How Technology Changes Our Reading and Writing Habits
The fact that we spend more than 10 hours each day dealing with technology has resulted in us checking our phones every 12 minutes and touching the screen over 2,000 times per day as a result.
Despite all of the fanfare around technological advancement, we seldom notice any changes in our everyday lives. The Washington Post recently published an article on how people have adapted to a new way of reading as a result of the Internet, as well as the places it has taken them as a result of this. Instead of reading texts, people who use the internet scan them for facts, absorb dispersed information, assess the possible relevance of information, and move quickly to hyperlinks.
The same thing happened to writing, it has almost disappeared from daily usage. We use extremely short phrases, which cannot even be called sentences, in our text messages; academic-wise, students have stopped writing on their own — it is much easier for me to hire someone to write my term paper rather than suffer doing it myself.
In the most recent studies in neuroscience, it has been demonstrated that our habits and talents permanently modify the neural structure of our brain. This results in the mind of an illiterate person functioning in a different manner than the mind of a reader. In the same way that reading affects the brain, it is reasonable to expect that digital technology will have the same effect.
According to neuroscientists, we haven’t spent enough time living in a digital world to be able to draw definitive judgments on long-term brain changes. In any case, the first findings of the inquiry have already sparked several thought-provoking possibilities.
1. WE HAVE LOST OUR FOCUS
Before the invention of tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices, people were able to maintain a high level of concentration for 12 seconds. Swimming takes only a fraction of a second longer for an aquarium goldfish than it does for the typical person.
On our phones, instead of reading consecutively, we click on links, check our e-mails, switch to notifications in instant messengers, etc. A consequence of this is a decrease in productivity, learning capacity, creativity, and interpersonal relationships, among other things.
We think we’ve mastered the art of multitasking: We can watch YouTube videos, talk on the phone, and respond to emails at the same time. The brain, however, is unable to simultaneously do numerous tasks. Switching back and forth between tasks, which we commonly refer to as multitasking, actually lowers our brain’s effectiveness.
Multitasking cannot be learned, according to scientific evidence. In fact, for individuals who are used to multitasking digitally, it proved to be more difficult to transition between projects when doing actual work.
3. MEMORY GETS WORSE
According to new research, the memory of many millennials has been shown to be lower than that of the elderly. It’s also possible that technology has a role in this. Long-term memory can only be accessed by transferring information from working memory. The brain can’t all of the information it receives if we are continually learning new things.
Because of the ease with which they may obtain information, the digital generation has struggled to retain information. Digital amnesia is the name given to this problem. Gadgets serve as an “external” memory for information, names, birthdays, and meeting times, rather than relying on our internal memories.
4. WE PROCESS ARE NEVER BORED
Every day, we are inundated with information, and we have little time to think critically for ourselves. On the other have discovered that the brain requires periods of unstructured leisure. The “default system” refers to the mode of operation that removes articles, instant messengers, and podcasts from the list of available options. When the brain is in this state, it is capable of performing a wide range of critical functions, such as digesting new information, exploring for connections, and developing new knowledge and understanding.
A deterioration in his cognitive abilities will occur as a result of his inability to allow his brain to “get bored” and go into default mode. As a result of this, anxiety and despair are more prone to manifest themselves.
How can we help our brain?
World Health Organization aims to include a diagnosis of digital addiction in the next edition of their medical classification of disorders, which will be published in 2020. As a result, it is impossible to go to the heart of the topic and concentrate on it. To maintain one’s mind and soul in sync with the digital era, some effort will be required. The following are some pointers that may be of use.
1. Meditate and practice mindfulness
This does not necessitate an in-depth understanding of philosophical ideas, though. It takes little more than closing your eyes and concentrating on your breathing to get started on your meditation practice. Using this technique, you may slow down the flow of information, detach from external stimuli, and generate a sensation of serenity and well-being.
2. Train your concentration
Reading, solving math problems, playing chess, and a variety of other hobbies are all effective ways to reach this goal. In order to truly immerse oneself in the cognitive process, one must refrain from continuously checking his or her phone for alerts.
3. Use the Pomodoro technique
Take a five-minute rest after you have completed 25 minutes of hard labor. Even though it’s a well-known time management method, there are a few tricks to making it even more productive.
4. Follow basic digital hygiene practices
Specifics on where you will not be using your devices should be included, as well as a time restriction for when you will no longer be using them. You should also include a description of what you will do when you do pick up your phone, tablet, or laptop, if applicable.
5. Take breaks for brain wandering
Consider taking a five-minute break from your work at least once each hour to take a deep breath and look out the window. When performing household activities, refrain from listening to audio or watching the video. This will allow your mind to wander and rejuvenate.
Many people have expressed frustration with their inability to concentrate when reading a large quantity of data on the Internet, which is a result of the new criteria for information perception. Internet reading may be thought of as a new type of information perception that is unique from the experience of reading a book in a traditional setting. A significant number of papers are published every day, even in tiny professional organizations, and no one person can possibly read and assess every one of them.
(This article was contributed by Pro-Papers.com – leading paper writing service provider from Czech Republic)