01 March 2009

Social Networking, A Threat to Empathy

Ian Lind's blog had a clip from the Guardian. The Lords were told by a researcher that social networking sites are developing children's minds (or not developing them) in such a way so that they are infantilized and lacking a sense of empathy. When the real world responses do not correspond to what the primitive mammalian parts of the brain have been trained to expect from "screen culture", the psychological responses will be characterized as "attention deficit disorder."

This reminds me of one of the problems of technology in psychological development. Technology always solves material problems, but rarely plans for the changes in psychological development when, in fact, the problem is the materiality itself. Jung pointed out that humans forever wanted to learn how to fly. Upon discovering the means, our major use has been saturation bombing, dropping of nuclear weapons and spying.

1 comment:

  1. I've come to think that cyberspace is producing a new political trend.

    More and more often I'm coming across folks who seem to be progressive politically, but you scratch the surface and they start spouting weird conspiracy theories, homophobia, and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

    It's clear that they are getting sucked into black holes on the internet.

    Maybe it's just endemic to such an isolating activity.