield, an Oxford University neuroscientist and director of the Royal Institution, believes repeated exposure could effectively 'rewire' the brain.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1153583/Social-websites-harm-childrens-brains-Chilling-warning-parents-neuroscientist.html
 
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#2
good post ,dont need to be a social scientist to figure that one out,haha,im sure it does damage to adults who use those services too,
it may be no accident that it "rewires the brain" television does the same thing,in its own way too,

its the "i" generation, frankly,i dont use any of those "services",as apart from stealing everything about me and my choices and habits without asking, or burying it within eulas and terms of service more complicated than neurosurgery,and selling it for profit to anonymous sources that may be of dubious trust,the fascination to know everything about everyone just aint there ,privacy is invaluable and anyone who seeks to breach it is suspect by that motivation alone bar any other nefarious intentions,
and any child i know is steered well away from it all by me,exactly because of the reasoning within your excellent post.
 

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#3
Sounds like yet someone else trying to make a name for themselves by publishing a sensationalist story. :rolleyes: Anyway, makes for good forum fodder. :laugh:
 
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#4
Sounds like yet someone else trying to make a name for themselves by publishing a sensationalist story. :rolleyes: Anyway, makes for good forum fodder. :laugh:
you may consider it sensationalist,but that doesnt negate the validity of the results !:)
i see it more as common sense,and a logical translation of a larger evolving problem,
duping adults is one thing,but kids?:banghead:
 

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#5
I don't think that it actually is harmful to kids. That's the point of my post.
 
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#6
Sounds like yet someone else trying to make a name for themselves by publishing a sensationalist story. :rolleyes: Anyway, makes for good forum fodder. :laugh:
I would dissagree completely man, if you don't think socialising ina different way doesn't affect development then you're not stepping back and looking at the situation.

( Or human development in general)

Go study child development :D It's really interesting and will pretty much cause you to agree with this persons statements.

( Hell it's observable in for real, the amount of 16-18 year olds I see who behave like they're actually on the internet still is crazy)






Should note there is a LOT of studies regarding this sort of thing, pretty much all of them come up with similar conclusions.







Hell I done most of my socialising from 11-16 on the internet and I know for a fact it changed the way I would of developed.



(My mother is a paediatric nurse who specialises in mental health in children and as it's an interesting subject I talk to her a lot about it)
 
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#7
as much as i use this stuff daily, i'd be a total ass with my kids (if/when i have them) and make sure the real world comes first.
 
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#8
as much as i use this stuff daily, i'd be a total ass with my kids (if/when i have them) and make sure the real world comes first.
Snap, going to try and get my kits to master themselves before they go about trying to master machines :laugh:
 
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#9
Finally, it paid off to ignore most of this social bullsh*tting stuff.
Facebook, the greatest Disease of them all, and the most annoying
(do you have Facebook? Why dont you have Facebook? Please, sign up for Facebook, its soooo great!)

People seem to have forgotten, that you should socialize with others in your RL... and not virtually...:rolleyes:
 
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#10
Couldn't this same argument have been told by neuroscientists with the advent of the internet/PC?

Back to BF3...
 
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#11
Couldn't this same argument have been told by neuroscientists with the advent of the internet/PC?

Back to BF3...
Well yeah, that's the idea if you don't make sure you're kids are using it sparingly then it will affect their development.

Hell think of all the western women in the world who subconciously beleive a prince charming exists because of all the media that gets thrown at them as kids.


Every little thing effects how we end up so it would make sense to pay attention to what we're feeding the minds of our children.


I.E don't let them sit there all day on facebook letting that become the "norm" as it will effect how they behave away from it.





Where as it seems the current trend is for parents to think " it's only a game" "it's only tv" and let their children have free reign and wonder why their kids don't turn out as expected.
 
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#12
Damage?

I question anyone who would use that phrasing. The reason is simple, a "damaged" child evokes a knee-jerk reaction from people. Said reaction evokes changes, not by presenting facts but by relying upon an emotional response.


That said, this is sensationalist at best and slanderous at worst. People grow and develop based upon their environment. We understand this as a fact, otherwise our society would not accept psychiatry because we would not believe it could result in a cure. By exposing people to different forms of communication you alter how they percieve interaction, which has also been proven by countless studies (Pavlov being the funniest).

Does it not follow that new forms of communication will always create "damaged" individuals. Previous archetypes are cast aside, resulting in a new type of communication and understanding. People, prior to the printing press, passed knowledge through apprenticeships and only communicated locally. Prior to radio, people got news days or months after it happened. Prior to television people had to imagine happenings, with the rare exceptions of pictures in newspapers. With the invention of the internet we get information and interact, without waiting for anything.

It stands to reason that the dynamic of social interactions changes with new technologies. These new people are not "damaged," they are a paradigm shift. To not acknowledge this is a crime against them. Different is not damaged, and the author fails to make this critical link.


My opinion, like the opinions of "damage" expressed by the author, is that the author is trying desperately to proove a point. They walked into the study with an underlying preconception of damages, and "prooved" such to their own satisfaction. Overlooking what is a unique development, in favor of a sensational conclusion, is science that has not been grounded in the scientific method.
 
