Wednesday, 2 May 2012
Baroness Susan Greenfield and the history of blogging
Susan Greenfield is a neuroscientist, writer, broadcaster and the first baroness to appear on That's Not My Age. The professor of pharmacology at Oxford University specialises in the physiology of the brain, wears a biker jacket not a lab coat, and doesn't do Facebook or Twitter. And last night, I heard her talk - very quickly - about, 'Finding humanity in a world of technology' at The Anne Frank Lecture. The 61-year-old scientist says that cyber culture impacts on the brain and that time spent using social media leads to obsessive behaviour, plus a decline in empathy and the ability to understand body language. She's referring mainly to the Facebook generation and quoted from the book Alone Together by Sherry Turkle, to highlight her concerns, 'The more connected we are, the more isolated we become'.
Personally speaking, the more time I spend social networking, the less time I have to do other things, like get ready for work (I started writing this when I should have been eating my porridge/getting dressed this morning - and am finishing it off in my lunch break). And so everything becomes a last-minute panic. On one occasion, I was so engrossed with Twitter on the station platform, I actually missed the train. Technology is not always a good thing.
Anyhow. BSG has compiled a 'History of Blogging' time line, which I thought you might appreciate:
Blogger: look what my cat did.
Flickr: cat pictures!
YouTube: OMG. Moving cats.
1pm: my cat sneezed.
1.02pm: my cat sneezed again.
1.04pm: my cat hasn't sneezed recently. Getting worried.
As this year's favourite for the TNMA Style Begins at Forty Best Dressed Scientist Award points out, 'We have the potential to stretch our minds with technology, or become glassy-eyed zombies saying "yuck" and "wow."' Thought-provoking stuff.
Have you noticed the impact of technology on your mind?