We are like lab rats, are charged to check their phones

The publishing house “Mann, Ivanov and Ferber” published the book of journalist Manush Zomorodi “Let yourself miss.” The author tells how technology has captured our attention, do not give us bored and consequently to generate new ideas.

  • The dark side of Facebook
  • How I survived a week without Facebook
  • Easy way to stop Internet
  • “No Facebook, almost no one remembers my birthday” – why I deleted the profiles in social networks
  • Can Facebook really “push” to violence

Manush Zomorodi

The study of the phenomenon of boredom I started with, spent the morning sitting in a cafe on the corner of one of streets of Manhattan. People watching in new York — employment is highly addictive, but this time I wanted to allocate to the human the flow of those who completely excluded the opportunity to be bored. In other words, I was going to estimate how many pedestrians can’t do without gadgets in the streets of the greatest city in the world.

And that showed that my pseudo-scientific experiment. Of thousands of people have passed by 315 people typing on the keyboard, looked at the screen, answering calls or just holding the cell phone. (The habit of keeping the phone lines open makes us less susceptible to what is happening around them. Have you ever been able to cast a glance on the subject that buzzes in your hand?)

So, my simple sample, showed that a third of all who passed by me in one way or another had mobile phones. A more authoritative study in 2015 Lehman College of the City University of new York, confirmed that almost half of the pedestrians at five busy intersections of Manhattan are so busy with their electronic devices, they ignore a red light when crossing the street. The habit of writing text messages on the go, to denote that even a new word wexting (walking + texting), is extremely dangerous, but, if it is itself the “Big Apple” or threaten to fall under the wheels lose in the fight for our attention, it remains only to recognize that it is a fatal passion.

Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand / Getty Images

Miniature gadgets gained over us such power that many just do not think without them of its existence. Mobile phones have become our guides to the boundless world of a sexy, affordable and often free entertainment, methods of communication and a million other tools that will allow us faster and better able to cope with emerging challenges. It is no exaggeration to say that electronic devices have dramatically changed every minute of our lives. But by making possible what was considered unthinkable just ten years ago, they have led to unintended consequences — both favorable and destructive.

Communication in Instagram can be devastating what is happening here and now

I have a very smart colleague, the author of brilliant ideas for our show, the best editor I know, but she can’t resist the Instagram updates, while the sound engineer makes changes to the record. Even when we reproduce the edited material, she furtively glances to the smartphone. “Jay, what do you say? — I ask. — This version will suit you?”

“Oh, I’m sorry! Can run again?” — she recalls, trying desperately to break away from the screen.

We all know workshops where the speaker listening with half an ear, or meeting friends for lunch, when live conversations are interspersed with online correspondence. Meanwhile, time is running out. No one says that friends in Instagram uninteresting or unimportant — it just may be devastating what is happening here and now. Why not enjoy and not to get even more pleasure from virtual and real life, present in both worlds simultaneously?

Photo: unsplash

Since the full presence nor there, nor there it’s still not working, in fact you stuffed your brain solely snacks. By the end of the day you not only feel a pleasant “fullness” — you just right to complain of “indigestion” from too much information and impressions.


“Users” of their clients only call the drug and technology developers

Why is this happening? “My contemporaries are more sensitive than people 40 years ago” — said Paul Graham, the famous programmer, investor and inventor of the technology. The founder of Y Combinator (the business incubator, which finances more than a thousand startups, including Dropbox, Airbnb and Reddit) is not alone in his assessment.

Golden Krishna, a specialist in user experience, is currently developing a design strategy of Google, in one of our conversations insightfully noted that “users” of their clients only call drug dealers — and the technology developers.

Many of us, watching their behavior, without any scientific calculations, I know that technology is changing the person, but let’s look at some facts. Dopamine — a neurotransmitter that records the brain’s previous experience (usually pleasant) and stimulates us to its repetition — plays a role not only in sexual and drug abuse, but also in our desire to constantly crawl your finger on the smartphone screen.

Scott Barry Kaufman, scientific Director of the imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania is a non — profit organization dedicated to the propaganda of the imagination “in all sectors of society,” told me the whole truth about dopamine. “It is a misconception that it has to do with a feeling of happiness or pleasure. In fact, is a molecule that helps to influence our expectations.”

