The results are in. You’re rapidly becoming an idiot. That’s not meant as an insult, but rather a warning. The addiction so many of us have to “apps” is making us that way. Whether it be iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, iPad, YouTube or any of the myriad technologies that pull us toward depersonalization, the effect on our thinking and cognitive abilities is suffering.
This according to an article in the business report section of the San Francisco Chronicle. Oh my God, am I really using San Francisco as a benchmark for intelligent thought? Anyway, it goes on to say that these ceaseless disruptions are not good for our brain as the modern world bombards us with stimuli in the form of a nonstop stream of e-mails, chats, texts, tweets, status updates and video links to piano playing cats.
In what can only be termed as unsurprising, the studies suggest that continual multitasking may impair the filter that keeps our brain from flitting from thing to thing. Persistent multi-taskers actually perform worse than infrequent ones on tests that require them to jump from task to task. It certainly begs the question, do we, the constantly connected, suddenly lack the focus or attention span we once had? Are we finding it harder to get through a book, movie, conversation or even an article without feeling the tug of technology? (Excuse me a minute, another call coming in).
I’m back. Furthermore, according to these studies, it is adversely affecting our short-term memory. Joining the ranks of Alzheimer’s, Autism, depression and alcohol abuse, technology addiction is increasingly responsible for ….. something……………..what was I saying?
One of the most astonishing findings is how we’ve actually expanded time. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation released in January 2010 concluded that 8 to 18-year-olds devote an average of seven hours and 38 minutes to entertainment media per day. But because they dedicate so much of that time using more than one medium at once – say, scanning Facebook as they listen to music and chat with friends – they actually pack in about 10 hours and 45 minutes of content in that period. Do you hear that Einstein? Are you rolling over in your grave? So much for your space-time continuum theory.
So what are we to garner from all this? Well ironically, in our efforts to increase the quantity of communication with one another, we may have actually significantly decreased the quality of that communication. In essence, we’re throwing our discourse off course. Like the phrase “deafening silence”, are we all headed toward another oxymoron of sorts, “inane brain”?
The fact that you’re reading this blog would seem to bear that out.