Clifford Nass, professor of communication at Stanford University, reckons, “It is not physiologically healthy for you because (humans) are not built to do a multitude of tasks at one time. Your phone makes you feel like you have to respond, which then increases your stress and harms your cognitive thinking.”
Dr Bhinderwala agrees. Multitasking, he says, lessens our ability to focus on what is relevant, and rewires the brain to make us shallow thinkers. Varied communication features (SMS, video, Whatsapp, BBM, Facebook, Twitter) available on our finger tips, makes us less responsive to the immediate environment.
Dr Sandy Chapman, chief director for the Center for Brain Health in Dallas, who has studied the effects of technology on the brain, was quoted in nbcdwf. com, saying: “It’s really keeping us at this distracted level, so everything that we’re thinking about tends to be quicker, less synthesised, and that’s what’s making us dumber.”
According to a 2012 Pew study, 34% of Americans making less than $30k a year have a smartphone, a 12% jump from the year before which is the greatest percent increase in any income bracket.
This could be a positive in terms of closing the digital divide but unless they are using a supercheap service like a prepaid monthly plan at $50 a month and a used phone, they are spending over $700 a year+ and it seems more like conspicuous consumption than an appropriate line item. It’s way too much money considering what this group’s fixed expenses would be. Also, I believe this is close to what is considered poverty in the US according to federal standards. The question is whether there are benefits to these families and individuals in terms of earning potential, educational attainment and overall well-being that justifies the expenses.
“U.S. median household income fell from $51,144 in 2010 to $50,502 in 2011. Extreme poverty in the United States, meaning households living on less than $2 per day before government benefits, doubled from 1996 to 1.5 million households in 2011, including 2.8 million children.“
We suspect part of the rise in narcissism is being driven by Internet tools. What is clear is that social media platforms are frequently used by those with narcissistic tendencies to feed their egos. These same applications are used by millions of others to build their businesses, coordinate events, and maintain close ties with friends and families.
Consider the evidence from a study reported in late 2010 by researchers at McGill University. Neuroscientist Veronique Bohbot and her teamreported that relying on a global positioning system (GPS) to get to known locations reduces the function of the hippocampus, the “seahorse” shaped structure in the brain that controls memory and spatial orientation. Participants used to getting around on the basis of their own wits had higher activity and a greater volume in the hippocampus than the older adults using a GPS. What’s more, when it came to their actual performance, the non-GPS users performed better on a memory test. Bohbot recommends that you turn off the GPS when you’re navigating around your hometown and use it only for its actual purpose of finding locations you’ve never been to before. Your hippocampus will thank you, whether you’re 16 or 60.