Interesting CNN article on Facebook's effects on the brain

Submitted by tooyoungforthis on
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Dunno if anybody caught it the other day but this CNN article popped up and it details many of the issues talked about on this site in regards to the brain's reward system begin affected by facebook, online gaming, porn, etc.

Not sure if I put it in the right forum, please move if I didn't


I agree totally. Perhaps if people knew how important it is to get affectionate touch and cultivate close, trusted companionship in their daily lives they wouldn't be like lambs to the slaughter when it comes to synthetic community.

Our brains evolved to connect and pair-bond...but most of us have forgotten that. Hungry brains are now driving us to seek risky, not-truly-satisfying substitutes.

It's peculiar that we would

It's peculiar that we would come to forget something so basic. Is it lack of education or has something been schooled out of us? Children seem more natural making me inclined toward the latter. Perhaps many people start down these paths because there is bonding. The bonding dries up leaving addiction behind.

I didn't think about facebook parenting. How sad.

It would really be something if one by one people closed their facebook accounts. Modern day revolutions might happen in cyberspace. Westerners are relatively placated and not angry enough. That's the brilliance of the Occupy 99/1% divide as it tries to show us the relative falacy of our placation.

I wonder what will happen in the future when there are less holdouts. Maybe we'll be shipped off to some island.

Hot Button Issue for Me

Facebook, that is. The whole thing makes zero sense to me but the particular thing I find most galling is the friend/unfriend thing. I would consider myself a decisive person but even I realize that much of life involves the gray area without absolutes. Having to declare someone a friend, or unfriending them when there's a problem strikes me as juvenile at best. Most friendships are a blend of good and bad, with some gray area most of the time. It only makes sense to me that one needs the space to be ambivalent at times, while riding out the ups and downs of friendship.

As far as effects on the brain are concerned, I imagine that it comes down to the same old search for novelty, except that in the case of Facebook, the novelty seeks you out. I tried an account once at the urging of a friend and was almost instantly flooded with friend requests from people who's only link to me was one "friend" in common. I started with one friend, then his wife joined my friend list. I couldn't turn her down, she was a real friend in the real world. Next came the child of this couple, then the child's girlfriend, then her mother. From a real flesh and blood friend I had become linked to people I would never meet, people that lived in parts of the country that I am unlikely to ever visit. Sorry, these aren't friends in any real sense of the word. I don't need to know about the new cake recipe they discovered, I don't need to hear about the dumb thing their boss said, I don't really care about the snow tires they got at Costco. All of this is just noise. Worse yet, it takes me away from real people.

All synthetic reality does this. I remember being shouted at, as a child, when I spoke up during a football game on TV. How can an image on a TV screen be more important than a real person in the same room? IMHO, it can't.

Yes, but...

many young people don't have their extended tribes around them, so it makes sense for them to seek connection however they can find it. Trouble is, FB becomes a crutch that makes learning real social skills seem like too much trouble. 3-D connections will always be more nourishing.

Most guys who give up porn find they really benefit from the connections of the type you describe. What seems obvious to your generation is not obvious to them until they experience it for themselves.

If you have any interest in helping young guys with this and other similar issues, you might look into an organization that I heard about the other night at a party: The ManKind Project. If anyone reading this is in Southern Oregon, there will be one of their (free) "New Warrior Training Adventure" introductory events on January 12, 2013, all day. (541) 941-2935.

Digital world

The impetus causing us to want to filter noise out of our analog world might be backfiring in our digital world. The result is better filtered noise with less range of analog experiences.