Overheard on CNN.com: This is your brain on the Internet
June 23rd, 2011
06:18 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: This is your brain on the Internet

Comments of the Day:

"I told my boss that the Internet told me to stare out the window"–gristle

Does life online give you 'popcorn brain'?

If you can't stop checking online to see what's popping, you may be losing gray matter and the ability to read people's faces, studies show. Constant Internet stimulation may change the physiology of the brain and make it difficult to live in the slower "real world."

Many CNN.com readers pointed out the irony of having to read the story on the Internet. Some were skeptical of the research.

CleaverName said, "This could be true or not. Plos One is an OK journal with an impact factor of 4.3. The study involved only 18 people (not a great population size). Go and actually read the paper, their conclusions are not that strong."

YesorNot said, "What's wrong with being online? Don't you love reading a book? Online can be similar, and you get to interact with that 'book' of contacts. Go gardening if you feel like, go sunbathe, go do other chores. All new things just need moderation and relearning of habits. So, call it popcorn brain or whatever you want, perhaps your brain while gardening was a 'potato brain'?"

Others, however, thought the story was spot on.

maiden239 said, "Popcorn brain? It's called addiction. Too many adult and children are addicted to the Internet, Facebook, texting, their iPhone, etc. I saw a woman driving yesterday with both hands on her phone texting. I'm not sure if she had her knee on the steering wheel. Stupid and dangerous behavior!"

TheRealAnser said, "So many of my friends are addicted to their devices, and picking one up in the middle of conversation in second nature."

jbill said, "I once went on a date with a girl. She constantly checked her phone, returned texts, browsed on Facebook, and I thought maybe she was not having a good time with me. But then when the date was over, I went home and checked my Facebook on her status. It said, 'Having a great time with Bill at this authentic Morrocan restaurant.'

OrUnreality said, "I had a good friend come to stay with me for the night. She got a call from another friend and spent the whole night on the phone. I went to bed and left her on the phone. Some visit. We need to start being taught phone, smartphone, Internet etiquette. Some people get so involved with the people that aren't around that they can't be involved with the life they have right there."

Burbank said, "I was in a local pub a couple of months ago. It was a Friday night and the young set were all sitting there texting each other instead of talking, it was unnaturally quiet, other than the music on the juke. Not only that, all of these 21-35 year olds were overweight and there were about 30 of them in the pub at that time. This was in the Bay area where people are supposedly more health conscious. – NOT!"

Generic drug makers don't have to warn of new risks, court says

Splitting along conservative-liberal lines, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against two women who were claiming damages from a generic drug company for a severe side effect. The ruling apparently involved "pre-emption" of state law.

Many CNN.com readers were outraged over what appeared to be a preference for big business.

lkaslkus said, "Another Supreme Court ruling in favor of Big Business at the expense of the common American. More people will suffer complications and some will die. All bow before the almighty dollar. Thank you Conservatives."

kershawdw said, "This ruling is as absurd as the one where the Supreme Court nullified limits on corporate donations to campaigns. Gotta love conservatives, destroying America from the top down."

Barzoo42 said, "The risk of taking generics vs. name brand medicines has just gone up immeasurably."

DP57 said, "This particular side effect has been about since the mid 1980's when I was a medical resident. The ruling is absolutely outrageous!"

absherlock said, "I think this would be a great time to change the Supreme Court's perscription plan to require generics whenever available."

Not so fast, said other readers. hoosbill2 said, "Calm down, people. This is a ruling about existing law. The law left this loophole open and it's not up to the Supreme Court to close it. That's Congress's job. Congress can fix the law and this ruling goes away."

Wzrd1 said, "The court found that the generic drug manufacturers cannot change their labels at will but must go through a change process with the FDA. The point of the case before the SCOTUS was: state law required the companies to violate federal law by changing their drug warning labels without FDA approval. When there is a conflict between state law and federal, state always loses, per Article 6 of the Constitution."

AndrewFriet asked, "Where in this mess is the responsibility of those who prescribed the drug long term? Shouldn't they have known the history of the patient and advised on the use of the drug? It isn't the fault of a drug companies' warning label but the medical professional that gives out the drug."

Raum said, "This is an issue of public safety that goes beyond party affiliation. Write your congressmen to fight this law that allows such impunity!"

Twins drop legal claim against Facebook founder

Sixty-five million dollars had been an acceptable settlement for Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, the original partners of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg,  but they later appealed it, saying it was based on undervalued stock. They dropped the appeal in documents filed Wednesday.

Most CNN.com readers thought they were lucky to get the $65 million.

boredin6022 said, "This is total BS! How can we expect 2 young men to live on $20 million each after taxes?? I really hope they can survive on such a small amount."

dogtowndave said, "I hate to be this way, but it's kind of gratifying to see the rich kids who usually just use and dump the techies not get their way for once."

zachmasterza said, "Wow, it took these guys a long time to realize that they were already rich."

nishbuster said, "I had a similar idea which was vaguely something about people interacting with computers, so I think I'll sue - maybe I'll get a mil or two?" Useyerhead said, "Dreaming of software and actually developing it are not the same thing."

But not everyone agreed. am9999999 said, "I didn't see the movie so I'm not biased like most people on here. Typically the people that come up with the idea are the highest rewarded people; they thought of it. Looks like Zuckerberg just stole the idea and ran with it. It seems like, as usual these days, the twins are hated simply for being rich."

Nikore said, "I love it how we all saw the Facebook movie, so of course we're all experts on every fact of the case. It's not like the movie had any creative interpretation or anything, right?"

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Mmmmm

    If the Internet is popcorn, tv is the kernel. So those who watch tv suffer with kernel brains!

    June 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Trixter

    Watch out for corn poopies!

    June 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    Too many people watch re-runs of Seindfield and 3 and a half men. Gobble chips and guzzzle beer. Thus must change!

    June 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar


    June 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank ( R-Ohio )

    Girl says: "Hey Mom...yeah it's me....hey I just made $20,000 playing penny stocks on the internet with only $10.00." 😉

    June 23, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar


    June 24, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I'm glad to know about the Supreme Court's decision, but I was intelligent enough anyway to check my drugs' side effects from the original name.
    You get what you pay for.
    Additionally, if drugs are sold cheaply, the company producing the generic drug cannot afford to spend as much on quality control. You don't need an MD to tell you this: it's common sense.
    One might briefly confuse an Asian copycar with a Mercedes-Benz, but most persons (hopefully) know that they are not equal. It's not just the star on the hood that's missing.

    June 24, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior

    The more we stare through the video window, the less relationship there is between what we know and where we are [in the stream of time]. A simple examination of how American acedemia has fared since the advent of TV/video shows this to be the case. We aren't getting better grades these days, quite to the contrary. Today's average university grad cannot pass a simple 8th. grade final exam given to students in 1901! Readin', Ritein', and 'Rithmatic was all it was, nothing fancy. The 3 "R's" is all it was." Now since you flunked math, go to your room and give me 4 hours Playstation" seems to be how it's done.

    June 24, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. Andrew

    I think the VelvetRope.com has shown that the internet does turn your brain to mush.

    June 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Peter Sharp

    There should be a better online-offline balance, self imposition of limits for the internet use, and challenge the brain to avoid these negative effects. In fact, since time online is an addiction, the best use for that time is a good brain training program! The neuroscience has developed so much over the past decades, it is possible today to have access to real brain trainings, online and scientifically proven. Check this one (online, and for free): http://www.cognifit.com/

    June 28, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |