April 15, 2009

Twitter May Harm Your Sense of Morality

By admin

A study from the University of Southern California has suggested that social networking sites like Twitter could numb your sense of morality, causing you to be indifferent to human suffering.

Twitter may harm

New findings show that the streams of information provided by social networking sites are too fast for the brain’s “moral compass” to process and could harm young people’s emotional development.

Before the brain can fully digest the anguish and suffering of a story, it is being bombarded by the next news bulletin or the latest Twitter update, according to a University of Southern California study.

Brain scans showed humans can process and respond very quickly to signs of physical pain in others, but took longer to show admiration or compassion.

The study raises questions about the emotional cost, particularly for young people, of heavy reliance on a torrent of news snippets delivered via TV and online feeds such as Twitter.

But that’s also the case for 24 hour TV stations isn’t it? Violent movies, violent video games. Anything could fit into that ballpark of destroying morality through constant overexposure.

I think what this study shows is an underlying sense of fear for digital culture, perhaps a resistance to change? And then there’s the theme of how the young is corrupted by these systems… which only actually only reflect the fast-paced media environment of today.