Tag Archives: actions

Is technology changing YOUR brain? short fun test

Texting on a keyboard phone

Image via Wikipedia

 

10 Signs your brain is changing because of technology (computer, internet, twitter, facebook, texting, iPhone, iPad, DS, etc.)

The ones with “*” are  just made up for the sake of humor. (Let’s just say, I like to insert humor, and yet be an insightful resource for you. Your welcome people of earth.)

THE TEST

Answer yes or no:

1. You spend more than two hours a day interacting with/using technology.

2. You have extraordinarily strong thumbs compared to an Amish person.*

3. You have a short attention span, which has gotten shorter. (Finishing this self-test even seems like a challenge at this point.)

4. You have trouble sleeping at few times per week.

5. Your short term memory seems to be suffering. (Like right now, for instance, you might even have to concentrate to remember why you wanted to take this self-test in the first place).

6. You like to change channels on the tv a lot, and you bounce from thing to thing online, at work, and at home.

7. If you set out to do something, and get online, or start texting, you tend to get distracted from your original task or objective. (Maybe-just now-you were checking on the news, email, or something, and whoops here you are taking this test, ’cause, “heck, it’ll only take a minute!”)

8. You get more than 1 headache a week.

9. You’d contemplate enhancing your brain with extra RAM or flash memory, (if it were possible.)*

10. 48 hours with no technology seems quite unlikely, or basically a bad idea.

HOW DID YOU DO?

1 or more YES answers mean your thought patterns (and your actual physical grey matter) is being altered by the “cooperation with technology.”  So, basically you could be “less human” than you were just a short while ago. Okay, I just made all that up about the test answers. It’s not scientific. Nevertheless, beyond the silliness, the point stands: What we do and think thoroughly (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically) changes us. For real.

Please post your results, out of 10. Let’s see how we all stack up.

(My number is 10 of 10)

From studying the brain, scientists have found that repeated thoughts and mental or physcial actions (like texting, reading, speaking, running, etc.)  actually create physical grooves in the brain, not just faster neuron pathways. When we practice a skill, learn a sport, or study facts, a little trench is carved into our brain tissue. This is also another reason it is hard to break a habit. A habit is physical. One must make a new brain groove to break a habit. By 21 days, a habit is well-formed.

This natural condition of the function of the brain helps us to learn–in the best-case scenario. In a worst-case scenario these thoughts become ditches of obsessive thoughts, vices, bad habits, sin, and worse. We learn to be bad, better. And, with all the technological interaction, we become more ill-at-ease, tired, nervous, restless, and unhappy, in fact.  There is a physical change detectable on brain imaging equipment because of it. (So, you could say, it’s not just “in your head”. ha. groan. sorry.)

Food for thought? YES. Think about all the negative chatter that goes on in the mind, for instance, everyday, or even every hour. A person thinks about sixty thousand thoughts each day. Many are random thoughts and many are negative. Have you ever taken an hour and made a hatch mark for each non constructive or obsessive thought that comes to your mind? You could get a hand cramp!

There’s that song, “Be careful little eyes what you see…and little hands what you do…and little ears what you hear…” Well, yeah. Be careful. It matters.

We must watch our thoughts and actions, because they actually make up who we are.

Also if you feel a specific pattern occurring in your life, or notice habitual unhelpful thoughts afflicting you, you can know for certain they are creating an actual trench in your mind. So, take it as your own “red flag”.

See if you can “get a new groove” going. Consciously fasting from technology, even for a short bit, can give your groove-producing brain a well-needed break.

My friend Ed, recommends a needed 5 minute retreat, here. Good stuff!

The expression “a one track mind” is truer than we ever believed!

Any other ideas?

How do we decide things?

funny_road_signMany of us weigh the decisions we make against the consequences that may happen. For instance, a financially desperate person might say, “I need money, but if I rob a bank, I’ll surely get caught.” A person with a more developed sense of morality may instead reason, “I need money, but that money is not mine to take.” Either way, some kind of assessment of right and wrong takes place, or at the very least pragmatics, which is the determined usefulness, or useful outcome of a particular action (like robbing a bank.)

Pragmatics gets down into the everyday choices, and can be the default setting for our choices. It’s like a common denominator. But really it’s not very good ethics that drives those kinds of decisions. Instead it is only the perceived consequences at the wheel, steering the choice. While it may seem practical to decide something based on whether it will help or hurt, or be useful or not useful, there is a glaring flaw in this method.

What is it? Simply put, we can never truly know the actual consequences of our choices, or their ramifications which lay in the future. What may seem helpful, can hurt many, instead of help. Or, sometimes certain people are helped, while others suffer greatly. History is quite full of these sorts of examples, and we continue to repeat them.

We can abandon a foundation of pragmatics, (the consequential, illogical, ad hoc reasoning method of decision making) by choosing from an altogether better starting point. God. It sounds so simple, but I will not say it is. But, what I refer to is the ultimate ideal, outside ourself–perfection. (Think: Socrates’ model)

The reference of God “himself,” and the nature and Standard of our best choices actually resides in and with God. The best values, the best and most perfect way–that is the way of God. More than that, it is how reality is grounded. God is the ultimate reality. Yes, we won’t measure up. In about two seconds we won’t, to be honest. However, this is not the reason to head for pragmatics, and assume The Good is not possible, a worthy choice, or viable for a standard–or at least the aim, of our own choices. It is the goal of each of us to decide to not choose for ourselves, or for the consequence alone, but for what is the ultimate Good.

Weigh-in with your take, or insights. I realize this particular post is a lofty one. Yes, and idealistic!

ALSO-Please help me spread the word about this website. I would love to have more regular readers. Many thanks to those who’ve read today!