Are social media changing our brains?

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Is ‘change’ the same as ‘ruin’, as the infographic below might suggest? It is certainly the contention of Nicholas Carr in his book The Shallows, and some other commentators, that our brains are being rewired by the Web and social media, and not always in a good way.

However, as Len Sweet points out in his forthcoming (and excellent) new book Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival – when the printing press first came in, some Christians opposed it because they felt it would inhibit people from memorizing stuff.

In any case, we are where we are. Older people will recall similar concerns two generations ago about the insidious effects of TV. Our task is to manage our media, not let it control us. And more than that, realise its huge potential for the Kingdom. Check our page about using Facebook, and our other blog posts about social networking.


There are strategies we can use to reduce distraction so we can stay focused on one thing at a time. See How to Deal with Distractions in a Web Worker’s World. Leave Skype switched off if you have not pre-arranged a call. Disable instant messengers including Facebook. Disable any audible alerts of new emails. Hey, even switch your wifi/network connection off for writing projects. There are even software solutions and browser add-ons that you can set to prevent access to certain time-wasting sites (eg. Farmville, or Facebook entirely) within your choice of time limits. You can also use software to limit children’s time online (or on the computer at all) within preset limits, so they can do other things vital to their development. Like playing, sport, reading.

Please add your thoughts in the comment section below.


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