Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Brain overload

Here’s an interesting article “Warning: Brain overload” which suggest that our obsession with digital content may in fact be affecting our poor little brain. It says:

 

“the sense of mind-lag and unease that result from info-overload may be causing significant levels of anxiety and depression.”

 

which means that more and more people feel they are falling further and further behind, in some way missing out. The article continues that:

 

“One fear is that habitual rapid media-browsing can, ironically, block our ability to develop wisdom”

 

because we are having to deal which volumes of information we simply do not have time to process what we receive deeply enough so we merely ignore it. We all apparently are born with the ability to empathize with others yet because we are now processing so much information we are actually caring less. In many ways this is making us less human. As the article says:

 

“Constant bombardment by outside high-intensity stimuli is not likely be healthy”

 

because our brains are now reaching capacity in the their ability to digest and make sense of all the information. The problem is probably not too much information simply that we have not taught ourselves how to effectively filter that information. It’s the old Pareto 80/20 rule. You have to work out how to get through the 80% of the junk to find the 20% that has real value. That is the trick, and it is something that most people do not appear to be improving. As the article says:

 

“The irony of high-speed modern mass communication is that no one is actually communicating.”

 

It seems like that more and more each day. The more everyone carries on about how much better we are with Twitter, Facebook, Web 2.0, You Tube and the like it would appear that we are losing our humanity. We are fast becoming like unfeeling machines. As the article concludes:

 

“Either you control your technology or it will control you”

 

Which is just like a recent article I’ve been working on call “How we’ve surrendered to technology” that I’m looking for feedback on, so if you have some time I’d appreciate any opinions.