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 They point out that she is using her media standing to promote evidence that has not been peer reviewed.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



Company Details

Say Communications


Contact Website

Tuition House
27-37 St George's Road, Wimbledon
- None -
SW19 4EU
United Kingdom

Latest content on this profile

The power of influence in transforming women’s health
Over the past four years HRT prescriptions have doubled in the UK, the cause was turbo charged by the action of celebrities and influencers.
Say Communications
The doctor will text you now: Why healthcare providers cannot underestimate the importance of communicating change
Healthcare communication needs to switch from ‘transmit’ to ‘receive’, listening to what patients need and embracing the plethora of communication tools wholeheartedly.
Say Communications
Can tobacco companies really reinvent themselves as healthcare companies?
A surprising move by key player, Phillip Morris, has called attention to the start of a new era for the tobacco industry. But can tobacco companies reinvent themselves as healthcare companies?
Say Communications
Why you should feel optimistic about the future of healthcare
It has been a difficult year to remain hopeful for those working in the healthcare industry, but there are some reasons to remain optimistic.
Say Communications
Stick or twist? The future of HCP engagement
The Covid-19 pandemic forced companies to be more agile and rethink their value offering when engaging with HCPs, but what does the future of HCP engagement look like?
Say Communications
Stick or twist? Looking at the patient experience as we emerge from the COVID pandemic
The pandemic has given us a glimpse (actually, more of a very long look) at an alternative way of receiving healthcare and engaging with the NHS. And that alternative fits in with 21st century life in a much better way for many of us. So are these changes here to stay?
Say Communications