Tag Archives: Thinking

Pushing pause on my ability to push pause

17 Aug
Creating & Recording by AvatarShark

Photo credit to AvatarShark

Or, I think I have a media consumption problem

I went for a walk over lunch today.  I put on my sunglasses, switched by iPod to The Decemberists and walked around town.  (Generally I feel that it’s a good policy to walk further than the 10 feet from my car to the office door at some point during the day.)  While I was walking I realized that I’m plugged in to some sort of audio or looking at a screen for at least 90% of my waking hours.  90% of the time, I’m getting some sort of audio or visual stimulus that’s not related to what’s happening in the physical world around me.

I turn on the TV news while I get ready in the morning, listen to an audio book on the way to work.  I have three screens in front of me while I work, my headphones in my ears.  I carry my iPod, phone, and iPad with me at all times.  Within two minutes to walking into work or home, I’m logged in to my laptop checking e-mail or social media sites. Continue reading

Your Brain on Facebook

15 Aug
Or, I worry for my generation
reading by madelinetosh

Photo credit to madelinetosh

So, apparently our bodies were built for running not reading; you could have fooled me.  My brain, body, and general self like reading (whether physical or digital text) more than pretty much any other activity.  I feel a deep affinity with text; for me, it’s central to my human condition. 

Today I read an article (“Will the speed of online reading deplete our analytic thought?” – The Guardian) that started with the premise that humans weren’t built for reading; that it’s not something that we’re genetically coded to do.

“To begin with, the human brain was never meant to read. Not text, not papyrus, not computer screens, not tablets. There are no genes or areas in the brain devoted uniquely to reading. Rather, our ability to read represents our brain’s protean capacity to learn something outside our repertoire by creating new circuits that connect existing circuits in a different way. Indeed, every time we learn a new skill – whether knitting or playing the cello or using Facebook – that is what we are doing.” Continue reading

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