Elevated levels of dopamine associated with greater openness to everything unusual and the search for novelty. The latter include exotic dinner and a new book… and likes to post to Facebook, Yes, even the signal text messages!

Our devices are very cleverly activate and capture the dopamine system, if we let them.

“Studies show that the great artists, scientists and other creators have excess dopamine in the body, and it explains their special relationship to novelty,” explained Kaufman. In other words, they are extremely motivated to find a new one, and this desire translates into creativity.

Kaufman calls dopamine the “father of invention” and explains that, as its body reserves are limited, we need a reasonable approach to the question of how to spend these resources: “healthy curiosity and the desire to create new meanings and creations of science and art — or on Twitter.”

In this formulation of the question, I’m almost ready to delete your Twitter account! Almost.

If you wish, we can wean ourselves from this habit

A constant flow of information — here what to expect many of us even need it. Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-young explains that this type of technology use develops into a behavioral habit in the most scientific sense of the word.

“It’s a reflex, that we develop in himself, he Immordino Yang. And, as happens with many acquired habits, to get rid of it have difficulty even with a great desire. Need only a weak squeak of the phone to interrupt potentially creative, productive state of mind when we are immersed in a project, listen to beautiful music, or admire the mountain scenery. We are like lab rats, are charged to check their phones with the frequency, it is impermissible for officials or parents.”

Photo: unsplash

We have taught your brain to always keep your thumb on Snapchat but if you want you can wean yourself from this habit. According to Immordino-Yang, “we need to consciously step back and say to yourself: “Stop, I don’t need extra information to comprehend what I’m doing now. Let me think in peace””.

However, she acknowledges that adherence to this recipe requires a lot of effort. Retreat or, rather, log out is not so simple, since “technology’s insidious way to penetrate into our mental space and capture him.”

“Unfortunately, society does not support us in our efforts to carve out the time to care in your thoughts,” remarks Immordino Yang. Nevertheless, she believes that we are at a tipping point, when more and more people are beginning to realize the need to manage their digital life.

The current business model, involving many hours of vigil at the monitors, playing into the hands of technology developers who would prefer that we are never distracted from the screen. In this sense, self — regulation is the reverse reaction to technological products that usurp our attention.


We are concerned about the impact of social networks and gadgets – as the previous generation was worried about the emergence of radio and car

Not all agree that the information age will significantly affect the human brain and its adaptation to the world of technology. Despite the latter’s novelty, any assumption about their term effects still remain at the level of theories. There is a serious split of opinion: some think digital addiction is flawed, with a tendency of becoming a serious social problem, others believe that such warnings — nothing like the usual fear any technological innovation.

In 2015, the Pew Research Center conducted a study of the relationship between stress and technology. The researchers tested the validity of the claims of critics that “modern technology possess lives, creating time management and unnecessary pressure, and it is fraught with the risk of adverse physical and psychological health consequences as a result of stress.”

They asked 1801 study participants, whether they connect using social networks, cell phones and the Internet, with a increased stress levels. The answers showed that the “overall active users of the Internet and social media stress resistance in norm“. The study found the relationship between technology and stress-only under “certain circumstances, when the social use of digital technology increases awareness of stressful events in the lives of other people.”

So any negative impact of digital technologies is connected not with the frequency or volume of their use, but rather with the nature of the content — in a word, the reaction is no different from the one that can call reports local television.

One of the authors of the study, Keith HAMPTON, a Professor at the School of communication and information, Rutgers University, closely studying the relationship between the new information and communication technologies, social networks, democratic rights and the urban environment. He argues that our concern for the impact of social networking, gadgets and computer games in tune with the concerns of previous generations in connection with the advent of radio, television or cars.

“For centuries, we are seeing a panic about new technology — soothes the Hamptons. — In the XIV century Muslim scholars raised the issue of information overload, saying that too many in the world of books! One hundred years ago, the fathers sat in the kitchen at the table, buried in Newspapers instead of spending time with their wives and children. I don’t think since then a lot has changed. Each new technology raises a wave of panic.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.