February 27, 2011
A short paragraph in a recent issue of the Bottom Line Personal urges us to “Take time away from cell phones, computers, iPods and other electronics every day so your brain can process and remember information.” Staying plugged in at all times can prevent the brain from processing our life’s experience!
Our internal Digital Age taskmaster drives us to always stay connected 24/7…to keep the pace, stay ahead of the competition, and know what our friends are up to on Facebook.
In Mickey Meece’s New York Times article, “Who’s the Boss, You or Your Gadget?” we learn about a young woman manager, so fearful of skipping a beat- she was on her iPhone while going into labor! Another story involves a fellow who took his family to a concert in Toronto, and then ducked out to finish some business with a client in Australia…As work invades the home and vice versa, there’s a growing sense of unease. “People find themselves with little time to concentrate and reflect on their work. Or to be truly present with their friends and family.”
That young Mom admits she was distracting herself from the realization that she would soon have “two children” to deal with. Shortly thereafter, she had to hire a coach to ween herself off of her gadgets to be more fully a parent!
Balance is key. Computers are a marvelous addition to our world. I am using one right now to reach you. “Sometimes you have to use technology, to get people to back away from it.” -Carl Honore´.
And then there’s the ultimate gadget, “Watson,” the IBM computer that was programmed to compete with a human on the TV show Jeopardy. The computer won at spitting out answers quickly. However, it has no concept of what the words mean. “Watson is incapable of coming up with fresh ideas, much less creating theories, cracking jokes, telling a story, or carrying on a conversation. Humans still have an edge.”- Stephen Baker in the Los Angeles Times
Celebrate your humanity! Write a letter. Cook a meal. Knit a scarf. Re-pot a plant. Garden. Go for a walk WITHOUT your cell phone. Experience your life, give your brain a breather!
*The Bottom Line Personal, January 15, 2011. Loren Frank, PhD, assistant professor, department of physiology, University of California, San Francisco.
*The New York Times, February 6, 2011, Mickey Meese, “Who’s the Boss, You or Your Gadget?”
*The Week, February 25, 2011, Viewpoint quoted from Stephen Baker in the Los Angeles Times.