"Does Social Networking Impair Learning by Brian Solis"
Does Social Networking Impair Learning? By Brian Solis, blogger at PR 2.0 and principal of FutureWorks PR, Co-Author Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and Now Is Gone Source: PBCentral It is not only an interesting question for those who run rampant in the streams of the social web, it’s an intellectual voyage that unravels answers that just may hit home. According to a Stanford study, multitaskers are “suckers for irrelevancy” according to communicationProfessor Clifford Nass, one of the researchers whose findings are published in the Aug. 24 edition of theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Everything distracts them.” A group of Stanford researches found, “People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time,” Fascinating. Irrelevance? Maybe… A new method for learning? (cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis Maybe… At the very least, we are becoming an increasingly social society. Perhaps with this evolution and transformation we’re concurrently witnessing a greater set of distractions. I believe many of us are sidetracked by choice. It’s our willingness and readiness to be distracted, which I think points to something deeper than this particular study is researching. Part of us longs for distraction. It serves as temporary releave or an opportunity to recharge. The question is, can we snap back with vigor, diligence, and focus to regain and continue momentum? I can point to countless individuals on Twitter and FriendFeed alone who are defining the infrastructure and associated culture and psychology of the Social Web and are learning as much as they’re consuming and producing. Perhaps it’s less about multiasking and more about feeling connected, drawn to a sense of community over individual experiences. Researchers continue to study whether chronic media multitaskers are born with an inability to focus or are damaging their cognitive control by willingly biting off more than they can mentally chew and process. They’re convinced however, that the minds of these media multitaskers are operating ineffeciently and possibly experiencing intellectual erosion. “When they’re in situations where there are multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of memory, they’re not able to filter out what’s not relevant to their current goal,” said Anthony Wagner, an associate professor of psychology. “That failure to filter means they’re slowed down by that irrelevant information.” Update: Please read Stowe Boyd’s post, “The War On Flow, 2009: Why Studies About Multitasking Are Missing The Point” (cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis Brian Solis is globally recognized for his views and insights on the convergence of PR, Traditional Media and Social Media. He actively contributes his thoughts and experiences through speaking appearances, books, articles and essays as a way of helping the marketing industry understand and embrace the new dynamics fueling new communications, marketing, and content creation. Solis is Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning PR agency in Silicon Valley. Solis blogs at PR2.0, bub.blicio.us, TechCrunch, and BrandWeek. Solis is co-founder of the Social Media Club and is a founding member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup. Solis has been actively writing about new PR since the mid 90s to discuss how the Web was redefining the communications industry – he coined PR 2.0 along the way. Solis is considered an expert in traditional PR, media relations, and Social Media. He has dedicated his free time to helping PR professionals adapt to the new fusion of PR, Web marketing, and community relations. PR 2.0 has earned a position of authority in the Technorati blog directory and currently resides in the top 1.5% of indexed blogs. BrianSolis.com is also ranked among the most influential blogs in the Ad Age Power 150 listing of leading marketing bloggers. Working with Geoff Livingston, Solis was co-author of “Now is Gone,” a new book that helps businesses learn how to engage in Social Media. He has also written several ebooks on the subjects of Social Media, New PR, and Blogger Relations. His next book, co-authored with Deirdre Breakenridge, “Putting the Public back in Public Relations,” is now available from FT press. Connect with Solis on: Twitter, FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Plaxo, Plurk, Identi.ca, BackType, Social Median, or Facebook --Subscribe to the PR 2.0 RSS Feed (cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis