Friday, February 19, 2010

Better networking or information overload?

The arguments have been heard many times but are we actually better off for all this technology?

As Vaughan Bell writes in a cracking article over at Slate magazine

Worries about information overload are as old as information itself, with each generation reimagining the dangerous impacts of technology on mind and brain.

As far back as the sixteenth century a Swiss scientist,Conrad Gessner,wrote of how the modern world overwhelmed people with data and that this overabundance was both "confusing and harmful" to the mind.

Maybe no different to the scare stories that we read about the internet today?

But it seems ecah technology brings it warnings.As Bell writes

When radio arrived, we discovered yet another scourge of the young: The wireless was accused of distracting children from reading and diminishing performance in school, both of which were now considered to be appropriate and wholesome. In 1936, the music magazine the Gramophone reported that children had "developed the habit of dividing attention between the humdrum preparation of their school assignments and the compelling excitement of the loudspeaker" and described how the radio programs were disturbing the balance of their excitable minds.

However all the evidence suggests contrary to what the Daily Mail might think,that those who use the net and social networks actually tend to have better offline social lives.After all being social is all about making connections,the net means that they are more easily made.

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