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Facebook and Bebo risk 'infantilising' the human mind

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posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 09:34 AM
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Facebook and Bebo risk 'infantilising' the human mind


www.guardian.co.uk

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 has led the government to admit work on internet regulation has not extended to broader issues, such as the psychological impact Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, MySpace and other social networking sites have on children.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 09:34 AM
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Could this explain some of the recent threads and posts that defy logic and abjectly refuse consideration of alternatives and contradiction?

The rise in ADD and ADHD diagnoses may skyrocket according to the government report:


...children's experiences on social networking sites "are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity".

Arguing that social network sites are putting attention span in jeopardy, she said: "If the young brain is exposed from the outset to a world of fast action and reaction, of instant new screen images flashing up with the press of a key, such rapid interchange might accustom the brain to operate over such timescales. Perhaps when in the real world such responses are not immediately forthcoming, we will see such behaviours and call them attention-deficit disorder.

"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 also warned against "a much more marked preference for the here-and-now, where the immediacy of an experience trumps any regard for the consequences.


It seems that the combination of anonymity, instant gratification, and exclusion of opposing or contrary influences may make social networking an imposing shaper of normal social and interactive skills.

Do we see that even here? Does that explain the disregard of spelling and grammar? Deletion of posts as "off-topic" or "inappropriate?"

If so, how do we ourselves, and our children, face the threat and take steps to avoid such myopia and antisocialization?

Deny ignorance. (if you've read this far)

jw



www.guardian.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 09:49 AM
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There are some who might refer to such infantilising as "domestication" of the masses.

Such domestication ensures the herd is totally dependent upon "shepherds" or people that exist above and beyond the masses.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by MikeboydUS
 

Are we seeing some of the herd mentality here? Or can that be said of all forums that encourage alternative thinking?

jw


[edit on 24-2-2009 by jdub297]



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 09:53 AM
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This article should have included such 'infantilising' ( what a word) items as watching Big Brother or Pop Idol, and other 'reality' shows, Trying to become a (UK) football 'celebrity' as well.
As those things in my mind make people think that to become 'popular' and successful you DON'T need an education, most of the 'young adults' in my office use facebook and they all go round 'giggling' all the time about somebodys facebook profile.
I just want to give 'em all a slap and tell them to grow up.
The way things are going we won't need anykind of database to store personal information , facebook will have it all.
I will not nor have had the urge to join this totally useless piece of junk. It totally dehumanises the need to want to actually talk to someone, why talk when you can I.M?
Pointless.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 10:01 AM
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i'm sure the catholic church pushed the same agenda when some upstart in germany came up with moveable type.

information that isn't controlled by the traditional authorities is threat to the traditional authorities.

they said the same about cinema, newspapers, tv, radio, books and probably writing at some point, it's just "blah blah blah, new stuff is scarey!!!!".



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 10:05 AM
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WOW! Think of the implications of this!

For example, we might end up with future generations of business leaders that focus only on short-term profit, rather than building sound economic infrastructure! Think of the kind of catastrophe that could lead to!




posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 10:27 AM
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Frankly I have a hard time telling if people are more rediculous or just more obvious about it.

Probably just more obvious and less private imho...

I learned a long time ago that most people are simply emotionaly driven animals dressed up as sentient beings.

Those who find such behavior as distasteful are the real mutants.

Homo Superior is probably the best classification for us.




"I am as far ABOVE MUTANTS as you are ABOVE MANKIND!"

- APOCALYPSE (2010 A.D.)



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 10:29 AM
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People do get seriously addicted to Facebook, in a very unhealthy, needy way. Some people on there are posting literally dozens of times a day to update their status--"at the supermarket," "Driving home," "walking the dog." It's not very different than the cellphone craze and people calling every five minutes to command attention on the street.

First off, who cares? These are some seriously needy people, screaming for attention. Personally, I stay as far away from Facebook, Myspace, and all the rest of these social networking sites, because I'm an old-fashioned believer in privacy and being left alone is the greatest luxury.

