Ph.D: Social Networks Increase Risk Of Cancer And Dementia

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In Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology, a Dr. Aric Sigman says that because they isolate us and prevent face-to-face interaction, use of social networks like Facebook and MySpace can lead to increased risk of cancer, strokes, heart disease, and dementia.

We use Facebook and Twitter to meet new people and invite them to parties, thereby increasing our face-to-face social interaction, but Sigman says we’re not normal (we’ve heard this before).

Sigman says that with the rise of electronic media, face-to-face interaction time has fallen dramatically since 1987.

“Social networking sites should allow us to embellish our social lives, but what we find is very different. The tail is wagging the dog. These are not tools that enhance, they are tools that displace,” Sigman told the BBC.

“One of the most pronounced changes in the daily habits of British citizens is a reduction in the number of minutes per day that they interact with another human being,” he said.

“In less than two decades, the number of people saying there is no-one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled.”

Photo: ivanlanin

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