multitaskingApparently so. Thank you Men ‘s Health for yet another  insightful study. OK, I ‘m being sarcastic. I do appreciate your magazine, but I do find all the studies a bit overwhelming and contradictory. There, I said it. This won‘t stop me from sharing what I read from last month’s issue about being   tech-addicted   which I ‘m sure we all are (you are reading a blog after all). Admit it, if you lose your smartphone or simply leave it at home it’s the same as losing your wallet or purse. I don‘t know how we ever got along without these things a mere decade ago.

Don‘t even get me started on Facebook. I met up with an old friend from high school and he asked me who I kept in contact with. I  immediately thoughts of all these people and started telling him this and that about who had kids and who moved to wherever then I realized it was all information I got from status updates on Facebook. I haven‘t actually spoke to many of these people in eighteen years, yet I knew about them as if we still hung out. Weird.

Anyway getting back to the topic at hand, here is the article from Men‘s Health that instigated this tirade of a post ha. It’s from the May 2012 edition and the title is   Debug Your Brain   enjoy:

Adults spend about 8 1/2 hours a day on the Internet, watching video, or using mobile gadgets, according to estimates from eMarketer.   The problem is that we get glued to our devices and forget we have a life offline,   says Gary Small, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA. Don‘t let technology rule your life. Here‘s how to know if it’s gone too far.

THE PROBLEMS

Chronic multitasking
You multitask to accomplish more in less time, right? Yet an experiment at Stanford University revealed that heavy media multitaskers were less efficient than people who multitasked less often. They also had difficulty ignoring irrelevant information.   We become faster but also sloppier,   Dr. Small says. Research also suggests that chronic stress from multitasking can make your brain‘s memory center more vulnerable to damage.

Diminished social skills
The tech-addled brain   drifts away from fundamental social skills, such as reading facial expressions during conversation or grasping the emotional context of a subtle gesture,   Dr. Small writes in his book  iBrain.

  Techno-brain burnout 
People who work online for several hours nonstop report feeling spaced-out, fatigued, irritable, and distracted. Dr. Small calls this digital fog   techno-brain burnout.   It causes your brain to alert your adrenal glands to secrete the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Over time, this process can impair cognition and alter the neural circuitry in brain regions that control thought and mood.

THE SOLUTIONS

Live now
Don ‘t snap a photo of every meal, or tweet about that concert while it ‘s happening.   Consider enjoying a seminal experience fully before posting about it,   says Daniel Sieberg, author of  The Digital Diet.   There ‘s always time to update your social network, but life is worth living in the moment first.   Dr. Small suggests designating e-mail time in the morning so you don ‘t sweat it all day.

Find quiet
In  iBrain, Dr. Small advises creating a quiet environment, even if it ‘s only temporary, to ease anxiety. That may mean silencing gadgets, disabling alerts and alarms, or instituting a no-phone zone.   No charging the smartphone in the bedroom,   Sieberg says.   Keep the room a sanctuary and you might even aid intimacy.

Fall asleep
In an experiment at Harvard, Sara Mednick, Ph.D., and her colleagues were able to reduce the negative impact of techno-brain burnout in volunteers by adding variety to mental tasks and by introducing strategic power naps  a reminder that   sleep mode   has advantages for human beings too.

Read more at Men ‘s Health:  http://www.menshealth.com/health/debug-your-brain#ixzz1wnljR6La

 

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