I am a deep thinker, I always want to know more, especially when it comes to topics I love. I can research my favorite topics until the cows come home and always want to see and do more. Even if I just skim the information, I can spend hours talking to myself over it.
The internet has been my tool to dive into my favorite topics and uncover a wealth of new information, but for other people, it is simply a surface that they can glide along.
Misuse of the Internet
Most people check their phones dozens of times every hour and hundreds of times in a day, reading and responding to news stories and texts and funny cat videos. However, every single time you put down a project to tap your phone, it hinders your workload.
Some argue that the constant stream of information and the ‘fear of missing out’ lead people to struggle to stay on top of the info and miss out on what’s right in front of them. Interruptions can eventually shatter the part of your brain that lets you focus for long periods of time.
Everyone’s guilty of this, needing to put aside their work to check the phone. After all, it’s just one second and then back to work. Seconds add up, however, and people lose the ability to focus because their brain is trained to fixate on every single disruption.
Shaping our brains
Even memory can be affected by this because the information we stuff into our brains is short-term and most people don’t take the time to digest it properly. So it gets pushed out of the brain by new information and is forgotten.
If we don’t delve deep into what we are studying and learning and then rely on the computer or phone to just pull it up at a moment’s notice, our memory suffers due to that reliance. Because our memory suffers, we rely on the technology and the vicious cycle continues.
Thankfully, our brains are highly adaptable, much like clay so there is still time to reverse this trend with individuals if not globally.
Regaining our memories
One of the ways to do this is to read a book, and then think about what you read. It sounds a little silly and might not be the easiest thing to do but it helps. Read an interesting book or article without doing anything else until you decide to stop.
Then pace around an empty room or walk around the block and talk to yourself about what you read. What do you agree with, disagree with, love, hate? Did the book bring back any other memories or thoughts? Then talk them over with yourself.
By the time you return home, I’ve found that you’ll be able to remember the conversation you had with yourself and by extension, remember the book chapter or article.
After a few more rounds of this, your brain will be able to adapt to understanding new information over long periods of time, leaving us better able to adapt to the next thing the World Wide Web throws at us.