Regretting an online Post?

How people behave on social media is hugely influenced by the cognitive function of concentration.

Response inhibition is the ability to concentrate on relevant information in order to make a correct response despite interference.

Examples of everyday activities include keeping your eyes on the road when driving, despite passing distracting signs or people; blocking out background conversations when you’re on the phone; ignoring attention-grabbing buzzwords on product packaging to focus on relevant information.

Online, it governs the ability to inhibit your emotional gut reaction to a social media post. Instead of publishing an immediate, ill-considered reply, you are able to take the time you need to formulate a more rational response, if one is even required.

CBS Health’s Double Trouble task which measures levels of sustained focused attention and response inhibition could help people avoid a lot of problems here.

With the threat that knee-jerk posts pose to relationships, reputations and careers, many would benefit from knowing how vulnerable they might be.

In fact, the whole online forum experience would be much more polite and even-tempered if there was a universal move to develop greater cognitive self-awareness.