But the article itself and the thesis that this is dangerous and in need of regulation is just a Trojan Horse to get govt's foot in the door of overt internet censorship. The nanny state reaching further and further.

Facebook alone isn't infantalizing society; it's our entire comfortable technologically enabled, coddled existence; most people wouldn't or couldn't know how to kill a chicken and prepare it to eat, for example. And it would doubtless put many of these Facebook addicts in a mental ward if they had to.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 10:31 AM
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Or could it be that this study is serving to try and restrict sites (albeit some of them are probably cia run) that offer free social networking in order to enhance all things commercial instead. After all, on these sites, people get together from all over the world and talk, exchange hugs, and (though I avoid facebook) many develop real feelings for their friends.

I no longer trust any of the studies these psuedo scientists are turning out.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 10:32 AM
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Is that article from the future? Mid-21st century would be 2050, wouldn't it? I think that's the real news because what they're saying is the exact same argument they've been using against television for decades.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by jdub297
It seems that the combination of anonymity, instant gratification, and exclusion of opposing or contrary influences may make social networking an imposing shaper of normal social and interactive skills.

I agree with you, to an extent. On the other hand, I also know plenty of people, myself included, who love facebook yet are able to interact and socialize offline just fine. Then again, maybe I'm in the minority in that aspect and I just don't notice it as much because, as a stay at home mom, I don't have offline interactions such as if I had a job outside the home.



Do we see that even here? Does that explain the disregard of spelling and grammar? Deletion of posts as "off-topic" or "inappropriate?"

This is due to a lot of factors. Certainly a lowering of the quality of education or maybe just a lack of interest in education has to be taken into account. While I love facebook, the disregard for spelling, grammar, and proper language usage are by far the most painful aspects of the site for me. I got so frustrated over some of the message board postings that I recently made a blog post about it just to vent to my friends who read me. I am certainly no spelling/grammar police patrol, and goodness knows that I make my own share of mistakes here and there and that I'm really good friends with the typo faerie, but there are so many people posting on facebook who are nearly unreadable because my babelfish doesn't translate from idiot.

There is definitely a herd mentality that happens, too. When I look on the message boards attached to the game apps that I play there is a collective mindset of "be nice, don't complain...about anything for any reason". Being nice is fine, but it is the absolute shutting off of critical thinking and zero tolerance for opposing opinions under the guise of being nice and not complaining that is more and more noticeable. That has transferred to other areas. I see it here as much as at other fora I frequent. Luckily, here is where I notice that the least!



If so, how do we ourselves, and our children, face the threat and take steps to avoid such myopia and antisocialization?

Self control. Stepping away from the computer and engaging in other activities. I know that the article really focused on children and not adults, so in that regard, as a parent, taking more interest and an active role in what our kids are doing with their time.

My daughter is only 8, but she loves to play on the computer. She is more into the Neopets and Bella Sara horse game, but she likes to play some of my games on facebook like the scratch cards and egg hunt and scavenger hunt games. They are appropriate for her age and don't require her to access any other areas of the site so, with my supervision, I let her play them. On the other hand, that is only a small bit of time and not every day. She also is reading Robinson Crusoe currently and loves things like word searches and drawing. For us, it is a matter of balancing activities. Not all parents can be bothered. It is easier to use the computer or game console as a baby sitter and that is where I think the biggest problem is. It isn't the fault of the medium, be it facebook, myspace, or a game system, it is the lack of balance.

Take care,
Cindi



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:18 AM
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reply to post by jdub297
 


HAHA...


Ok... just for the record... when I was growing up I was astonished at how _stupid_ adults were.

Yeah I know that's not a nice word, but it best describes it. For example, we would go to Church where the Pastor would exhort the blessings of God and the power of faith, but all the adults would constantly act out of fear.

On top of that... not a one could interact with electronics enough to change the clock on their VCR.

I'm really getting annoyed at this concept that the adult mind is somehow superior to the "infantile" mind. Further more by the concept that the infantile mind is somehow described as ADD.

