Please login to the form below

Is Technology Harming Your Brain?

Is technology harming your brain? Saycomms healthcare PR team confronts different opinions on how technology affects memories and attention span.
Head Spin
Recently I watched the TED lecture ‘Technology and the Human Mind.’ Baroness Susan Greenfield very convincingly made the case for the negative effects that technology can have on our developing brains. However, a Daily Mail article has rather taken the wind out of the sails of my new found distrust of technology. 

A Difference of Opinion
The article referenced a piece from the British Medical Journal in which three leading academics challenge Baroness Greenfield’s assertions. They point out that she is using her media standing to promote evidence that has not been peer reviewed.

They refute Baroness Greenfield’s claim, “reliance on search engines and surfing the internet could result in superficial mental processing at the expense of deep knowledge and understanding.” They point out that when people know they can look information up they are less likely to remember it. Psychologists have also observed a short term memory phenomenon in groups of people. People rely on others to remember key facts, which means they are less likely to remember the facts themselves. This has been termed ‘transactive memory.’

Professor Bishop, Dr Bell and Dr Przybylski also highlight that average internet usage has not been found to harm adolescent brains. They note that the more important debate around excessive technology use and low rates of physical activity, particularly amongst toddlers, has been overshadowed by Baroness Greenfield’s media presence which they consider unhelpful. 

Whose side anyway?
My inner scientist now sides with Professor Bishop, Dr Bell and Dr Przybylski and their peer reviewed evidence. Nevertheless Baroness Greenfield’s argument is a fascinating one.  What is it that is causing average attention spans to shrink? 

Up against a goldfish
Communications professionals need to understand attention spans as well as they can. As human attention spans shorten, to below that of a goldfish’s 9 seconds, it only makes the life of a communications professional harder and harder. It also means I would like to thank you for giving me your attention this long!

-Written by Harry P.

22nd September 2015

Share

Tags

Company Details

Say Communications

+44 (0)20 8971 6400

Contact Website

Address:
The Courtyard
7 Francis Grove
Wimbledon
London
SW19 4DW
UK

Latest content on this profile

Londonvelophobia (fear of cycling in London) – debunked

Say Communications
How Helpful are Simple Health Messages?

Say Communications
Australian Flu and the dilemma of naming diseases

Say Communications
How human differences can affect communication success by Samantha Lynne
DISC Consultant Samantha Lynne examines how human differences affect communication success.
Say Communications
Could hackers threaten your health?
Increasing cyber threats mean medical device providers must now take security matters more seriously, writes our Say technology blogger.
Say Communications
Can we ‘outsmart’ smartphone addiction by using it to develop effective health apps?
Are you guilty of repeatedly checking your phone 24/7? Our new blog explores what makes them so addictive and how understanding this may help us develop more effective health apps.
Say Communications