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Facebook and Bebo risk 'infantilising' the human mind

Social networks like facebook, bebo, twitter, and many others are causing disorders to the future generations. A professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln College, Oxford, and director of the Royal Institution, Lady Greenfield has diagnosed many students with a disorder caused by social network behaviors. The disorders that are becoming from the social networks are hyperactivity disorder, attention-deficit order, compulsive eating, and compulsive gambling. Also along with social networks many people using these networks are losing communication skills.

Social networks are not the only thing that is given people today communication problems it is also texting and any use of computer chat. It is losing the face-to-face conversations, real life conversations, emotions in the voice, and body language. How will the world end up if everything is done by the network of computers and robots?
The social network does not only cause the disorders I mentioned earlier but biologist have also completed reach that show how social networks can also increase your susceptibility to cancer, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, influenza, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and even the common cold. The world is coming so reliable on social networks that they have become the only way people communicate. This can be very inefficient because it is common for the network to crash daily.

A personal story with having the network as one of my main sources of communication and having difficulties with it there has to be another way to get around to communicate. I have had times that the network crashes and you do not know what to do. All you can do is wait until it is back up and running. While being a student at the University of Minnesota teacher are using web vista to given test, quizzes, and other class work but web vista is also known to crash and not work for hours on end. Also along with communication at school email is a big way to communicate between organizations, faculty, and classes but that also cashes sometime too. But really there is no way to get around the social network.

While there are many downsides to the emergence of social networks, they have allowed a greater free flow of information and have enhanced, for example, the political process. Politicians have increasingly become more technologically connected with their constituents throughout the year but especially during campaigning. Part of Barack Obama’s campaign website was modeled after facebook, and Chris Hughes, a co-founder of the company, left facebook to work on his “new-media campaign” personally. (The Facebooker Who Friended Obama, New York Times, July 7, 2008) This allowed voters to feel more connected to the campaign, attracted young voters, and may have contributed to Obama’s win in 2008. Congresspeople have even started using Twitter to update their colleagues and constituents as to what they are doing; sixty-five members of congress are currently using Twitter as a communication tool. (Congress’s New Love Affair with Twitter, TIME, February 11, 2009) So, while some may say it decreases the communication skills of our youth, social networks have increased the ability of one of our country’s most important, communicative body: Congress.

However, while some see this new version of politics as transparency, others see it as the increased immaturity of congress. Many congress members twittered through Obama’s address on Tuesday, which caused a Washington Post article to quip, “it seemed as if Obama were presiding over a support group for adults with attention deficit disorder.” (Politicians twitter throughout address to Congress like bored school children, The Washington Post, January 26, 2009) So, as congress people are gaining ability to network from afar, they may be losing their credibility, etiquette, and attention spans.

The social network is a part of everyday life and people have gotten used to having it apart of their daily routine. Social networks, cell phones, and any other electronically device have put many people’s attention spans in jeopardy. While some see this increase in social networks as an increase in transparency, others see it as a move towards impatient and rude members of our society who feel the need to update their status even during the most inappropriate of times. This is why everyone in society should take control of their actions and cut back on the social networking, cell phone texting, and using other electronic devices.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/20/social_networking_heath_threats/

Comments

I agree with most of your points about social networking, but I don't think that universally cutting back on social networking and electronic communication is the best answer. The problems arising from social networking are numerous and well-documented as you have pointed out, and we've all seen the effects personally (students checking Facebook during lectures and texting through any presentation or class). These breaches of etiquette need to be addressed; the availability of wireless communication is no excuse to stop paying attention to a speaker.
But as you said, these new technologies are also very valuable tools, and save a lot of time overall. So while etiquette problems may be a symptom of online social networking, we shouldn't look at new networks themselves as some kind of threat to be eliminated. Rather, I believe that we need to isolate and address the negative symptoms rather than lose the ease of organization and communication that Facebook and Twitter afford us.
The problems attributed to online communication are all behavioral, so this means that all we need to fix them is some personal and collective willpower. So, if everyone made a conscious decision to only use these technologies when they don't risk ignoring or interrupting the person in front of them, the behavioral problems would be solved. And by discouraging the abuse of networks, we would shift the social norm. No matter how much you use Facebook or Twitter at home, nothing is forcing you to use them during a class or speech. So simply put, we need to break the habit of technology abuse and remove the negative aspects while keeping all of the good.

I think the concept of 'diagnosing' students with a social networking disorder is dead on.


http://www.slate.com/id/2211068/

To be fair, I actually think facebook is all really cool. People are interacting on facebook in a way that involves personal disclosure and recently, due to the mass increase in the "25 things list", doesnt involve annoying application invites, which is good. I think the 25 things lists are a wonderful exercise in memetics.

If you don't feel like reading it, they compare the 25 things meme to a virus outbreak, showing how it went through various mutations which were only somewhat effective at being spread, but eventually landing (either through good timing our some character of the tagged people/things ratio) at a specific type (memeotype perhaps, if you want to use fancy words). Sometime shortly after january 12th the number of 25 things notes increased exponentially, then decreased more slowly, almost mirroring the classic exponential infection growth. Transmission is through tagging, infection occurs if you write a note yourself. You attempt to infect the 25 people you tag, who may or may not be receptive to infection. There's some complications, since some people don't demand that those they tag write a note, and other people are sneaky and don't actually write a note (I'm lookin at you jenny), but overall its eerily similar to the way a virus operates.

I've always been obsessed with the idea of studying ideas with the tools of statistics. And where does it go from here? I personally have noticed other more specific forum/board/bbs memes becoming common, but I wonder if the trend will fall off soon and we'll all forget about this strange phenomenon. If I were smarter and a statistician, I'd find it interesting to look into if use of other applications dropped since 25 things started, or find which people were the most successful carriers (highest percentage of people they tagged writing a note) and see if it correlates to anything interesting. But I don't have the time or the resources sadly, so I'll have to hope the real scientists take an interest.

Until then, I'm pretty satisfied with keeping my phone handy and knowing which stores are wireless.


I think the concept of 'diagnosing' students with a social networking disorder is dead on.


http://www.slate.com/id/2211068/

To be fair, I actually think facebook is all really cool. People are interacting on facebook in a way that involves personal disclosure and recently, due to the mass increase in the "25 things list", doesnt involve annoying application invites, which is good. I think the 25 things lists are a wonderful exercise in memetics.

If you don't feel like reading it, they compare the 25 things meme to a virus outbreak, showing how it went through various mutations which were only somewhat effective at being spread, but eventually landing (either through good timing our some character of the tagged people/things ratio) at a specific type (memeotype perhaps, if you want to use fancy words). Sometime shortly after january 12th the number of 25 things notes increased exponentially, then decreased more slowly, almost mirroring the classic exponential infection growth. Transmission is through tagging, infection occurs if you write a note yourself. You attempt to infect the 25 people you tag, who may or may not be receptive to infection. There's some complications, since some people don't demand that those they tag write a note, and other people are sneaky and don't actually write a note, but overall its eerily similar to the way a virus operates.

I've always been obsessed with the idea of studying ideas with the tools of statistics. And where does it go from here? I personally have noticed other more specific forum/board/bbs memes becoming common, but I wonder if the trend will fall off soon and we'll all forget about this strange phenomenon. If I were smarter and a statistician, I'd find it interesting to look into if use of other applications dropped since 25 things started, or find which people were the most successful carriers (highest percentage of people they tagged writing a note) and see if it correlates to anything interesting. But I don't have the time or the resources sadly, so I'll have to hope the real scientists take an interest.

Until then, I'm pretty satisfied with keeping my phone handy and knowing which stores are wireless.


(Sorry for the second post! i forgot to write my name!)

Very easily nice whenever market has become is likely to commence stuff like this one