Next time some apocalyptic bore starts yapping about how facebook causes cancer pull out your copy of Small, Moody et al. or Small & Vorgan’s iBrain and show the audience that brain scans demonstrate how middle-aged and older adults with little Internet experience were able to trigger key centres in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning after just one week of surfing the Web.
I supose this was expected. The Susan Greenfield story is going through the usual dance moves, with the old media and new media playing their typecast roles (Radio 4, so I’ve heard, balanced and sensible. well, surprise).
So, some of the good coverage I’ve seen so far:
Aleks Krotoski has seen it all before, but can’t avoid four poignant comments and a few good links.
Ben Goldacre gives the story the solid bad science treatment it deserves, and pointing us to
I have to quote:
He points out the Dr Sigman quoted a 1998 paper called “The Internet Paradox”. This paper did indeed find a (weak) relationship between internet use and depression, loneliness, etc. This was 1998, at the very dawn of widespread use of the web, but more importantly, the very same authors went back and looked at the very same families, and found that the effect had disappeared. That seems relevant to me, especially if you’re going to quote the 1998 results, Dr Sigman?
You can read the paper in full online as a pdf. It says “This sample generally experienced positive effects of using the Internet on communication, social involvement, and well-being.”
There is no excuse for not knowing about this finding. Type the internet paradox into Google. Go on, do it:
Flessisgrass shares some notes from a recent talk Susan Greenfeld gave at the Jewish book week, giving us a glimpse at what she might have actually said at the Lords’ (as opposed to what the DM reported).
February 25, 2009 Posted by yishaym | neuroscience, Social Software | Aleks Krotoski, Ben Goldacre, Clay Shirky, Daily mail, facebook, neuroscience, Nick Carr, Susan Greenfeld, twitter | Leave a comment
My other blog is a mess. This one is where I’ll keep the stuff that has anything to do with learning, technology and design.
Its about stuff that’s designed for learning, but also about we are designed for learning by the intelligent process of evolution.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
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