WHILE social networking has been posing constant challenges to researchers desperate to find psychological side effects of the phenomenon, there are a few things that are becoming pretty obvious. For one, people end up wasting a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook. That has been steadily affecting their work, resulting in inefficiency and eventually job frustration.
A report published in the New York Times recently throws light on the possible side-effects of social networking. Susan Greenfield, a professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, told the Daily Mail that these technologies are infantilizing the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment. She added that social networking, as well as computer games, might be particularly harmful to children, and could be behind the observed rise in cases of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
Earlier, another series of reports were doing the rounds that talked about the biological implications of social networking. A fellow from the Royal Society of Medicine Dr Eric Sigman seemed to suggest that real life socializing is healthier than its virtual counterpart. In his words, “Time that was previously spent interacting socially has increasingly been displaced by the virtual variety. A recent editorial in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine made the timely point that social networking “encourages us to ignore the social networks that form in our non-virtual communities. … The time we spend socializing electronically separates us from our physical networks.”
But what was most striking was Dr Sigman’s admission about how much time he ends up wasting if he keeps a track of his social networking friends than his work. That’s when he pointed out how much efficiency in work is being killed by the whole tendency to do networking most hours of the day.
Even if a person refrains from social networking throughout the day but surfs it continuously during nights, he affects his own health and efficiency.