Increased exposure to social media and air pollution dumbing people down
Studies show that an increased exposure to both polluted air and social media play a significant role in lowering the cognitive intelligence of today’s youth. This poses a risk to a stable future
We are developing, our economic status is much better in recent times, our life is easier these days, but the same progress is snatching away our intelligence too. Believe it or not, recent studies show that air pollution and social media, both are reducing our intelligence level. Air pollution is omnipresent, as more than 95 percent of global population breaths polluted air. Social media is also present everywhere, with all age-groups and among any economic strata.
A new study indicates that chronic exposure to airborne particulate matter appears to cause significant fall in test scores for both language and arithmetic, with average results equating the impact of poisonous air to losing a year’s worth of education. The research was carried out in China, but is relevant around the globe. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, took place over four years and analysed verbal and arithmetic tests taken by 20,000 people of all ages.
The results indicate prolonged exposure to poor air appears to cause a degradation of cognition which worsens with advancing age. Pollution also increases the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, the study suggests. The negative effects of pollution appeared to have a more pronounced effect on people’s verbal abilities, which the authors suggest is due to pollution having a stronger effect on parts of the brain necessary for verbal tests.
A previous study showed air pollution harms cognitive performance in students. Another study concluded that mortality rate of person with mental disorder increases on high pollution days
Lead author of the study, Xi Chen of Yale University of Public Health in US, tells that apart from long-term consequences, short-term impacts on learning ability were found. These short-term impacts have important consequences as what happens if a student appears in a crucial examination or tests on a critically polluted days – he would certainly score comparatively low.
About 20,000 people of all age-groups and all gender participated in tests that took place over 4 years. Same people were tested periodically and at the same time pollution level was also monitored. It was revealed that more pronounced impacts were visible in elderly and in men. The authors of the study say that gender difference in findings may be due to variations in brain functions of male and female individuals.
A previous study showed air pollution harms cognitive performance in students. Another study concluded that mortality rate of person with mental disorder increases on high pollution days. Yet another study found that children having mental illness and living near busy streets have greater chances of developing dementia.
Another study suggests that students who play online video games score above average in math, reading, and science, while those who engage in social networking tend to score below average, according to an analysis of international assessment data. The study, conducted by Albert Posso, an associate professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, and published in the International Journal of Communication, looked at about 12000 Australian students.
“Children who regularly use online social networks, such as Facebook, tend to obtain lower scores in math, reading, and science than students who never or hardly ever use these sites,” the study found. And the more the students used social media, the worse their scores tended to be.
However, playing video games is associated with higher math, reading and science scores, the study found. Students who played online games almost every day scored 15 points above the average in math and reading. In science, they scored 17 points above the average. “This may be because many online games require players to solve puzzles that, in turn, require some understanding of these three subjects,” Posso wrote.
In fact, air pollution and use of social media are hot topics for research these days, almost every day we get more insight of these topics. The whole research shows that we living in a dangerous world with an insecure future. Nobody knows, what is there in the store for future generations.