Technology and our brain

Introduction

Have you ever thought about the technology and the impact that it has on your brain?

One of the greatest abilities that we have as human beings is to think.

This is something that makes us different from the rest of the living creatures on our planet.

Making adequate decisions, following logic and having a long term memory – all of this is possible because of the way our brain works.

But like every other muscle in our body, the brain also needs to be stimulated often.

The question is are we making enough effort nowadays to β€œtrain” our brain?

Let’s find out!

Negative influence

I remember back in high school my favorite thing to do was reading.

And it didn`t matter if the book was 200 or 600 pages long, I just loved doing it!

Even though I had a lot of homework, I somehow managed to finish a whole book just for a couple of days.

Today I need more time to complete this task, so what is the reason?

Of course, we have the obvious reasons, that take up most of our time like work and other responsibilities.

But the biggest difference is hiding in my brain, and probably in yours as well.

The keyword is concentration.

In the past children had to do two things after school – write their homework and read a couple of pages from a book.

Adults were trying to create this habit so their children could learn to concentrate at a very young age.

And obviously it worked because it helped kids focus their attention for a longer time.

This was also very good for their imagination.

Unfortunately, technology conditions the brain to pay attention to the information in a slightly different way.

For example, when we watch TV we don`t need to focus all of our attention on the screen, we can just listen to the dialogue and to something else.

This is multitasking.

This is very interesting because actually it is proven that our brain can`t focus its attention on two different things at the same time.

So it’s the same with children.

They watch TV, pay attention to the screen but don`t focus the same way that they do when they read a book.

Children`s brains nowadays are just wired in a slightly different way.

But this is not bad.

Social media

There is this modern fear in young people that they are always missing out on something.

The roots of this fear lay in social media and its impact on our mental health.

We see all of these beautiful people on Instagram or Facebook and they are living their life.

They are going to parties, concerts, traveling, going here and there.

And as proof, that they are living to the fullest, they always have a photo to post.

Now, it’s not bad to take pictures and remember happy moments, but it becomes a problem when it’s something that we feel the need to do.

Most of the time the party was not that fun anyway.

Some psychologist is saying that this creates the FOMO – fear of missing out.

It makes people scared that they are not experiencing everything that they are supposed to and creates a certain amount of pressure that can cause anxiety.

Smiley faces

Do you use a lot of emoticons when chatting?

In my brain emoticons exist since the moment I saw them, which was in 4th grade.

This means that I have been using them for more than 12 years.

And what about you?

Well, there is a published study on this matter. And the news is not good.

Unfortunately, after a couple of tests, it has been proven that the part of our brain, activated when we look at people`s faces, now reacts when seeing smileys as well.

That’s a bit scary!

Positive effects

But does technology have a positive impact on our brain?

Our kids spend a lot of time playing computer games.

And when they are not playing, they spend their time discussing the games with their friends.

Adults think that this causes young people to become violent, unsuccessful, uninterested in anything else.

Research shows that actually computer games can have a good impact on children.

It is proven that they pay more attention to the details, develop their logical thinking (it depends on the type of game), have better reflexes.

As I mentioned, social media and technology itself have a negative effect on the brain.

But this is not everything, things are never black and white.

A couple of researches show that sharing every part of our life on the internet sometimes can have a good effect.

When there is an audience, most of the times people strive to be better, kinder, more helpful, smarter, basically to bring out the best in what they are doing.

So, maybe social media can help us become more conscious and kinder.

If we manage to pay attention to the important things, surrounding us, we can actually achieve a lot in this era.

We have all of these technologies, created to make our life easier.

Also, we have access to all kinds of information around the world.

We become better in decision – making. Our children are smarter and more adaptive.

Every creation has a bad side, so maybe, next time you are reading some fake news or wondering if a photo is real or made using photoshop, remember that you have the ability to distinguish the truth from the lie.

You just need to read more, concentrate more, search for information and train your brain.

Because, well, yes, without this type of β€œfitness” technology will change the way you think and it might not be in a good way.

Author: Maya Peteva

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