Susan Greenfield has been wibbling to the media again about how the internet is melting the brains of young children.
Quite frankly, I’ve become fed up with discussing the evidence that refutes such outlandish claims but The Lay Scientist has a brilliant parody that manages to catch the main thrust behind her argument.
I thought I caught my brain melting when reading it but it turns out I had actually wet myself.
That’s why science is so hard you see.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have left a generation of young adults vulnerable to degeneration of the brain, we can exclusively reveal for about the fifth time. Symptoms include self-obsession, short attention spans and a childlike desire for constant feedback, according to a ‘top scientist’ with no record of published research on the issue…
The scientist believes that use of the internet – and computer games – could ‘rewire’ the brain, causing neurons to establish new connections and pathways. “Rewiring itself is something that the brain does naturally all the time,” the professor said, “but the phrase ‘rewiring the brain’ sounds really dramatic and chilling, so I like to use it to make it seem like I’m talking about a profound and unnatural change, even though it isn’t.”…
“I think it’s really important that people aren’t frightened by scare stories about new technology, and I’ve been a big supporter of brain-training software in the past,” the scientist said, “but people’s brains are literally melting inside their heads from all the MyFace waves being absorbed.”
Joking aside, I honestly despair. I genuinely think that Greenfield is motivated by good intentions but it’s difficult to see how her unwillingness to engage with any of the evidence on the issue is anything other than wilful ignorance.
At the very least, the funny Lay Scientist piece will help you feel better about the whole disappointing situation.
Link to ‘Facebook will destroy your children’s brains’.