Facebook Turning Minds Into Mush, Says Scientist

An Oxford scientist is warning that social networking sites could actually "rewire" the brain to have a shorter attention span.

Great.  Just what we needed to hear.

Susan Greenfield is a neuroscientist (who is also a Baroness and member of Britain's House of Lords), and cautioned the Daily Mail:

"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."

She also likens the phenomenon to, well, the butcher's shop:

"I often wonder whether real conversation in real time may eventually give way to these sanitised and easier screen dialogues, in much the same way as killing, skinning and butchering an animal to eat has been replaced by the convenience of packages of meat on the supermarket shelf."

But, she has no scientific data to back any of this up.

The Digits blog at the WSJ dug deeper, throwing this back in the face of Facebookers.  Spokesman Larry Yu told the WSJ, "we have not seen anything to really back up that worry."

And now if you'll excuse me, I have to change my Facebook status.


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