back to article Nobody expects the social media inquisition! OK, everybody did, UK politicos

The UK Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology has begun taking submissions for an inquiry into the "Impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health". Screengrab from Brit MP MATT HANCOCK's new app What a Hancock-up: MP's social network app is a privacy disaster READ MORE Politicians have taken …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "all bar MPs Bill Grant and Graham Stringer having at least a Twitter account"

    Perhaps Grant and Stringer have a better understanding of the issues than the rest of the committee.

  2. malle-herbert
    Joke

    "a connection between sitting in front of a screen and raised blood pressure"...

    They do realise that it doesn't just apply to smartphones do they ?

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: "a connection between sitting in front of a screen and raised blood pressure"...

      They do realise that it doesn't just apply to smartphones do they ?

      It doesn't need to be electronic either. Neither, for that matter, is the effect limited to children.

      By way of illustration just see what happens if you try simply quoting the Daily M*** on this site, never mind showing anyone an original print version.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: "a connection between sitting in front of a screen and raised blood pressure"...

        Daily M***

        150/95. You bastard!

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: "a connection between sitting in front of a screen and raised blood pressure"...

        Neither, for that matter, is the effect limited to children.

        Quite. Social media should come with a serious health warning. Look at the disgusting behaviour of the smug self righteous towards Justine Sacco - yes she made a joke that wasn't particularly funny, but that in no way justified the blatant attempts to destroy her life, and the revelling in having ruined her career.

        One wrong post, tweet, or picture and your life can vanish. Less of a concern if your name is John Jones or Billy Smith, but if your combination of first and surname is in anyway unique then the damage a drunken jest can cause may be unrecoverable.

        1. annodomini2

          Re: "a connection between sitting in front of a screen and raised blood pressure"...

          One wrong post, tweet, or picture and your life can vanish. Less of a concern if your name is John Jones or Billy Smith, but if your combination of first and surname is in anyway unique then the damage a drunken jest can cause may be unrecoverable.

          Watch The Orville S1 Ep7 "Majority rule", very apt.

  3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    I have a Twitter account. It's full of people with different interests and political affiliations arguing and moaning over who is more racist/sexist/xenophobic/homophobic.

    Can't we just ban this so called "social" media for the health of society? If anything it's antisocial. Facebook especially.

    Want to speak to your friends? Send them a text or Whatsapp message.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      "Can't we just ban this so called "social" media for the health of society? If anything it's antisocial. Facebook especially."

      Only if you ban The S*n and The Daily Fail first.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Pint

        RE: Wolfetone

        The odd message board like that doesn't have people competing for hours over likes and who has the best holiday photos. They may be horrible people, but if we take their racist and homophobic rags away from them they'll just fill up the pubs...And none of us want that

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: RE: Wolfetone

          You make a good point. I was initially thinking of their side bar of shame and how every bloody day there's some single mother with 20 kids all on benefits in a £3 million house with just one simple trick that the shops don't want you to know about.

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: RE: Wolfetone

          , but if we take their racist and homophobic rags away from them they'll just fill up the pubs...And none of us want that

          Oh, I don't know about that. I can think of a bunch of politicians who I rather see hanging out in a pub than in their "official" place of work.

      2. IceC0ld Silver badge

        "Can't we just ban this so called "social" media for the health of society? If anything it's antisocial. Facebook especially."

        Only if you ban The S*n and The Daily Fail first.

        ==

        seems fair :o)

      3. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        You would like to ban everybody that does not support your hateful left-wing ideology, do you?

        1. krivine

          The wet liberal b*****d! Fancy drawing the line at merely banning them/you.

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Pint

          RE: TheMeerkat

          Hard to tell who you're calling a hateful left winger...I'm centre right...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: RE: TheMeerkat

            Hard to tell who you're calling a hateful left winger...I'm centre right...

            Centre right is about as hateful as you can get for a 'left winger'.

            You Blairite!

            1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

              Re: RE: TheMeerkat

              Always figured Blair was more in the middle of the left...With Comrade Corbyn so far to the left you'd have to turn your head to see where he is on the scale.

              1. tiggity Silver badge

                Re: RE: TheMeerkat

                Blair was right wing HTH

      4. Timmy B Silver badge

        "Only if you ban The S*n and The Daily Fail first."

