Your 21st Century Brain on Facebook28 Feb


We all know that individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder are challenged with more than attention or multi-tasking; and yet the premise of the article is accurate in expressing how the speed of technology can affect individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder.  Read the article and let us know your thoughts and feelings…

By Bridgitt Robertson  

Atlanta Web Examiner  - Published: February 28, 2009

Are you experiencing short attention spans? Do you have difficulty empathizing with others? Well, according to one neuroscientist, this might be the result of your visits to social networking sites like Facebook.

According to Professor Greenfield, a neuroscientist at Lincoln college, “It might be helpful to investigate whether the near total submersion of our culture in screen technologies over the last decade might in some way be linked to the threefold increase over this period in prescriptions for methylphenidate, the drug prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.”  Methylphenidate, or Ritalin, prescriptions have also increased in the US. Interestingly, college students in the U.S. who were already on Ritalin, Prozac and other psych meds and in need of additional counseling rose from 7% in 1992 to 18% in 2000. Could there be a link to their online activities?

Some experts suggest that excessive exposure to new digital technology can be problematic for the brain’s ability to respond. In fact, there are some studies that suggest that not everyone can handle multitasking and that the demands of today’s technologies may result in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

While we applause the vast technological changes taking place in our society, some experts say that such technologies prevent us from paying full attention to one thing. That technologies like instant messenging and Twitter require quick responses versus depth and sublety in our thinking.

According to Dr. Greenfield, who spoke of one Facebook user claiming 900 friends,”that you can’t see or hear other people makes it easier to reveal yourself in a way that you might not be comfortable with. You become less conscious of the individuals involved [including yourself], less inhibited, less embarrassed and less concerned about how you will be evaluated.”

Given the brain’s exposure to roughly eight hours of technology every day, it is likely that our high-tech revolution will have some sort of impact on our behavior. In fact, initial results indicate important links between extensive brain exposure to new technology and mental disorders.

So the next time your attention span is short or you feel you’re lacking emphathy, perhaps that’s the time to turn off the computer and your other electronic gadgets and go outside and get some good fresh air.

One Response to “Your 21st Century Brain on Facebook”

  1. Alan

    It seems like there is little focus today on learning patience and mental endurance. This article makes me think about the fact that while modern “facebook” applications are fun, they may actually make it harder for my brain to focus. I think there is probably a balance to be had between things that make life easy, and those which keep our brains sharp and in shape.

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Most medical doctors who treat ADD/ADHD do so as part of a larger practice. ADHD Specialists focuses primarily on only treating ADD and related conditions. This intense focus allows us to continually sharpen our clinical skills, attend specialized training, utilize the latest therapies, and build our process to meet the specific needs of our clients.

Often medical, testing and counseling services are all separately owned and located practices. It just does not make sense to have to travel from one location to another to treat the same condition. Besides the issue of time and travel, how cohesive and effective is care being delivered in multiple locations by multiple, unrelated providers who don’t have time to talk to each other?

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