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Why It's So Important to Unplug from Technology


Stashed in: Mathy, Societal Woes, Inequality, life, ADHD, Brain, Attention, Multitasking, Focus!, Downtime, Sleep!, Poverty, Awesome, Good advice, The News

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“Our brains will always be seduced by the high stimuli [of constant connectivity] because of the dopamine that it provides," Blumberg explained in another interview. "It's really similar to having ADHD.”

“People with ADHD, their big problem is that their cortex—the outer part of your brain that does the executive function like making decisions—doesn't function in the way that it is supposed to," he continued. "Unlike animals, who are distracted by every stimulus they encounter, human beings have the cortex, which is supposed to help them weigh up whether what they are currently doing is more important than whatever the new stimulus is—whether it's a Facebook notification, phone call, or email.”

Essentially, we’re over-stimulating ourselves. Constant connectivity makes it hard to sustain attention on one task at a time. It can make us get all willy-nilly with our focus, giving our attention to whatever is right in front of us, without thinking about whether or not what is in front of us is truly worth our time. As a result, it’s harder to engage in deep thought, critical thought, and creativity.

Blumberg thinks this is going to have a serious impact on society:

"In fact, what I think we're going to see is a society that is even more divided into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. And we're already starting to see that the kids from richer backgrounds are really restricted in the amount of TV and internet that they are allowed to use because their parents who built these big companies know that that is what is required to be able to achieve such things, so those kids are going to end up building the big companies of the future.

"And the kids from poorer backgrounds, who are online all the time and have a very reactive brain, will end up being the consumers and customers of the other kids' companies. There will be a huge market where people will buy anything because the brand is flashed up without having any critical thinking about it because their brains are not used to deep thinking."

So you're saying there's a chance the Internet and smartphones are distracting us from getting real work done?

Perhaps sleep is nothing more than forced downtime from supernormal stimuli?

http://pandawhale.com/post/37558/supernormal-stimuli-and-our-lizard-brains-are-humans-truly-ready-for-junk-food-tv-video-games-porn-or-the-internet

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