Decreasing screen time maybe better for all: preschool moms, kids, brains, bodies. Or maybe not. Either way, try asking yourself the classic therapist question after a long stretch in front of a screen: “How did that make you feel?” If the answer is “not so great,” you’ve got a data point. Repeat, adjust, and maybe feel better.
Another NYT “Your Brain on Computers” dispatch: Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime
“Almost certainly, downtime lets the brain go over experiences it’s had, solidify them and turn them into permanent long-term memories,” said Loren Frank, assistant professor in the department of physiology at the university, where he specializes in learning and memory. He said he believed that when the brain was constantly stimulated, “you prevent this learning process.”
Echoing other researchers, Mr. Strayer says that understanding how attention works could help in the treatment of a host of maladies, like attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia and depression. And he says that on a day-to-day basis, too much digital stimulation can “take people who would be functioning O.K. and put them in a range where they’re not psychologically healthy.”
Researchers say that their work suggests that teens who use the Internet pathologically may be about 2.5 times more likely to develop depression than teens who are not addicted to the Internet.
Another distraction alarm op-ed, this time from Bob Herbert.
I was talking to a guy who commutes every day between New York and New Jersey. He props up his laptop on the front seat so he can watch DVDs while he’s driving. “I only do it in traffic,” he said. “It’s no big deal.”
A recent study by researchers at Stony Brook University in New York found that online forums and chat sites can aggravate symptoms of depression. Over the course of a year, 13-year-old girls were found to become increasingly depressed and anxious when they participated in online chat sites allowing the girls to discuss issues over and over again
The L.A. Times looks at the “Twilight” obsession, opening with:
Chrystal Johnson didn’t think there was anything unhealthy about her all-consuming fixation with “The Twilight Saga” — until she discovered it was sucking the life out of her marriage…
To the Point joins the chatter re The Internet and the Human Brain–sparked in part by the publication of an apparently doom-heavy new book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.
Want to keep yourself thinking “long thoughts”? Take weekends away from the web, suggests one panelist…if you can.
In case you missed it, from the NYT: Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price about addiction to computers, cell phones, etc.
Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information…While many people say multitasking makes them more productive, research shows otherwise. Heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, scientists say, and they experience more stress.