        Only if you ban Piers Morgan first.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Can't we just ban this so called "social" media for the health of society? If anything it's antisocial. Facebook especially."

      You'd trust our MPs with passing that into law? They'd leave to so woolly and grey that these very forums would probably get included in the ban, not to mention Usenet or any other publicly accessible forum not directly related to a government website.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Want to speak to your friends? Send them a text or Whatsapp message.

      What's wrong with actually calling and talking? I don't regard texting and Whatsapp to be "talking" as too much of communication is nuances in voice (and if in the same place as the other person visual contact) is lost and rather impersonal with just text type communication.

      Seriously... am I just being old-fashioned?

    4. Stu Mac

      Can't think of anything better than breaking up and breaking down the social media companies. Just a few carefully placed laws would crucify them. Data protection. Confidentiality. National boundaries. Etc.

  4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    What's going on here?

    However, the inquiry also cites a US study that claims the mere act of carrying a smartphone around "reduces available cognitive capacity". A further 2015 study points to a connection between sitting in front of a screen and raised blood pressure in children.

    As ever, it is possible to find a study to support almost any theory.

    Bold/Italic emphasis mine. Pejorative comment belongs to The Register.

    From an admittedly anecdotal point of view, I believe reliance on Sat-navs reduces our ability to navigate unfamiliar territory. I don't think it's a huge leap to reach the point where reliance on a device that holds your 'memory' and puts you in touch with 'groupthink' 24/7 would lead to a reduction in cognitive function.

    Makes a lot of sense to me, but then I don't have a Smart Phone or social media accounts so what do I know.

    Is it just me? I'm getting a really odd undertone from some of the rhetoric put forth by El Reg these days. Subversive, you might say.

    Removing the sugarcoating: I smell propaganda, and it isn't the flavour we're used to around these parts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's going on here?

      ...the inquiry also cites a US study that claims the mere act of carrying a smartphone around "reduces available cognitive capacity"

      If you use it to make voice calls on public transport, it also risks reducing available rectal capacity.

    2. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: What's going on here?

      "I don't think it's a huge leap to reach the point where reliance on a device that holds your 'memory' and puts you in touch with 'groupthink' 24/7 would lead to a reduction in cognitive function."

      I would think the important part would be what you actually use it for though. Relying on a satnav instead of maps or learning an area will likely reduce your ability to navigate because you're using the satnav instead of exercising certain skills. But while having a phone in your pocket gives you access to a huge amount of information in theory, in my experience very few people actually make any use of it. Being able to look anything up on Wikipedia could theoretically reduce things like trivia recall, but faffing about on Facebook and watching cat videos is unlikely to have the same effect. Given the looks on people's faces when I actually look up the answer to a question they're wondering about, very few people seem to realise such a thing is even possible. I can literally stand in front of them reading the answer off a screen and invariably get the response "Wow, how did you know that?".

      I don't know if or how spending all day with a phone glued to your face might affect brain functioning, but I'm reasonably confident any effect is not due to everyone spending their time browsing encyclopedias and generally educating themselves. Social media isn't a substitute for your memory, it just provides more crap to fill it up with.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Knock, Knock .... MayBot*. AIMaster Pilots Reporting for Secret IntelAIgent Services.

    MPs want to know what the kids are up to

    Kids want to know what MPs are up to, given the abuses and privations they are forced to suffer because of them.

    The politically correct and Incorrect elites appear to not realise the future to be built is for their kids' generations and not for themselves to live in every form of regal splendour. That should be just secondary/tertiary and coincidental and simply reflective of success in delivering kids' dreams.

    For that you will also need Command and Control of AIs and a Confidence and Supply Deal for/with Advanced IntelAIgent Virtual Realities with/for Global Operating Devices.

    * The Situation/Conundrum/Dilemma now is, an Abject Abdication of Responsibility to ACTively Engage with such as Professes to be able to Easily Provide All of the Above Drivers the Programming to Supply a Competing System of Exclusive Executive Administration with its own AI Leading Bot Teams.

    East or West, Bots Know Best and Migrate Effortlessly. And that is AIReal Stealth in ProAction and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT too.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Knock, Knock .... MayBot*. AIMaster Pilots Reporting for Secret IntelAIgent Services.

      Whilst not exactly being consentient with overlordship of any kind, if it came down to a choice between benevolent AI and current crop of sadistic arseholes, I'm buying into Silicon.

