British scientists warn, if Facebook doesn't kill you, it'll drive you nuts

Dennis Baron debaron at
Sun Mar 1 05:42:10 UTC 2009

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

British scientists warn, if Facebook doesn't kill you, it'll drive you  

The British neuroscientist Lady Susan Greenfield told the House of  
Lords last week that social networking sites like Facebook pose  
significant dangers for developing young minds and called for research  
to investigate whether "the near total submersion of our culture in  
screen technologies over the last decade" might account for dramatic  
increases during that period in autism and ADD (even though autism and  
ADD tend to be diagnosed long before children spend much time on line).

In the same week Dr. Aric Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of  
Medicine, launched a second broadside directed at the online world,  
warning that facebooking, blogging, and other digital technologies put  
us at risk for cancer, strokes, heart disease, and dementia.

. . . .

Before scientists attribute even more bogus physiological or  
psychological damage to the rapidly-growing digital revolution, they  
might consider this: literacy rates rose in Rome between the time that  
Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BCE, and the ouster of Romulus  
Augustus, the last Roman emperor, in 476 CE, yet it never occurred to  
Edward Gibbon to blame the decline and fall of the Roman Empire on the  
rise of the book.

Read why Facebook and the Web will only make you stronger ... read the  
rest of this post on

the Web of Language
Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321

read the Web of Language:

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