From television to computers to smartphones and other such porn delivery systems, technology is wonderful. Truly, there is no downside to a technologically advanced society ... except for all of the terrifying ones we're about to tell you. For example ...
6Virtual Reality Could Cause Hallucinations
Every new thing that comes out is accused of ruining the entire world. It happened with comic books, rock & roll, video games, and now Google Glass. "You're walking distracted, that can lead to accidents!" The reasonable critics said. "You're probably watching porn all the time -- porn starring the devil!" The less reasonable ones insisted. So when news came out that Google Glass might mess with your brain, it probably tripped your bullshit sensors.
"Besides, everyone knows to use Bing for devil porn."
But there may be something to it. In a case study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, a Glass user had to forfeit his device while undergoing rehabilitation. Soon, the man reported seeing his dreams through a narrow "gray window," as if he was experiencing them through his (now-absent) Google Glass. The researchers concluded that repeated use of the device had burned itself into the subject's subconscious mind, after which it slowly started leaking into his everyday life.
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Further evidenced when he paid $1,000 for the ugliest sunglasses the researchers had ever seen and stopped using plural nouns.
You know that thing where you play Tetris for too long, and suddenly you're mentally stacking everything you see? Science actually has a name for that. They call it "game transfer phenomena." Usually, the symptoms are perfectly benign, like seeing a particularly bitchin' rail and wondering how many points it's worth in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. In rare cases, though, GTP can lead to hallucinations. In a Swedish study, one 15-year-old hardcore gamer reported seeing health bars over the heads of people he encountered in real life. Of course, no one has gone stomping on turtles and throwing their bloody shells at their neighbors -- it's nothing but a strange, rare little quirk.
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Just don't describe it like that to gamers. They'll hear the word "rare" and spend the next 100 hours trying to unlock it.
For now, anyway. Researchers think that we might see more of this in the future as augmented/virtual reality tech becomes more prolific. Nobody's saying you should cancel your Oculus Rift pre-order, or even that if you play too much Kirby, you'll devour your children in an attempt to absorb their powers. We're merely saying that GTP may be about to become much more prominent, and you might occasionally find yourself cleaning your house by stacking all of your garbage together in an attempt to clear the line.
5Digital Photos Might Be Ruining Your Memory
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You know what's great? Stuff. But the problem with stuff is that there's too much of it for one person to remember. That's where digital cameras come in. No longer only a tool for photographing your Forbidden Zone, digital cameras allow us to immortalize every event forever, ensuring we never forget a moment of it. At least, that was the intention. But a recent study by psychologist Linda Henkel found that taking lots of pictures can in fact harm your memory.
"That's a beautiful shot, but who are you, again?"
In Henkel's study, participants observed artwork in a museum. Half of the participants were allowed to take digital photographs, while the control group was asked to simply observe it. The results later showed that the camera-less control group was able to recall far more detail about the artwork, despite the camera group presumably spending four times as long on each painting, lining up the shot just right so it looks like they're going down on Whistler's Mother.
James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Though judging by her facial expression, they could stand some practice.
Henkel called it the "photo-taking impairment effect" and it happens because our brains are lazy bastards that realized they could dump all the "remembering" responsibility on photos and sit back, relax, and think about puppies or something. However, Henkel's experiment only applies to those fire-and-forget pics we toss up on the Internet and never revisit. If you view the photo from time to time, you end up remembering more about it. So we suppose that the real lesson here is that Instagram is making you dumb. But anybody watching you take ten pictures of your lunch while it goes cold right in front of you knew that already.