I thought this article was really interesting, because it “proved” a lot of things I’ve thought about social media, and what it does to us as consumers. Now, of course I understand that this article and the scientific proof from it comes only from one source, but still, I think there is reason enough to look more into it.
I’ve wondered for a while now how social media such as Facebook, that enables its users to watch short video clips, read short “stories” (statues, links etc) and chat with each other, does to our brains, because I’ve noticed that many of my friends and myself as well, who consume a lot of that kind of media, have started to get shorter attention spans. I find it hard to concentrate on a 2h+ movie or a long lecture for example, but watching a short Vine or YouTube clip – no problem! I don’t read as many books as before either, it’s just so much more convenient to read short articles and short stories, and finishing homework these days takes so much longer than it used to, because I cannot concentrate as well.
I think that the “infantilizing” of the human brain is a real problem, and not only with the shortened attention span, but with the other examples as well, sensationalism, inability to empathize and a shaky sense of identity, and I also definitely think that social media is a cause of it because it exposes the brain to an enormous amount of that kind of short, sensational content.
(Originally written on 2014/12/11)