Wednesday, 25 February 2009


This is Kayo - at least that´s maybe how he spells his name, or maybe not. I covet him. Reb, I think, does not.

Below, the start of a story from today´s Guardian

Facebook and Bebo risk 'infantilising' the human mind

Social networking sites, such as Facebook, are putting attention span in jeopardy, says Baroness Greenfield.
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 from Lady Greenfield, professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln college, Oxford, and director of the Royal Institution, has led members of the government to admit their work on internet regulation has not extended to broader issues, such as the psychological impact on children.
Greenfield believes ministers have not yet looked at the broad cultural and psychological effect of on-screen friendships via Facebook, Bebo and Twitter.
She told the House of Lords that 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".

In other words, a pretty accurate description of me. Well done, Lady G. And doubtless the Baroness knows whereof she speaks. You don´t get a Chair in Synaptic Pharmacology loafing around on a chaise-lounge watching daytime TV and scoffing Doritos.
The article potters on in similar fashion for several miles but, with my short attention span, I pulled up long before the final furlong.


Tula said...

One question: Where's her data? Sorry, sounds like mi'lady pulled this out of her ass. said...

Tula, yes, I have no idea where the Baroness is coming from.
I suspect I agree with her though.
Facebook worries me. I can´t understand what it is all about, if not trivia. Nothing wrong with that though.

Laura said...

I have had concerns about Facebook and instant messaging and texting, etc. but I work with college kids all day and have had to realize that it is just the world they know. Their experience of community and communication are, and will forever be, different than mine. They text, blog and update Facebook from their iphone while in class and when class is out they are talking on their cell phone or walking with the headphones on listening to their ipod. They are not sure of the nature of a relationship until it has been updated on Facebook - for example my 20 year-old has gone from "It's complicated" to "In a Relationship," and that has solidified things! I am enjoying the connections that Facebook has made possible but I also know that some of my classmates with whom I am now "friends" really never were, and likely never will be friends. We live in interesting times!

Tula said...

I have NO concerns about facebook or texting or any of these tools, and can't quite figure out why this worries people. There is, to my knowledge, no data that this is producing shorter attention spans, inability to focus, etc. It's simply evolution, and the strong will survive. CB radios went away. If facebook et al don't provide meaning or value of some variety, then niner-niner or whatever the hell cb-ers used to say when they signed off. The value they provide may not be deep or enriching ultimately, but neither was the output of many of the technologies that reigned in the 20th century said...

I just wonder what would happen to an entire generation if the power grid failed and there was no electricity to power their "relationship networking tools."

Poor buggers are always only 220 volts away from the Stone Age.

...Not that I´m exactly a gifted communicator...

Buck Maxwell said...

I love the dog, the view and Rabanal del Camino!

PL said...

Kayo looks like quite the affable fellow to me so I shall tell you the story of my dawgs (sic). Spying a Newfoundland at an annual dog show at the bank of my employ early in my youth I vowed that when the day came that I was married, had children and a mortgage I would always have two things for myself - a very large black beast and a very large recliner. For the better part of twenty years now I have had both and prurient though I may be in this regard, I draw great comfort from my black beasts; they and I both being simple-minded in our nature and needs.