Raging Against the Machines

Symposium – Internetkriminalität
Does playing on the Internet damage our children?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Mr. Spitzer believes that frivolous use of the Internet could be as dangerous to children as smoking.

  • Facts


    • The term “digital dementia” was coined in South Korea, home to one of the highest digital-using populations.
    • Mr. Spitzer’s key argument is that sites such as Facebook distract children from more productive activities.
    • Studies have shown that students reduce their learning capability by one-fifth if they take notes on a laptop.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

Manfred Spitzer, a neuroscientist and medical director at the Psychiatric University Hospital in Ulm, wrote the 2012 bestselling book “Digital Dementia.” In it, he outlined his controversial view that the Internet is destroying our brains, damaging education and even causing disease.

Critics accuse him of hyping the perceived threats, but his message resonates with many educators and parents who worry young minds are being short-circuited by digital media. Dr. Spitzer, 57, recently talked with Handelsblatt about his crusade against Internet giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook.


Professor Spitzer, your sequel to “Digital Dementia” is called Cybersick. What kind of diseases are you diagnosing?

The digital revolution provokes much intellectual as well as physical damage — including depression, addictive symptoms, sleeplessness, high blood pressure and cancer.

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