August 22, 2011

Can Social Networking Websites Harm your Children's Brains?

At what cost do social networking websites and technology have to human relationships?  How true that these sites cause disturbing changes in the brains of parents' children?  Popular social sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and others are said to promote immediate satisfaction, decrease attention spans, and make children more self-absorbed.


Approximately 250 million use Facebook to keep in touch with loved ones and friends.  They share videos, images and post regular updates about their activities.  Further 150 million have signed up to micro-blogging Twitter that allows users to circulate and exchange text messages to fellow tweeters.
This present generation is the time where parents give more complaints. They say their children lack the skills to communicate off their computer screen.While social networking websites are extremely popular to parents and children, an increasing number of neuroscientists and psychologists believe this technology may be giving more harm than good especially to children.

What neuroscientists believe in?
The claims of neuroscientist Susan Greenfield will make alarming reading for the million users.  This is true for children whose social lives rely on logging on every day to their favorite social networking websites.
The alarm is that this present technology is having brain impacts to parents’ children who are attracted by the bright lights and buzzing noises.They believe that repeated exposures to social networking websites could effectively re-wire the brains of users particularly to young children.  Experts are concerned that kids using on-line communications will affect their minds.
Technology and internet computer games and fast-paced TV shows were also additional factors.  They know how newborn infants need continuous re-assurance that they alsoexist like adult parents.
Computer game exposures, chat rooms, instant messaging, and social networking websites could leave this generation (onwards) with small attention spans.

Concerns on Social Networking and Technology
1.   Parents wonder whether genuine conversations can give way to easy screen dialogues found in social networking websites.  This could be same way where butchering and skinning animals to eat is switched to convenient meat packages in supermarkets.
2.   There is a sharp decline in children’s ability to understand each other.  It is hard to see how this way of living has hindered brains from fully developing. Parents see teenagers spending more than eight hours a day visiting social networking websites.
3.   Psychologists have also argued that digital technology is changing the way we are thinking now. Children do not anymore need to plan essays before writing.  How grateful we are to word processors, they do editing as they go along.  Systems of satellite navigation have invalidated the value of reading maps.
4.   Educational psychologists believe thatparents should not allow children to use computer games until they reach seven.  Often, on-line games and social networking websites will only trigger the fight or flight portion of the brain, instead of areas responsible for reasoning.
5.   Children's low brain development happens because kids don't engage in activities they are supposed to be do—like the traditional mind and physical activities.
While parents and children find great benefits in technology and social networking,  it doesn’t say that these are all good enough for children.  Before kids start should doing it, they need to learn to make real interactions and develop relationships with real humans—away from machines.  What do you think parents?




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