Addiction to Facebook, Twitter ‘harming children’s development’

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London: Addiction to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook can harm children’s development, and they are at risk of growing up with obsessive personalities, poor self-control, short attention spans and little empathy, a leading neuroscientist in Britain has warned.

Baroness Greenfield, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, said a decline in physical human contact meant children struggled to formulate basic social skills and emotional reactions.

She criticised the “unhealthy” addiction to Twitter among some users who resort to increasingly nasty outbursts under the “sanitised and often anonymous guise of the web,” the Telegraph reports.

According to the paper, Greenfield also expressed concerns over the “narcissistic” nature of sites such as Klout, which measures users’ popularity and influence on social networks.

She said the human brain evolved to its surroundings and needed a “stimulating environment” to grow and properly develop.

According to the paper, Greenfield warned that a reliance on social networking and increased use of computer games could effectively “rewire” the brain.

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