Fresh Air with Terry Gross had an interesting story called Digital Overload: Your Brain On Gadgets.
Find a comfortable place and listen to it without doing anything else–no email, twitter, web browsing, etc. It was painful to not to be doing something else at the same time. As noted in the story, as I started multitasking the level of detail that I was able to capture and remember, dropped dramatically.
A few interesting insights and questions from the story were:
- As a society we are consuming way more information than we used to–three times as much compared to 1960.
- Most people visit 40 different websites a day.
- During the work day, on average, people change applications 36 times per hour.
- Three days away from technology is different from one or two–the “three-day effect.”
- What is this constant consumption of information doing to our brains? And to our vacations?
- Consuming technology is like food:
- some is good for us and some is not
- too much isn’t necessarily good either
- Constant multitasking takes a toll on our cognitive abilities, particularly memory.
- We see computers a productivity device so we go to them naturally.
Trying to find a better title for this post it was interesting to see how easy it was to think of technology and information as the same things when in fact they are not.