You hear that technology is bad for you from a many different places, for example when you go to the doctor they say that too much technology is bad or they ask you how much you have been using technology. What makes technology so bad for us? I wanted to look into this because every one has told me too much technology is bad for you, but what makes it so bad for you?
Daniel J. Levity said that our devices have become swiss army knife-like appliences, they include a dictionary, calculator,
web browser, email, Game Boy, appointment calendar, voice recorder, guitar tuner, weather forecaster, GPS, texter, tweeter,
Facebook updater, and flashlight. They are becoming so powerful and are able to do so much more, but is this good?
We text while we’re walking across the street, catch up on email while standing in a queue – and while having lunch with friends, we surreptitiously check to see what our other friends are doing. Most of the time we are multitasking to do these things.
We think that multitasking is a good thing but scienentists say otherwise, Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at MIT and one of the world experts on divided attention, says that "our brains are not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost in doing so.” We are not able to think about many things at a time and everytime we switch really quickly between many things we are just switching between thinking about multipul things and we loose something every time we switch.
Multitasking has also been found to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, which can overstimulate your brain. So when you are trying to pay atention in class while making your calender you will not remember as much as if you were solely focused on class. Our devices "help us" multitask and we think that it is a good thing that we can multitask but scientests have proved otherwise.
Surprisingly enough, marijuana use proves that multitasking is bad for us, people claim that it gives them enhanced creativity and reduced pain and stress, it is well documented that the main ingredient, cannabinol, activates dedicated cannabinol receptors in the brain and interferes with memory and with our ability to concentrate on several things at once. This shows that people are noticing less stress because they can't multitask and think about more than one thing because they are on marijuana.
Now more people have mobile phones than have toilets. This has created an implicit expectation that you should be able to
reach someone when it is convenient for you, regardless of whether it is convenient for them. This expectation is so ingrained
that people that can not answer their mobile phones say, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk now.” Why cant you just not answer? if you
are going to answer doesn't the person expect that you would talk to them?
Glen Willson's research found that being in a situation where you are trying to concentrate on a task, and an email is sitting unread in your inbox, can reduce your effective IQ by 10 points. Just because you want to be contacted, your IQ goes down by 10 points!
For many business owners and writers a big problem is the overwhelming amount of emails that they get. When a neuroscientist's 10-year old son was asked what his father did for a living he said "Answers emails". Most people in the government or the arts would agree with this and at least admit that emails take out a large chunk of their day. We feel obliged to answer our emails, but we feel like it takes so long and stops us from doing anything else.
Now we don't really have to give our emails much thought when I know if you were going to write a letter you have to think about it very hard, with emails all you have to do is write down your thoughts and you can get a response within 60 seconds. This has lead in us having less manners and we don't learn how to write by using letters we don't really even have to try. If someone sends you an email you feel like you are able to do more things for people that you don't even know but it is ok because they sent you an email. Before you had a scheduled time to check your mail when we did not have emails because they only arrived at one time during the day, now emails come in almost as soon as you send it so you are constantly checking it because you could get an email any time.
Studies show that most people under 30 think of email as "the old way to communicate" Now they use facebook or texting. People under 20 think that facebook is old and really only use texting. Texting has become the primary mode of communication for many reasons: You get privacy with that 1 or many people, it comes right away and you can answer right away. But texting is just as bad as emails and then some, texting has so little characters so it discourages real thought about what you send.
We now use emojis' to show people how we feel. Texts appear right on the screen and an imidiate response is expected by the sender. Doing these small tasks let out dopamine and makes us want more, responding to a text produces dopamine and getting off task. It is incredible to think that your brain is rewarding you for doing the wrong thing.
Each time we send or recive an email, we feel a sense of accomplishment, and our brain gets a load of reward hormones telling us we accomplished something. Each time we check what is going on it the world on Facebook or Twitter we get more reward hormones. We think that multitasking is good but it really is a bad thing, we can't remember as much while doing it and it makes us feel good when we loose a little every time we switch between thought. Our devices can be very powerful tools in the same way they can distract us. We could still make it less distracting if we did not have things to get distracted on, your device could make a list as stuff comes in and you only check it after the list you first did was done. We don't need to multitask because it is not really good for us it just makes us feel good. We could be way more on task if our brain knew what was good and it could release dopamine when we do a good thing like staying on task and block it when we get off task. In all, devices can be very powerful we just need to know what we need to do to stay on track.
Gordiano, Vicky. Technology in the Millennial’s Workplace. Digital image. AIESEC. BlackBerry, 30 Jan. 2015. Web. 8 May 2016.
Levitin, Daniel J. "Why the Modern World Is Bad for Your Brain." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 18 Jan. 2015. Web. 8 May 2016.
Stillman, Jessica. "Multitasking Is Making You Stupid." Inc.com. Inc Magazine, 17 Aug. 20012. Web. 11 May 2016.