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Oxford Scientist: Facebook Might Ruin Minds

Published on February 25, 2009
by Geoffrey A. Fowler

The perennial debate about whether fun technology is actually terrible for us has gotten a new spin in the U.K. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Oxford University neuroscientist Susan Greenfield warns that repeated exposure to blips of information from fast-paced TV shows, videogames–and now also social-networking sites such as Facebook–might essentially “rewire” the brain.

According to the Daily Mail, she said: “We know how small babies need constant reassurance that they exist….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.”

On Feb. 12, Ms. Greenfield–a member of Britain’s House of Lords who holds the title of Baroness–said that social-networking sites like Facebook might create short attention spans.

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