Are you Paying Attention?
We have so many forms of digital amusements out there right now. So many ways to spend your free time that it almost becomes your only time, that it consumes you. That all you do all day is sit in front of a computer screen and do nothing. Nothing but stair at your phone or play that really good game, what well come of it, what will happen to us years from now if things keep going the way it is what will be our fate. So many amusements that the only outcome is that it is making us dumber, shrinking our intelligence and taking away our simple ability to pay attention, can that really be happening?
Digital amusements like everything from DVD’s, Blue-ray and Netflix with all movies that come with it. Video games consoles like X-Box (360 and ONE), Play Station (2, 3 and 4), and the Game Cube (and The Wili), plus the thousands of games in between have all now been around for years. Now with the hand held digital devices such as iPod, I-Phone (2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, 6 plus), Galaxy (2, 3, 4, and 5). And let’s not forget the PSP (PSP-1000, PSP-2000, PSP-3000, and PSP GO). Let’s not forget Computers in all shape and sizes plus the internet with the millions of web sites invalid with it. All of the digital devices mention above and the internet have all led to the belief that the Attention Span of every indusial that uses it is actually shrinking, that our intelligence is diminish where we are using digital devices. However this belief may not be entirely true.
The theory makes since, with all that is out there, there is a defiant hint of logic in this thinking, but you first have to examine the attention span, the term span refers to two things. The first is how much information a person can retain, the second is how long a person can maintain focus, scientists measure the two in this way; they ask people to read off numbers in reverse, they have people stare at an object for a long length of time, you should note that the performance on these test have not change in fifty years, that means 1965 and what was there back than Beatles records, color TV, and the Ed Sullivan Show.
There are some mental tasks that can have a small impact on the human brain but only modestly, for example if you play a action video game for hours a day you can improve your own sight but at a small boost it’s not a complete overhaul of how your eyes work. Attention is so apart of how our minds work as a species that any real significant change would have to take an evolutionary amount of time, which means tens of thousands of years and an overwhelming change to our natural environment, not because you play halo a lot.
In 2012 a pew survey was taken that showed 90 percent of teachers believed that their students could not pay attention the same way they did just a few years earlier. Now how do we explain this, perhaps it isn’t the fact that most people relay on a verity of digital devices in their daily lives. Maybe we are now just unwilling to, that it is all in our heads. The digital world has in it a massive amount of amusements; if YouTube doesn’t have what you want than buzz feed or Spotfiy will. Technology has not shortened your attention span but it has just given you more to do in your free time, now there is always something to do.
The truth is that we might be getting more easily bored than we used to be 20 years ago, there have been studies that have shown the suggestion that our attention is always up. Laboratory test have shown that if somebody has a cell phone in the room they will have trouble to paying attention. A another test has shown that a person driving a car can get in to an car accident just by a ringing phone even if they had no intention to use it.
There are many who would say that our pocket sizes digital devices are really pocket size mind shedders, but that belief might be miss place. Our wanting for more and more entertainment through our digital devices is building up the suggestion that it is taking away worthier activity to spend our free time, you know like reading, playing chess or something like that, instead of checking your facebook page 20 times a day or twitting about checking your facebook 20 times a day and watching YouTube videos of cute cats and whatnot, although the number of people reading on a day to day basic had never change.
Neuroscientists recognize two systems of attention and associated thought. They say that one is directed outward like when you go and check your email and when you play floppy bird; the second is directed inward which means it’s the one you are daydreaming or plan ahead for tomorrows activities or when you went to think about the past. These things work like a toggle switch; you cannot use one when you are using the other. So when let’s say you are using the outward directed, the inward directed is actually being slightly suppressed.
With all that is out there right now in the digital world, could we lose the ability to actually daydream, research has shown that the people who tend to daydream have a creative mind and are more incline to become writers and other types of artist, or simply do whatever job in a original and creative fashion. But there is a dark side to inward thinking, daydreaming can be vary distracting if left uncheck and reflection can turn ugly, there is nothing more self-distortive than to think about the would of’s, should of’s , and could of’s, of life.
The truth is that there is no digital device out there that is eating away at our brains; anything that is happening is by our own choices. That it can be reverse by simply putting down your cell phone and putting away your computer and turn off your TV and open a book or go outside and take a long walk or a long drive and think. Try and use both sides of your brain, not just the one. Who knows maybe you can think of the next great American novel or simply come up with a solution to a problem at work or in a relationship. Who knows, just try it and see.