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#13
People grow and develop based upon their environment. We understand this as a fact, otherwise our society would not accept psychiatry because we would not believe it could result in a cure.
It many cases it can not provide a cure: take paedophilia for instance or repeat offenders of any crime who received psychiatric sessions.

Change does not have to be positive and environments can have a detrimental effect on their inhabitants.
 
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#14
It many cases it can not provide a cure: take paedophilia for instance or repeat offenders of any crime who received psychiatric sessions.

Change does not have to be positive and environments can have a detrimental effect on their inhabitants.
I failed to mention negatives, this was my oversight. Additionally, the acceptance is societal, not on an individual basis. Nothing is 100% accepted by everyone, because there is no universal idea that someone cannot dismiss using their own internal logics.

At the same time, you are prooving my sentiment is correct. Environmental stimuli do influence people. Enough said.
 
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#15
I failed to mention negatives, this was my oversight.

At the same time, you are prooving my sentiment is correct. Environmental stimuli do influence people. Enough said.
For my part, enough has not been said. You are too eager to acknowledge that change occurs without evaluating such change. I fail to see how I have proved your sentiment to be correct when I largely disagree with what you said. Of course environmental stimuli affect people, but their effect can be negative. It is not simply a question of people adapting to whatever they encounter and getting on with things. There is nothing to guarantee that we are in constant social evolution, indeed, in may aspects we may be worse off as time goes by.
 
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#16
i guess anyone is welcome to allow there kids to "share" on facebook and twitter,
but dont go crying if or when somehow they get stuffed over by some creep or end up being bullied or harassed/stalked by the bazillion weirdos who frequent such sites,not to mention other effects that could be factored into it.
call it sensationalism if it behooves one,but i personally feel afeared to allow any kids i know near it, and way before this so called study was posted.
its a fact that some very harmful stuff has come from facebook to do with children,if one is going to let kids on it,it would be wise to carefully monitor such activities in my op.
kids are naturally trusting sometimes,and that spells a world of trouble on those sites.
 
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#17
I failed to mention negatives, this was my oversight. Additionally, the acceptance is societal, not on an individual basis. Nothing is 100% accepted by everyone, because there is no universal idea that someone cannot dismiss using their own internal logics.

At the same time, you are prooving my sentiment is correct. Environmental stimuli do influence people. Enough said.
True, but you have to admit ( certainly if you live in England)

That kids and teens are right little fuckers. ( no one wants more fuckers in the world)

I don't mean in the way that I used to be a right little fucker either.
 
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#18
For my part, enough has not been said. You are too eager to acknowledge that change occurs without evaluating such change. I fail to see how I have proved your sentiment to be correct when I largely disagree with what you said. Of course environmental stimuli affect people, but their effect can be negative. It is not simply a question of people adapting to whatever they encounter and getting on with things. There is nothing to guarantee that we are in constant social evolution, indeed, in may aspects we may be worse off as time goes by.
1) I did not state that you prooved my conclusion was true. I stated that you prooved that environmental stimuli change people, whether that be for the better or worse.
2) You assume that I so not think change is a concern. I never stated this. I attacked the author for sensationalism, and a lack of desire to see change as anything but damaging.
3) Language. As anyone who took so much as psych 101 would know, the choice of wording is as important as the words themselves. The author assumes change is damage, which I cannot abide.

4) I never stated change is inherently good.

5) You are on a forum. Discussion is what happens here. As I have learned in the past, discourse either steels ones resolve or removes it. If you take offense to what I say you have the same rights that I have. Leave the thread and never come back. There is not one thing stopping you from thinking "F*ck this stupid, ignorant, a$$. I'm leaving." I've done this with other threads, and will continue to do so.
6) People finding scapegoats is not new. Comics corrupted morality, television was the work of the devil, and now the internet gets its go on this merry-go-round. Wake me whenever people realize that all revolutionary ideas change the fabric of what it is to be human.

True, but you have to admit ( certainly if you live in England)

That kids and teens are right little fuckers. ( no one wants more fuckers in the world)

I don't mean in the way that I used to be a right little fucker either.
I spent three weeks in England two years ago. Nobody seemed any more of an ass than their American equivalent. The reality is that the fabric of social develpment has changed from one generation to the next. Those children that once feared repercussions no longer do, so they act out for the attention they desire. I can say, as a product of the US public school system (until college), that a little bit of negative reinforcement would do wonders.

Additionally, social media is a unique new frontier. Even if there was more than a tenuous link between being a "right little fucker" and social media, there is no clear correlation between social media consumption levels and a$$ hole level.
 
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#19
Isn't there an age limit on Facebook anyways? If there isn't, then there should be. "If you are a adult and are still stupid enough to join this website, then Welcome!"
 
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#20
There are a plethora of studies saying the same exact thing. In my opinion the human brain isn't being damaged, it's just adapting to be better at using the internet.
 
