Scientists warn of Twitter dangers

An interesting article

cnn.com/2009/TECH/ptech/04/14/twitter.study/index.html
Rapid-fire TV news bulletins or getting updates via social-networking tools such as Twitter could numb our sense of morality and make us indifferent to human suffering, scientists say.

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.

I think that’s already happened, waaay before Twitter. I don’t know what caused it, but young people were already numb to a lot of human suffering, at least in my experience. My theory is violence and the like being used for entertainment in tv and movies, but I don’t know for sure… Anyway, Twitter is hardly the cause of it.

Venture capital raised for Twitter in the last year: $55 million

Venture capital raised for Twitter in the last month: $35 million

Employees of Twitter: 34

Current revenue of Twitter: $0

americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=11502

um… I don’t think Twitter is being extensively used to provide rapid-fire reports of human suffering. I think an overwhelming number of tweets could be considered fluff.

Methinks the headline writer used Twitter as an example because its the hot thing right now. And perhaps because the writer didn’t want to point blame at his own employer, CNN. However, the immediate and global news of television and radio may well be at fault. Certainly news is more inescapable than it was 30 years ago.

It’s funny that on many threads on this site I have seen posters endlessly putting down psychologists and psychology as a field of study, until some psychologist says what those on this site would like to hear. Are they “scientists” or not?

I don’t see how Twitter can make people any more or less insensitive to human suffering. It’s a mode of communication. It’s no more good or bad than the person using it. People have said this about the telephone and the Internet, and I have a feeling that every mode of communication as far back as writing probably had it’s critics.

I see it as one more avenue for desensitization (is that a word)?

I don’t use Twitter so I can’t comment on it specifically. But I think about the News on t.v. This person shot. That person killed. After awhile, I hear that and it doesn’t even register anymore.

So I THINK the danger is (with any media) the rapid fire succession of information - it gets to the point where one can’t take it all in.

I think of the whole driving while talking on a phone thing. You can only do 1 of those thing with your full attention and if you’re doing 2, then you’re not giving both your full attention and both suffer.

As I said in the rest of my post " It’s a mode of communication.** It’s no more good or bad than the person using it**."

I don’t use Twitter so I can’t comment on it specifically. But I think about the News on t.v. This person shot. That person killed. After awhile, I hear that and it doesn’t even register anymore.

It doesn’t register any more, not because people stop caring, but because it gets to the point where it’s too much for a person to listen to without wanting to find a hole in the ground and hide in it, since it seems like the world is a hideous, horrible place. There is a solution to this: shut off the TV or the radio, put down the newspaper, step away from the computer.

I think of the whole driving while talking on a phone thing. You can only do 1 of those thing with your full attention and if you’re doing 2, then you’re not giving both your full attention and both suffer.

I don’t see how this has any bearing on Twitter. If people lack the judgment to not use the phone while they’re driving, it’s their fault that they picked it up when it rang or chose to call someone on it, not the cellphone company’s.

Huh? Really? Is that what happenned here? There is exactly one person responsible for starting this thread under its current title. How could this possibly reflect on CAF posters in general?

As I’m sure you know, a good scientist examines all the evidence, not just the evidence that supports his or her own suppositions (confirmation bias.) Since a significant portion of the field of psychology is still not fully understood, it is possible that some posters are merely weighing the value of how settled the topic in question is. We should all take these issues into consideration, and not fall prey to the temptation of confirmation bias.

It is also reminiscent of Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message.” How will twitter affect the social-psychology of the individuals in aggregate? One person online, suggested only positive ways … thanks for the news article … I posted what I had found at America because, obviously, money is headed that way, so there is a need for discussion. I don’t use twitter, but, I remember it being mentioned somewhere so that I did type in the address, one time.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.