Can plugging into online social networks via Twitter or Facebook lead to some kind of computer-aided moral decline en masse? A study out of the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute seems to suggest that this may be an imminent side effect of living in information-overloaded societies.
The study raises questions about the emotional cost of heavy reliance on a rapid stream of news snippets obtained through television, online feeds or social networks such as Twitter.
The impact could be most damaging for youngsters whose brains are still developing.
USC researcher Mary Helen Immordino-Yang said ‘For some kinds of thought, especially moral decision-making about other people’s social and psychological situations, we need to allow for adequate time and reflection.
‘If things are happening too fast, you may not ever fully experience emotions about other people’s psychological states and that would have implications for your morality.’