When will the fear mongers stop? When will the adults of this world realize that we do _not_ have a corner on the market of "right thinking". Adults are just as psychologically absurd as children... if not more.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by pieman
i'm sure the catholic church pushed the same agenda when some upstart in germany came up with moveable type.

information that isn't controlled by the traditional authorities is threat to the traditional authorities.

they said the same about cinema, newspapers, tv, radio, books and probably writing at some point, it's just "blah blah blah, new stuff is scarey!!!!".



You are so correct!

I recall, Erasmus I think, warning against Mathematicians, as they were sorcerers!


It's a pattern.... Old hate's new... .new resents old.... As Ecclesiastes says... There is nothing new under the sun.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:25 AM
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reply to post by gottago
 
While I certainly do not endorse further intrusion into privacy, I think the author makes a telling observation.

I can recall my first brush with IM and Texting. The people on the sending end were almost obsessed and even upset if they did not get an "instant" reply.

Rather than restrict access, perhaps an emphasis on alternatives or actual human-to-human, as opposed to face-to-face, contact should be considered part of our normal routine.

Rmember letters? Post cards? Telephones that you spoke into instead of typed on?


jw



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:26 AM
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reply to post by gottago
 


Actually GottaGo, I see it in the exact opposite.

The most successful people I know twitter and facebook on a regular basis.

It keeps you honest and motivated. Remember social feedback is one of the biggest influences on a person. If they are "private" and "anti-social" then they don't care what others do, or they are infuriated at what others do. However, if they are gregarious and extroverted, then they do care and are effected by this sense of caring.


When I see all the cool stuff my friends are doing, I want to do it. And If I happen to be sitting at home posting on ATS, and I see my buddy caleb saying "Just got done hangliding... what a rush!" Well, it makes me say... "What am I doing here in front of the 'puter?" And the next thing ya know I'm facebooking my mountain hike.

Personally I see things like facebook and twitter... not necessarily myspace, as required for the future.

Just never accept ex-gf's ;-)


Also, I get MORE social interaction because of facebook...

Another scenario... my friend posts "Drinks at Ecco"... I see it on my iPhone and drive down to see him, and find 30 friends I haven't seen in a year!

It's a great tool... and I love it! I am now closer with my friends than EVER before because of it.



[edit on 24-2-2009 by HunkaHunka]



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:33 AM
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reply to post by Glencairn
 

I'll bet you're not in school anymore.

To me the difference is being able to exercise self-control and to have a grasp of reality. Perhaps even a stake in society, such as a family to feed, job to perform, home to repair.

A little groundedness (is that a word?) goes a long way toward being able to successfully navigate among any new tech that comes along and manage it to your own benewfit, as opposed to using it as a refuge or escape.

I welcome tech innovation. I bought the first DELL model 80286 computer, so I'm not afraid. Some, however, are defined by their software. I'd rather write it.

jw



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity


ummmm......
what?

how?



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by jdub297
 


Jdub... for me, the best thing is to throw myself into new technology and roll around in it until I get bored.


Other wise I'm just left waiting for that interaction again. It's the same with anything with me really. I never quit smoking cigarettes until I went of the rails and smoked 2 packs in one night.... that was the last time I touched them.

Same for things like Halo or other addicting video games.

I say let the kids burn themselves out on it.... We only have one rule in this house as it relates to digital time.... that things like video games are not more important than real life...

My son, comes home, does his chores, his homework, spends some time with us and then disappears... if a friend comes over, he leaves and goes outside. If I say "let's go... were going out" He immediately stops what he's doing and goes with me.

He has no limitations on his computer time, because I'm not trying to teach him to require outside influences to moderate him. I'm teaching him to moderate himself.

And it works very well, he has many friends, straight A's and is more socially well adjusted than any child I know... but then again.. I'm biased. :-)

Now... he has his own email address, but its through a site which allows the parents to control who he can send and get email from. And he doesn't IM or facebook or anything like that. He researches and plays games mostly.

How do I know? I sniff his traffic :-)



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:43 AM
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Originally posted by ModernAcademia

inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity


ummmm......
what?

how?


THAT is precisely my question... Personally I have a stronger sense of identity because of these things.



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