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#21
There are a plethora of studies saying the same exact thing. In my opinion the human brain isn't being damaged, it's just adapting to be better at using the internet.
Sort of...Ill take it a step further. In our society we our taught that murder is bad. Having young kids in this online society teaches them to be self centered and want instant gratification. Its not "Damaging" them but molding them into an unacceptable member of the real world. Since they are trained at a very young age on these social sites, they think this is how the world is when its far from it. A swift kick in the ass from the parents should put an end to the "Damage".
 
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#22
Isn't there an age limit on Facebook anyways? If there isn't, then there should be. "If you are a adult and are still stupid enough to join this website, then Welcome!"

You're supposed to be at-least 14 and you're supposed to have a parent agree to the terms and conditions up to 16 I beleive.

( After all you're pretty much giving up all your personal data in exchange for the social networking so it's an important document to read)
 
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#23
Why, o why doesnt the feeling vanish, that our whole Species might have been intentionally "damaged"?

Most of us make great Slaves, and dont even know it.... just because they were indoctrinated that way, as children.

In my opinion, the psychology of children is much too soft in most cases, to be able to properly cope with psychological manipulation, even if it is unknowingly selfinduced.
You can even teach a child to be a Serial Killer, if youre amoral enough, and tell it, that its normal from the beginning of its life.
And the same counts for this case here... you can teach a child, that the real world,and real friends are in this Box,called Monitor, and that it is able to communicate with it, not thru his mouth and tongue, but only thru his fingertips.

In what kind of world shall we live in a few hundred years? One where we spend our life suspended in stasis pods, in a virtual reality, just because its technologically more advanced?
There are a myriad of fictive stories that give a pretty accurate outcome, on what would happen, if we continue in our current pace, and integrate new technology in our lives in that way.
(evolving technology, but not evolving ourselfs, our mind, our soul... whatever makes us good humans)
 
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#24
1) I did not state that you prooved my conclusion was true. I stated that you prooved that environmental stimuli change people, whether that be for the better or worse.
I don't think I proved it, but we can agree on this.

2) You assume that I so not think change is a concern. I never stated this. I attacked the author for sensationalism, and a lack of desire to see change as anything but damaging.
You stated, amongst other things, that "Previous archetypes are cast aside, resulting in a new type of communication and understanding", thereby implying that people simply adapt to stimuli and that such change is largely positive.


3) Language. As anyone who took so much as psych 101 would know, the choice of wording is as important as the words themselves. The author assumes change is damage, which I cannot abide.
Could it not simply be the case that the author's findings indicated that "damage" occurrs rather than a case of setting out to "prove" a theory?


4) I never stated change is inherently good.
See above


5) You are on a forum. Discussion is what happens here.
I am aware of this.


As I have learned in the past, discourse either steels ones resolve or removes it. If you take offense to what I say you have the same rights that I have. Leave the thread and never come back. There is not one thing stopping you from thinking "F*ck this stupid, ignorant, a$$. I'm leaving." I've done this with other threads, and will continue to do so.
I take absolutely no offence at anything you have said, nor do I have any intention of leaving the thread as a result of your posts. I do not understand what led you to post this.

6) People finding scapegoats is not new. Comics corrupted morality, television was the work of the devil, and now the internet gets its go on this merry-go-round. Wake me whenever people realize that all revolutionary ideas change the fabric of what it is to be human.
That is undoubtedly true, although, based on my own experience of Facebook, I find myself leaning more towards the author's conclusion in this specific case.
 
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#25
Mr McC, we seem to have fundamentally different views, and be reading into each others responses for meanings that aren't there. I've found this, more often than not, leads to anger rather than discussion. As such, this will be my last post on this thread. While somewhat cowardly, it is far better than rehashing our points, to the disservice of other people reading this thread.


The shark is a perfect form of evolution. It has adapted to its environment, and has remained unchanged for milennia. The Platypus and dodo are nature's WTF. Both of these animals reached an evolutionary plateau, then stopped. All of these animals have reached the limit of their mutability, which means that they are unlikely to survive (or did not in the case of the dodo) if their environment were to change.

In comparison to the three, humanity is the bacterium. Our environment changes, and it changes us. We, as a whole, evolve to meet the new environment, or are cleansed by those that did evolve.


While this mentality produces some of the most vile and wretched things I could imagine (I'm looking at you Jersey Shore), it also redefines us. I speak with those people I met in Germany often, while a century ago the very idea of doing such would be insane. I play games on my computer, because board games have largely been relegated to the attic. At the exact same time, I purchase goods that sweat labor shops in China produced. These things are debatably good, but they are always evolution. For better or worse we are changing.

Those who recognize the change are welcome to oppose it, but those who vehemently oppose change are miopic. Developmentally "damaged" people like Edison, Einstein, and Van Gogh drive humanity forward because they look at things differently.


No matter what you may conjecture regarding my motivations, there is a truth we can both agree upon. Change is coming. Whether you believe this change is social "damage," or whether you look at change as a way to explore what we are, it is undeniable. Stopping social media will take more than either you or I could ever muster...