    2. Swarthy

      Re: Knock, Knock .... MayBot*. AIMaster Pilots Reporting for Secret IntelAIgent Services.

      Thank goodness for those last three paragraphs. After the first two I was worried; it was making way too much sense.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Knock, Knock .... MayBot*. AIMaster Pilots Reporting for Secret IntelAIgent Services.

        Howdy, Swarthy,

        The content in those last three paragraphs is what you should be worrying about falling into the wrong hands, hearts and minds, given what can be so easily done by such AIMaster Pilots Reporting for Secret IntelAIgent Services.

        And with the result of bunglings in copy cat type counterfeit applications being so catastrophically risible and disruptively revealing ....... Russiaphobia Is Out Of Control .... to imagine oneself safe and secure in an immune bubble is clearly delusional.

        There are other questions though you should be asking yourself with at least two of them being ....... Do your own home established government funded secret intelligence and national security services makes sense of those last three paragraphs and would be guilty of risking further surreal development being pioneered elsewhere in an alternative opposition and/or international competition with a non-engagement with AIMaster Piloted Programs with Augmentation in Virtual Reality Presentation Projects?

        And what vulgar obscene cost do you imagine a priceless project to be .... or what price to be paid for it to remain under wraps for a longer spell? Keeping it simple will deliver the exact value for charging for a whole range of provisions/non-provisions ......

        Seven Sevens... 7,777,777/Eight Eights..... 88,888,888/Nine Nines.... 999,999,999 all provide Secret IntelAIgent Service Secrets for less than a Billion which is as Virtual Chickenfeed in the Greater Schema of Sublime Internet Networking Things which are struggling to make sense to billions in the world....... Ticking Exploding Time Bombe/IED

  6. Alt C

    Again?

    Really we are having this debate again? can't they (politicians) just buttout and solve the problems we elect them to solve?

    For some El Reg readers of a certain age they might remember this debate around home computers framed in exactly the same terms with exactly the same studies forming exactly the same conclusions (the ones the study buyers wanted). Funnily the world didn't end.

    Teddy Boys, Rockers and whatever it was worrying the 1900's equvialent of the Daily Fail - Children embrace new things and generally manage to muddle their way through to adulthood without causing the collapse of society despite adults believing thats whats going to happen.

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Again?

      You don't have to be THAT old to have heard about the same argument with people worrying about TV sets in the home.

      I'm sure that when Cimema took off in the 1930s the same argument was applied - as it probably was with the Gramophone and the Pianola.

      They invented writing in the Middle East around BC3k. I seem to recall Socrates (much later) saying that he would never write any of his arguments down in a book, because then his students would start to lose their faculty for memory....

      1. Justin Case

        Re: Again?

        "I seem to recall Socrates (much later) saying that he would never write any of his arguments down in a book,"

        ...you're much older than you look.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Again?

        A relative of mine reports that when she was a girl she was criticised for "always having her nose in a book". Wicked times...

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Again?

      The politicians are talking about the problems we elected them to solve. If there is a problem, then it needs to be addressed at a societal level, and that means politics.

      You may not like their ideas or their conclusions, but they're definitely doing their job on this.

  7. dnicholas

    I want an enquiry as to the impact of drugs and sexual deviance has upon MPs mental health tbh

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I want an enquiry

      as the competence of my MP to hold a responsible job as she is utterly incapable of arguing her case or representing her constituents.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What we need is more politicians

    Doing parents' jobs for them.

    /sarcasm off.

  9. FuzzyWuzzys
    Facepalm

    MPs, you really want to know what kids are up to?

    My wife and I check our daughter's phone, once or twice a week. We don't pry but a quick glimpse through the messages to make sure she's safe.

    Well here's my top 5 of what a typical teenage girl puts on social media...

    1. The boys she fancies.

    2. The boys she hates.

    3. The mates she likes.

    4. The mates she now hates but like 2 days ago.

    5. What the Kardashians are up to!

    No, nothing earth shattering and certainly no cause for Mrs May to panic about kids causing a revolution, well not unless the girls/boys and/or the Kardashians tell them to anyway!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MPs, you really want to know what kids are up to?

        That's 4 people so far with no irony filter.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MPs, you really want to know what kids are up to?

      Bloody Tardashians

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