Technology And The Brain

Unfortunately it seems that technology creeps up everywhere in our lives, in our brains, bedrooms, and families. This makes it decidedly more difficult to renew ourselves. The average owner of a smartphone will check it every six and a half minutes. The means a smartphone user checks his phone one hundred and fifty times per day. The brain becomes addicted to checking the phone the same way that someone becomes addicted to any other substance. There is a chemical released each time a ring or vibration goes off, exciting the brain. So it is hard for people who are truly addicted to turn off this stimuli. But that connection is still unfulfilling. It interferes with the energy and time people have for actual human connection. And worse still, studies indicate that it rewires our brain, making people less adept at making human connections. A recent study showed that the average employee spends twenty eight percent of their day handling emails alone. That constitutes an average of eleven hours per week.

It is important to people to stop and realize that this process is doing more harm than good. Our relationship is one-sided, it is unrequited love that will never be fixed. Your email is like a sinking boat and checking the email amounts to pouring buckets of water out of the boat. But the boat is still sinking, and what you do does not stop the leak. In fact, people are now suffering from “email apnea”. This is where they hold their breath for a short period of time while reading an email. This might not seem like much, milliseconds to be sure, but even those few seconds can change your natural balance of oxygen, nitric oxide, and carbon dioxide. The best fix is to avoid being on auto pilot and to remember to breath.

The largest issue now is that emails and technological gadgets are no longer limited to the workplace, they are everywhere. Try and use better phone etiquette. For example: stop taking pictures of your food unless you are a doctor or a food professional. Turn off the phone while with friends and family. Have a conversation and do not leave your phone on the table, constantly checking it even though it has not rung, while you are with someone. This is HUGE no-no. The day that checking your phone during a meal and taking pictures as you eat is as socially repugnant as picking your nose or scratching your balls during the meal will be a successful day indeed.

One nice breakthrough though is that your brain is a great organ. It does not take much to refuel. So while everyone talks about the need to ‘go offline’ to refuel, take comfort in the fact that this can be something as simple as five minutes turned away from the computer screen and looking outside at the birds.